On Saturday, October 3rd, organ master Robert Walter took part in Democracy Comes Alive, a one-day, nonpartisan virtual music festival aimed at channeling the power of music to make a critical impact on civic engagement in this November’s elections and beyond.

The decorated keyboard player—who co-founded The Greyboy Allstars, fronts his own 20th Congress, and has toured with Mike GordonSteve Kimock, and many more—performed solo from his home for the event, offering up a trio of instrumental tunes. Kicking off with “Pump Up The Valium”—not to be confused with the song of a similar name by punk-outfit NOFX—Walter got things off to a light, bouncy start. The heavy organ use gave off the feeling of being at a ballgame as he explored the sauntering groove.

The second tune, “Hellhound”, found added instrumental accompaniment as he was joined by looped clapping as well as a slide guitar, in addition to a drum track. This gave off the impression of a group operation, as Walter took on a collaborative role of leading the improvisation. All the while, the mechanical clapping kept everything on beat while Walter was allowed to run wild. Walter gradually turned down the samples as he wound down his playing, sticking the proverbial landing.

Despite it being the last song of his set, Walter was in no hurry on the silky “Avalon”, stretching his legs and flexing his impeccable phrasing throughout the four-minute track. Toggling between the Rhodes and synthesizers, the exploration took on a two-pronged approach as he brought the set home.

Relive Robert Walter’s performance at Democracy Comes Alive in the video below. If you enjoyed the performance and have the means, consider making a donation to HeadCount and the Democracy Comes Alive artists via DemocracyComesAlive.com.

Robert Walter – Full Set – Democracy Comes Alive

Robert Walter joined 50+ performers and 10+ other speakers as part of Democracy Comes Alive, presented by Live For Live Music in partnership with voter registration nonprofit HeadCount. The 10-hour streaming event, powered by Nugs.TV and Plus 1, generated $40,000 and counting in funds for HeadCount as well as the participating artists, who remain out of work as the pandemic continues. In addition to the funds generated, Democracy Comes Alive led thousands of people to HeadCount’s tools to check your voter registration status and register to vote. For more information, head here.