Michael Walters, with autism, approached the microphone and surprised everyone, including Father Laurence, who plays bass in the band
As they did throughout the pandemic when allowed, local band The Kingfishers gave Newmarket neighbors and friends a performance down the aisle, but a special guest singer at the last really brightened the spirits. .
Bassist Laurence Walters said his sons didn’t come to his concerts often, so he was surprised when 17-year-old Michael came out and then wanted to stand up and sing at drummer Rick Pickard’s Clancy Crescent alley show. Saturday, August 28.
“Michael loves music but he doesn’t really like playing,” Walters said of his son, who has autism.
He said Michael took piano lessons and entered his school’s talent show when he was younger, but growing up he didn’t want to perform so much.
The second surprise for Walters was the song choice, as Michael wanted to sing The Traveling Wilburys’ End of the Line.
“He listens to a lot of music and he always sings around the house but I’ve never heard him sing that song, ever,” said the bassist.
While Michael had to read the lyrics on his phone, he sang with confidence and even used different voices to represent the multiple singers in the original song.
Walters said the number drew the biggest applause of the afternoon.
“He has a really strong and beautiful voice. He projects really, really hard, ”Walters said.
He said he hopes Michael will continue to use his voice in the future, whether it’s vocals or other voice work.
While he’s not sure what’s next for his son, Walters said the Kingfishers have a number of shows on the horizon.
While they have a number of private gigs coming up, the band – consisting of Ron Fleming (guitar and vocals), Walters, Pickard and occasionally Al Turnbull (guitar and vocals) – will perform at Big Texas Barbeque in Bradford on Saturday 2. October at 3 p.m.