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Samuel Walker Shepard — Meet the Down Hill Strugglers Band Member Who Is Sam Shepard & Jessica Lange's Son

Busayo Ogunjimi
Aug 23, 2022
08:55 P.M.

Samuel Walker Shepherd, son of Sam Shepherd and Jessica Lange, is upholding his parent's legacy, taking on the world of showbiz despite the hurdles life threw at him.

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Legendary actor Sam Shepherd passed away in 2017, leaving behind three children, Jesse, Samuel, and Hannah Jane Shepherd. Like their parents, all three of the actor's kids grew up forging careers in the arts and striving to leave their mark on earth.

His youngest kid, Samuel Walker Shepherd, who the veteran actor shared with Award-winning actress Jessica Lange, is a talented singer. Having spent his life in the spotlight from birth, coupled with his career, Walker has garnered his bout of fame and stands tall among his counterparts.

 Walker Shepard of The Down Hill Strugglers (formerly The Dust Busters) open for Steve Earle at City Winery on February 19, 2014 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Walker Shepard of The Down Hill Strugglers (formerly The Dust Busters) open for Steve Earle at City Winery on February 19, 2014 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

WHO IS SAMUEL WALKER SHEPHERD

Samuel Walker Shepherd is the second son and third child of legendary power couple Jessica Lange and Sam Shepherd. The Hollywood veterans welcomed Walker on June 14, 1987, in Scottsville, Virginia. Hence he has the zodiac sign, Gemini.

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He grew up with his famous family comprising his parents and two siblings, Hanna Jane shepherd and Jesse Mojo Shepherd, and a half-brother Shura Baryshnikov from Lange's former relationship.

After college, Walker decided to pursue his passion for music, joining the New York-based band, The Down Hill Strugglers, formerly The Dust Busters, in 2008.

Ethan Hawke, Director James Macdonald, Gary Wilmes, Marylouise Burke, Samuel Walker Shepard, Hannah Jane Shepard and Paul Dano pose at the opening night after party for the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Sam Shepard's "True West" on Broadway at Brasserie 8 1/2 on January 24, 2019 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Ethan Hawke, Director James Macdonald, Gary Wilmes, Marylouise Burke, Samuel Walker Shepard, Hannah Jane Shepard and Paul Dano pose at the opening night after party for the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Sam Shepard's "True West" on Broadway at Brasserie 8 1/2 on January 24, 2019 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

As part of the old-time string band, the singer has performed in iconic venues like the Jalopy Theatre and the Club Passim. He has also appeared on numerous radio shows, displaying his talents at iconic festivals such as the Woodstock Film Festival and Brooklyn Folk Festival.

Walker is an expert at playing instruments like the fiddle, banjo, guitar, and harmonica, contributing to his band's quest to bring back the spirit of Old Time Music through their groundbreaking performances.

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Walker's siblings have also excelled in their respective fields, with Hannah, one year his senior, becoming an Academic professor, having studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Meanwhile, Jesse, 17 years older than Walker, is also a writer and has authored a handful of books.

 Samuel Walker Shepard and Hannah Jane Shepard (Children of late Playwright Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange) pose at the opening night after party for the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Sam Shepard's "True West" on Broadway at Brasserie 8 1/2 on January 24, 2019 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Samuel Walker Shepard and Hannah Jane Shepard (Children of late Playwright Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange) pose at the opening night after party for the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Sam Shepard's "True West" on Broadway at Brasserie 8 1/2 on January 24, 2019 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

SAMUEL WALKER SHEPHERD'S CAREER

Although not as famous as his parents, Walker has made a name for himself in the music industry thanks to his iconic feats as part of The Down Hill Strugglers.

The band, consisting of Jackson Lynch, Eli Smith, occasional groupie John Cohen, and Walker, has achieved incredible feats in the industry to keep the music of the old rural America alive.

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Some of their collective works include the albums "The Dust Busters," "Prohibition Is A Failure," and "Old Man Below." The latter won them the 2013 Independent Music Awards for Best Bluegrass Album. Music journalist Amanda Petrusich once said of the dynamic trio:

"The Down Hill Strugglers are, to my ears, the very best interpreters of traditional material presently going."

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Many have also commended their singing methods, liking them to young artists from the 70s, who invoked the Golden era of recording.

SAMUEL WALKER SHEPHERD'S PERSONAL LIFE

With a link to famous parents, a successful band, and an impressive net worth, Samuel Walker Shepherd still managed to keep his personal life private.

He refrains from making his life public on social media or sharing details about himself. Hence, little about him is known to the public besides his career and obvious connection to Sam Shepherd and Jessica Lange.

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Given his numerous public sightings with his parents on the red carpet, one can safely assume he has a great relationship with them and the rest of his family.

Actor Sam Shepard and actress Jessica Lange (C) pose with family members Shura Baryshnikov (2nd L), her husband Bruce Bryan (L), Hanna Shepard and Walker Shepard (R) attend a cermony honoring Lang at the Film Society of Lincoln Center at Avery Fisher Hall April 17, 2006 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Sam Shepard and actress Jessica Lange (C) pose with family members Shura Baryshnikov (2nd L), her husband Bruce Bryan (L), Hanna Shepard and Walker Shepard (R) attend a cermony honoring Lang at the Film Society of Lincoln Center at Avery Fisher Hall April 17, 2006 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

On one of these sightings, the star seemed at ease while attending his mom's Broadway show, "Julius Caesar on Broadway," in April 2005, in the company of his famous dad. He has also appeared on the red carpet along with his entire family.

Even after losing the family patriarch in 2017, the family never fell apart. Thankfully, the loss did not hinder the star from pushing forward in his career. Instead, he strived to come to terms with the setback and remained focused on his career in hopes of excelling beyond expectations.

Today, Samuel Shepherd Walker, famous from birth, has managed to break out of his parents' fame in his own rights, establishing himself in the world of showbiz with his outstanding career and cementing his name as a music legend.

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