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Sulphur Springs wowed by 'Walker County'

Sophie Walker (l) snaps her fingers to the music while sister Ivy – therising country music duo Walker County –points to someone she knows at the Iron Kettle Restaurant in Sulphur Springs asthey film the new video “Hamptons.” The restaurant was overflowing with customers eager to see and celebrate the local duo.

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Lunch at the Iron Kettle Restaurant in Sulphur Springs took on a special home-cooked flair Friday afternoon. It wasn’t at all like a posh New York getaway.

And that was exactly the point.

Faithful customers got an unexpected dessert as they ate when camera crews and Nashville, Tenn. recording officials joined them to film a new country music video starring two young ladies many had watched grow up in the small Henry County town.

Dressed in sparkling gowns worth thousands of dollars, Sophie and Ivy Walker swayed and sang in one of the restaurant booths to their latest song called “Hamptons” during the second day of a two-day filming process in their home town.

The atmosphere and occasion was as delicious as the home-cooked food in the eyes of local residents who remember when these girls performed at Sulphur Springs Community Days in their early years.

“I’ve known them probably since the time they were born,” Kip Jones said, “and probably known their parents since they were born. These girls are just kind of down to earth. It’s neat that they want to come back here and do something like this.”

“The message is ‘don’t forget where you came from,’” said Billy Walker, the girls’ father. “Their first single, ‘The Hamptons’ is about being proud of where you come from. Immediately, the girls were eager to do it back here.”

Even though they now live in Nashville, Tenn., home never seemed sweeter to the Sophie and Ivy as they shot the video.

“It’s been so awesome,” the girls’ mom, Janice Walker said. “We have been so blessed by being able to live and raise the girls in a small town.”

Even one of the officials helping produce the video, Bobby Hanaford, was impressed.

“It’s paying homage to their home town, Sulphur Springs,” Hanaford said. “The song is called ‘Hamptons.’ It’s kind of a play on words. The chorus is ‘Ain’t nobody here from the Hamptons.’ The message is you don’t need Hampton money to have Hampton fun.”

Hanaford said the two-day shoot featured the girls having fun, eating at the local diner in very high-fashion gowns.

“It’s a little tongue in cheek,” he said. “We’re exploring where they came from, their roots. These are two very passionate girls and this is their first big music video. This is the beginning of a great career as far as I’m concerned. I’ve worked with a lot of big artists and they have the ‘it’ factor for sure – 100 percent.”

Hanaford said the local hospitality during the filming process “was above and beyond what we’d hoped for.”

Originally from Chicago and now living in Los Angeles, Hanaford said the girls’ song will resonate with a lot of people – both from small towns and big cities.

“L.A. gets a weird rap,” he said. “People think it’s kind of snobby, but it’s a lot of people who left towns just like this one to chase dreams. You get a lot of small-town spirit, which is nice.”

Billy Walker, whose father was a highly respected New Castle police officer, said the Iron Kettle was the only place to film the video in his view.

“It still has that feeling of a hometown restaurant,” he said. “You walk in there and nine out of the ten tables sits someone you know. Sulphur is a wonderful community. It’s dear to their hearts. They love this place. They’re not the kind of girls you’ll ever take it out of them.”

For more information on Walker County, including news on their latest recording endeavors, visit www.walkercountymusic.com on the web.