10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s impossible for schooled listeners to not hear the bucolic beauty of the late Tim Buckley’s finest work in the music of midwestern troubadour Ryley Walker. Elements of Buckley’s Happy/ Sad, Blue Afternoon and Starsailor can be heard in the wild improvisations of “Same Minds” where stand-up bass, vibraphone and acoustic-electric guitars coalesce with drummer Frank Rosaly’s raucous groove. These jazz elements yield a restless wanderlust that evokes the best of Van Morrison, John Martyn and Terry Reid (River-era). Walker’s skilled fingerpicking empowers “Griffiths Bucks Blues” and “Sweet Satisfaction.” First-rate work throughout.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s impossible for schooled listeners to not hear the bucolic beauty of the late Tim Buckley’s finest work in the music of midwestern troubadour Ryley Walker. Elements of Buckley’s Happy/ Sad, Blue Afternoon and Starsailor can be heard in the wild improvisations of “Same Minds” where stand-up bass, vibraphone and acoustic-electric guitars coalesce with drummer Frank Rosaly’s raucous groove. These jazz elements yield a restless wanderlust that evokes the best of Van Morrison, John Martyn and Terry Reid (River-era). Walker’s skilled fingerpicking empowers “Griffiths Bucks Blues” and “Sweet Satisfaction.” First-rate work throughout.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.1 out of 5
34 Ratings
34 Ratings
Firefly1967

Musical Poetry

Feeling like he's performing a private show for close friends at some small coffee shop in Greenwich Village circa late 60s or early 70s, Ryley Walker's album is intimate, raw and hypnotically compelling - with a throw-back quality that is comforting and familiar - yet utterly fresh at the same time. The perfect music to accompany you on a long summer road trip driving through the countryside, by the campfire, or even late at night drifting down the empty streets as the city sleeps and a light fog envelopes the landscape. Timeless, romantic, vulnerable and provocative in almost a Nick Drake sort of way. So much is conjured up with his music. Highly recommended if you're looking for something a little different from today's "me to" fare.

rick 0318

Love him, and found him by accident!

The greatest thing “iTunes” can do is to give a free taste of an artist, so that buyers can be exposed to wonderful artists like this. What a wonderful, free-sounding voice, and wonderful recording, that reminds me of John Martyn, Nick Drake, and other wonderful artists. He’s becoming my favorite artist, amongst a sea of many. ...

TW.Orange

Brilliant, reminiscent and highly listenable

Backed by an ace young Chicago jazz band, folky mid-Westerner Walker cranked out this wonderful musical gem that’s sometimes reminiscent of early 1970s Tim Buckley and Nick Drake. The CD cover is even reminiscent of Van Morrison’s classic 1968 “Astral Weeks” album cover. In my opinion, its one of the year's best.

About Ryley Walker

Ryley Walker is an accomplished fingerstyle guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Chicago whose music and evolution as an artist have proven mercurial. After spending a few years cutting his teeth on the city's indie and experimental music scenes, he began giving solo live performances on acoustic guitar drawing the inevitable comparisons to his peers, from William Tyler and Glenn Jones to British Isles guitarists ranging from Bert Jansch and John Renbourn to Davy Graham and Martin Carthy. For his part, Walker proved delightfully unpredictable.

The first recorded aspect of his complex musical persona arrived with the cassette-only EP The Evidence of Things Unseen, issued in a limited edition from Plustapes in 2011. Its artwork was deliberately reminiscent of John Fahey's Death Chants Breakdowns & Military Favorites, and inspired by the American Primitive lexicon of Takoma Records. Later that year he released -- again via cassette on Plustapes -- Of Deathly Premonitions, a four-song collaboration with fellow fingerstyle guitarist Daniel Bachman. Walker's first widely circulated recording was a vinyl-only three-song 12" entitled West Wind from Tompkins Square Records in 2013. His debut album, All Kinds of You, was issued by the label in April of 2014.

After intensive touring and playing on others' records, he signed to Dead Oceans in the fall. Recording in Chicago with a cast of improvisational and jazz session aces (including cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz), Walker completed Primrose Green, issued in 2015. It was the first of his recordings to feature his own vocals. Musically, it blurs the lines between folk, rock, jazz, and new music. After nearly ten months of touring Primrose Green, Walker returned to Chicago and set about writing and recording his third album. Inspired in part by the Windy City and local musical heroes Tortoise and Gastr del Sol, the eight-track album, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, was released in August 2016. The following year he and frequent touring partner Bill MacKay issued SpiderBeetleBee, a collection of guitar duets described as "slide blues, Baroque dance, percolating Latin and deep-focus space" tunes on Drag City.

Walker returned in the spring of 2018 with his own recording entitled Deafman Glance. The set was recorded in Chicago at Minbal (now JAMDEK) Studios, USA Studios, and in co-producer Leroy Bach (who also contributed guitar and keyboards), and featured regular Walker collaborators Brian Sulpizio and Mackay on electric guitars, Mikel Avery and Quin Kirchner on drums, Andrew Scott Young and Matt Lux on bass, Nate Lepine on flute and saxophone, and Cooper Crain (who also recorded and mixed the record) on synthesizers. ~ Thom Jurek

HOMETOWN
Chicago IL
BORN
1989

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