Ryley Walker: April 29, 2018 The Bowery Ballroom

May 2, 2018
By

Ryley Walker arrived on The Bowery Ballroom stage as the opening act. For many bands, the opening 45 minutes means an opportunity to deliver a tight-but-denuded set that gives the untutored fan a reason to seek more. Well, Ryley and this night’s crack band — longtime compatriot Ryan Jewell, fellow guitarist Bill MacKay, and Calexico (the headliner) bassist Scott Colberg — did the latter but not the former. Which is to say, their version of a “short” set consisted of four songs, but one of them was 18 minutes long. And instead of “the hits,” as it were, those four were, save one, all tracks from his forthcoming album, Deafman Glance, which promises to extend Walker’s renown as a musician’s musician, who follows his instincts where they take him and isn’t afraid to challenge the listener.

If for years the understanding among Walker and his fans is that there’s about as little relationship between the reasonably straightforward sound of his records and his expansive, jazz-influenced live shows as there is between the seriousness of Walker’s music and the lightheartedness of his stage banter, the Deafman Glance material seems poised to narrow that gap. The proggy, dense, album sound carries over well into Walker’s chosen live milieu, making (for example) the “Telluride Speed” that closed this set a thrill but, unlike the eighteen-minute “Halfwit In Me” that opened it, not a totally radical departure from the album version.

Ryley’s stated goal was for Deafman Glance to be his anti-folk record, and indeed, this felt like the least folk-driven Ryley Walker show I’ve seen. With his vocals turned relatively low in the mix, and a song selection that was relatively short on opportunities for vocal pyrotechnics, Walker seemed intent on letting his electric guitar guide his sound (listen to that “Halfwit in Me” – it did). Walker’s full-band shows have always de-prioritized vocals to some degree in favor of extended jamming, but if I hadn’t seen Walker before and someone told me this was a guy who also does a mean cover of Van Morrison, I’m not sure I’d have believed them. That’s one of the joys of seeing this artist — by the time I see him again (expect a headlining tour in the U.S. in the fall), he’ll almost surely have evolved yet again.

I recorded this set with a beautiful stereo soundboard feed and Schoeps MK5 cardiod microphones. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show from its page on the Live Music Archive: [FLAC] | [MP3]

Ryley Walker
2018-04-29
The Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

An nyctaper recording
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Schoeps MK5c (PAS, at SBD, slightly LOC)>KC5>CMC6>>Sound Devices MixPre 6>24/48 polyWAV>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 [intro banter]
02 The Halfwit in Me
03 [banter2]
04 Spoil With the Rest
05 22 Days
06 [banter3]
07 Telluride Speed

Band:
Ryley Walker – guitar, vocals
Ryan Jewell – drums
Bill MacKay – guitar
Scott Colberg – bass

PLEASE SUPPORT RYLEY WALKER: Bandcamp | Dead Oceans

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One Response to Ryley Walker: April 29, 2018 The Bowery Ballroom

  1. Bruce
    May 3, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks for taping this great player!

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