Posts Tagged ‘ jazz folk ’

Ryley Walker: October 9, 2015 Rough Trade NYC (Tompkins Square 10th Anniversary)

October 16, 2015
By

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[photos by Jill Harrison]

For the past decade, Tompkins Square Records has pursued the dual missions of enlightening listeners about the current state of folk and guitar music, as well as unearthing underappreciated classics, such as John Hulburt’s Opus III, compilations of gospel songs, and Harry Taussig’s Fate Is Only Once. But on the first side of that slate — current artists — is where Tompkins Square has stood out the most, offering up records by Daniel Bachman, Shawn David McMillen, and last year’s Grammy-nominated set of music from respected folk singer Alice Gerrard. The biggest single breakout, though, might be Ryley Walker, of Chicago, whose debut album the label released back in 2014. From there, things moved fast, with Walker blowing our minds at a full-band appearance at Hopscotch, releasing his second album, Primrose Green, in 2015 (and a live album with Bill MacKay in August), and ending up on the roster of, among others, the Pitchfork Music Festival, Levitation, and Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival. As followers of this site know, we’ve seen him a slew of times since that Hopscotch show, each revealing new songs and new dimensions of his style.

Fitting, then, that Ryley and his band would headline Tompkins Square’s tenth-anniversary celebration, at the top of a bill that also featured living legend Michael Chapman and the rediscovered D.C. folk musician Bob Brown, playing his first show in 30 years. Ryley said at the outset that he and his band didn’t deserve to be headlining over such company, and even if that wasn’t necessarily true, they certainly were the young guns among their peers. What followed that introduction was a sprawling, hour-plus set consisting of just four songs, all of them non-album material, two of them brand new to us. The band began with “The Roundabout,” a fitting metaphor for a song about possibilities that can just as easily turn into inertia. After that came the night’s sprawling centerpiece, “Sullen Mind,” which we first heard at Le Poisson Rouge back in June. This time, the song became a 25-minute showcase for the band and Ryley’s talents, the natural interplay among them obvious they grinned visibly at the transitions. “Funny Thing She Said” continued in that vein, giving sax man Levon Henry a showcase for his talents before Ryley even got to the first verse. This and “Sullen Mind” underscore how far Walker has come since even that 2014 Hopscotch performance; if one were inclined to accuse him of being a “traditional” folk musician, or some kind of tribute act for Van Morrison and the classics, his recent performances throw those assumptions out the window. What Walker is attempting here is something entirely different, and something that’s a total stranger to the Civil War-wave garbage that passes for modern folk or “indie” music on most stages these days. That he has already attempted it on the biggest stages, such as at Pitchfork, further proves that Walker isn’t taking the easy, commercial way here. More power to him.

After begging from the audience, the band closed with an even-newer tune, “The Great and Undecided,” a slightly more traditional number (so far) that we’re excited to hear develop. As Ryley enlightened us at the outset of this show, Tompkins Square has been delivering “sick nugs” for ten years now. I feel confident saying Ryley Walker will keep doing the same. He represents the best of the future, as well as the past.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from engineer Dustin Meyers together with Schoeps MK4V microphones. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC] | [Apple Lossless]

Stream the complete show (note: banter tracks removed. Enjoy them on the download versions):

Ryley Walker
2015-10-09
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Dustin Myers) + Schoeps MK4V (PAS, FOB)>KC5>CMC6>>Edirol R-44>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, fades, compression, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, imaging, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:05:05]
01 [intro banter]
02 The Roundabout
03 Sullen Mind
04 [tuning]
05 Funny Thing She Said
06 [encore break]
07 The Great and Undecided

Band:
Ryley Walker
Ben Boye – Keys
Brian Sulpizio – Guitar
Anton Hatwich – Bass
Ryan Jewell – Drums
Levon Henry – Sax

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Ryley Walker, like him on Facebook, and buy All Kinds of You and The West Wind EP on Tompkins Square and Primrose Green from Dead Oceans. Also, check out Ryley’s new acoustic live album with Bill MacKay, which you can stream and buy here.

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Ryley Walker: June 26, 2015 Le Poisson Rouge

June 30, 2015
By

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[photos by P Squared Photography]

Ryley Walker has been a can’t-miss for me on every single tour that has taken him through New York this year, the latest being this date at Le Poisson Rouge with Jessica Pratt. What is so remarkable about the five performances we have covered since September of last year is that every single one has been different, including the cast of performers. While Ryley’s a redoubtable solo artist, where he truly shines is in his ensemble, consisting of Chicago-based jazz artists who’ve played with Ryley on and off for years. On this night, he not only had the full compliment of  his “regular” players, with Ryan Jewell on drums, Ben Boye on keys, Brian Sulpizio on electric guitar, and Anton Hatwich on bass, but also a horn section consisting of Levon Henry on sax and Jamie Branch on trumpet. The results were simply magical; over 41 minutes, Ryley and the players turned these three songs into long-form jazz meditations. If Ryley’s albums fall firmly enough into the “folk” camp, his live show is a completely different beast, something that lives as close musically to the Grateful Dead and free jazz as to Van Morrison or Bob Dylan.

The brand-new song “Sullen Mind,” lyrically, is a hangover tune, a drunk’s lament, and Ryley summons the narrator’s loneliness and pain with relatively few lyrics, delivered at times with a slur that leaps to a howl. The ensemble follows with urgency, their collective sound growing insistent and dark, almost an analog for the troubled mind of the story. Seated just a few feet from Ryley, it was chill-inducing to watch and hear the song unfold, as the players barely needed a nod from their leader to storm forward from the last chorus into a climactic outro. The brass didn’t show up until the new track “Funny Thing She Said,” but that song made an immediate impact on a song that made a perfect bookend to “Sullen Mind,” both of them chill-inducing laments. And lest the lone album track played — “Primrose Green” — get short shrift, it, too, soared on the one-two punch of Brian Sulpizio and Walker on guitars, a poppy-field tripper of a track that makes you want to find some of the substance name-dropped in the title. As Ryley and his band headed off to Solid Sound Festival, more touring upstate and elsewhere, and finally back home to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival, they are firing on all cylinders, a live unit at or near the peak of their powers. At this point, in festival-land, they’re still playing early — don’t miss them.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from the Le Poisson Rouge team, combined with Schoeps MK41V supercardiod microphones clamped to the soundboard booth and a split pair of DPA 4061 omnidirectional microphones on the stage. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete set from the Live Music Archive: [FLAC] | [MP3] + [Apple Lossless


Ryley Walker
2015-06-26
Le Poisson Rouge
New York, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Schoeps MK41V (at SBD, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>> Roland R-26 + DPA 4061 (onstage, split 2ft)>CA-UBB>Sony PCM-M10>>3x24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (limiter, EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 41:43]
01 Sullen Mind
02 Primrose Green
03 [banter]
04 Funny Thing She Said

Band:
Ryley Walker – Vocals, guitar
Ryan Jewell – Drums
Ben Boye – Keys
Brian Sulpizio – Electric guitar
Anton Hatwich – Bass
Levon Henry – Sax
Jamie Branch – Trumpet

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Ryley Walker, like him on Facebook, and buy Primrose Green from Dead Oceans.

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