Posts Tagged ‘ Ryley Walker ’

Ryley Walker: January 26, 2017 Rough Trade BK

January 30, 2017
By


[photo by nyctaper]

There’s a period in every premiere artist’s career when their prolific songwriting outpaces their ability to record their songs. Ryley Walker is currently in that kind of fruitful songwriting phase. A few months out from the release of his outstanding Golden Sings That Have Been Sung album, Ryley toured the East coast and arrived at Rough Trade on Thursday night. The set consisted of as many new songs as tracks from the album — three of the four new songs so fresh that Ryley doesn’t even quite have titles for them yet.

But first, there were the familiar ones. The set began with an extended guitar interplay that led into Golden’s “The Roundabout”, followed by another lengthy jam intro to the title track from 2015’s Primrose Green. Between the music was a nice dose of banter and give and take between the admiring audience and the modest troubadour. We saw how Ryley can morph a performance from a “show” to an event that feels like he’s hanging out in your living room at Market Hotel this past Spring. This night at Rough Trade had the same familiar feel — its one of Walker’s most endearing traits. But ultimately its about the songs and to finish the set we got two solo acoustic numbers that accentuated the unique talents of this performer.

I recorded this set with the Schoeps cards mounted at center of the Soundboard table and mixed with a board feed. The sound quality is quite excellent. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show in FLAC and MP3 at Archive.org [HERE]

Stream the Complete Show:

Ryley Walker
2017-01-26
Rough Trade
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard [Engineer: Leah Zipkin] + Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:20:04]
01 [introduction]
02 The Roundabout
03 [banter – mental breakdown]
04 Primrose Green
05 [banter – anytizers]
06 Sullen Mind
07 [banter – Bobo]
08 [new song 1]
09 [banter]
10 [new song – I Can’t Say Why]
11 [banter – thanks]
12 [new song 3]
13 [banter – New York]
14 Shaking Like The Others
15 The Halfwit in Me

SUPPORT Ryley Walker: Website | Facebook | Purchase Golden Sings

Ryley Walker: November 3, 2016 Villain

November 16, 2016
By

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[Photo by Sierra Starno on Instagram]

The second time I saw Ryley Walker happened to be not long after I had received some bad news. I had immersed myself in his music since encountering him at Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh some months before. This time, I knew what to expect from him, but on a personal level, I felt unmoored in a way that I hadn’t in years. What struck me as he poured himself into “Summer Dress” that afternoon at Rough Trade in 2014 was not that the actual words he was saying necessarily spoke to my condition, but the way they sounded. Part of the beauty of Walker’s work is that his often-obtuse lyrics can be a blank canvas, albeit one surrounded by a complex web of sound. I couldn’t speculate what Ryley had experienced in order to pen these songs, but whatever it was, somehow, hearing him experience it made me feel better.

This show, at the multipurpose Williamburg venue Villain (relocated from the temporarily re-shuttered Market Hotel), took place less than week before what would become the most catastrophic political event in my lifetime, so I can’t say that it gave me the same level of comfort at the time. Listening back to this performance now, though, I think this music once again serves the same purpose. Even in the darkest of times, there are voices that speak to us, that lift us up, that remind us why it’s worth it to go on.

This set came at the rollicking end of the band’s U.S. tour. And I do mean band. As has been the case with recent shows I’ve seen, Ryley arrived with not only the stalwarts Ryan Jewell on drums and Anton Hatwich on bass, but he also had sometime musical partner Bill MacKay there to do double duty with him on guitar. It befitted not only this larger room (you can hear its size in the recording) but the direction Ryley has preferred of late, with his album songwriting serving as more of a jumping off point to dense psychedelic folk jams, Grateful Dead-style, than as pieces to stand by themselves. To wit, this show of just four songs was the longest I’ve seen by Walker yet–over 80 minutes long.

One of Walker’s more interesting paradoxes is how different his between-song persona is from the music he plays. To the same degree that his songs drift toward melancholy and darkness, the guy that shows up in between traffics in an exuberant, could-give-a-fuck abandon, cracking jokes about showing up at the wrong kind of “improv” party, talking about his band of accomplished jazz players as if they’re no different than the twenty-year-old punk knuckleheads down the block. Maybe that’s right–maybe they’re not. Music itself may often be serious, but it doesn’t have to be somber, at least in a room of friends.

My favorite of this night’s numbers was a song from Ryley’s latest, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, that I hadn’t seen live yet. This twenty-three minute version of “Age Old Tale” began with a sustained ambient noise jam that paid homage to this neighborhood’s roots (“this is where you’d have gone to see a noise band fifteen years ago” Ryley said of the room, or something approximate). If you’d walked in during this song, you might have had no idea that the best comparison that certain corporate publications can come up with for Ryley is Van Morrison. It might be true of his albums, to a point, but what you experience in the room is something else entirely, and a sustaining reason why I personally never miss his shows. We need music right now. We especially need music like this.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from the FOH Ryan together with Schoeps MK4V microphones back by the soundboard. If I do say so myself, it’s pretty fucking cool that I got a shoutout from stage during the process of recording this. This isn’t one of the easier rooms, sound-wise, but based on the music alone, this recording should be a must-add to your collection.

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC/ALAC]

Stream the complete show:

Ryley Walker
2016-11-03
Villain
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Soundboard (engineer: Ryan) + Schoeps MK4V (DFC, at SBD)>KCY>Z-PFA>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CC (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 [intro banter]
02 The Roundabout
03 [banter2]
04 Sullen Mind
05 [banter3]
06 Age Old Tale
07 [banter4]
08 Funny Thing She Said

Band
Ryley Walker
Bill MacKay – Guitar
Anton Hatwich – Bass
Ryan Jewell – Drums

PLEASE SUPPORT Ryley Walker: Website | Twitter | “Ryley Walker Bootlegs” (his word, not ours)

Ryley Walker: May 13, 2016 “A Day at the Market” (Market Hotel)

July 15, 2016
By

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[photos by PSquared Photography]

“A Day at the Market” is really a simple concept for an intimate performance in a quintessential setting. Some of our favorite performers will play the Market Hotel during the daylight with unamplified acoustic guitars in front of a select audience. The first installment of what we anticipate will be a long-running series featured the inimitable Ryley Walker.

This show took place on a Friday afternoon, and as you can tell from the rumbling train and siren audible early in this recording, the Market Hotel’s unique location was very much a part of the proceedings. And that’s how it was intended. One of the charms of this unique venue is the placement of the huge window behind the stage that makes the audience feel as if the performer is playing virtually on the J/M Myrtle-Broadway subway platform. And the intimate nature of the event made it easy to understand why we selected Ryley Walker for the debut of A Day at the Market — his immense talents and likeability are quite intense when it feels like its just you and him in the room.

Ryley played all new songs at this event, offering us a preview of his new album Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, which will be released on August 19 on Dead Oceans Records. Of the nine songs on the album, six were performed (along with one unreleased track). Ryley was accompanied only by stand-up bass player Anton Hatwich, so that these are pared-down versions of the new album and this recording is a fine accompaniment to the official release.

More great news to report — Ryley Walker will return (with full band) to the Market Hotel for a proper night time show on November 3 and tickets are now available [HERE].

I recorded this set with four strategically placed microphones. I utilized the installed audio technica cards mounted in the center of the room combined with two schoeps cards on a stand in the front of the stage. While obviously the wholly acoustic setting allowed for the ambient sounds to be heard, overall this recording is exactly how it should be — full spectrum clear sound of a special event in a special setting. Enjoy!

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At some point, when we can figure out how to properly edit it, we will have a complete upfront video from this show.

Sorry no downloads of this one.
This recording is now available to Download in FLAC or MP3 or to Stream at Archive.org [HERE].

Stream the Complete Show:

Ryley Walker
2016-05-13
Market Hotel
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
Four Channel Audience Matrix

Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids + Audio Technica 4051 > Roland R-44 (Oade Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 46:11]
01 The Halfwit In Me
02 Shaking Like The Others
03 The Great And Undecided
04 Grand Old Trout – Age Old Tale
05 The Roundabout
06 Sullen Mind
07 Funny Thing She Said

SUPPORT Ryley Walker: Website | Facebook | PreOrder Golden Sings

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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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Tweedy: June 28, 2015 Solid Sound Festival (North Adams, MA) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

July 10, 2015
By

ryanjewelltweedy
[Photo courtesy of Ryan Jewell’s Instagram page]

Our recording of one of the earliest Tweedy performances, at last year’s Mountain Jam, caught fire on the Internet. Before that show, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the new father-son band. While that performance was good, it didn’t fully predict the quality of the now-released Sukierae album, which (in my view) compares favorably to some of Wilco’s more recent efforts. Now, just over a year on, Tweedy is a force of its own, as Jeff and Spencer Tweedy let us know forcefully when they played Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival. This sprawling two hour and fifteen minute set, replete with covers, Tweedy songs, Wilco songs, songs from other side projects (Loose Fur, most notably), and special guests, seems like a window into what Jeff Tweedy wants this band to be. If Wilco will always be the man’s flagship and true moneymaker, Tweedy is where he gets to have fun. Here we have the Tweedys joined by all manner of Solid Sound guests, from Nels Cline to Ryley Walker, Bill Frisell to Cibo Matto. Would Wilco cover a Madonna song? Probably not — but with Tweedy, it didn’t even feel out of place. The set’s final number, a rousing “California Stars,” featured just about everybody on stage, and though this took place on the East Coast, the moment captured the wistful romance of that song perfectly.

Our friend gr8fulpete recorded this set with Neumann KM185 hypercardiod microphones. Other than some gusts of wind noise that can’t be avoided, the sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete set: [MP3] | [FLAC]
Please, be kind and don’t repost the direct download links.

Stream the complete set:

Tweedy
2015-06-28
Solid Sound Festival
North Adams, MA USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded by gr8fulpete
Produced by acidjack

Neumann KM185>Sound Devices 702>24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (fades, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time approximately 2:15:00]
01 Hazel
02 Fake Fur Coat
03 Diamond Light Part 1
04 Flowering
05 World Away
06 New Moon
07 [banter]
08 Summer Noon
09 Honeycombed
10 Desert Bell
11 High as Hello
12 Wait for Love
13 Love Like a Wire [Diane Izzo]
14 Low Key
15 Nobody Dies Anymore
16 Remember the Mountain Bed
17 Please Tell My Brother [Golden Smog]
18 Summerteeth
19 Pecan Pie [Golden Smog]
20 The Ruling Class [Loose Fur]
21 Chinese Apple [Loose Fur] !
22 Too Far Apart
23 Get Into The Groove [Madonna] &
24 Grandpa Was a Carpenter [John Prine] ^
25 Harvest Moon [Neil Young] #
26 Be Not So Fearful [Bill Fay] @
27 I’m The Man Who Loves You
28 You’re Not Alone [Mavis Staples]
29 Only the Lord Knows [Mavis Staples]
30 God [John Lennon] %
31 The Losing End [Neil Young]
32 [banter2]
33 Give Back the Keys to My Heart [Doug Sahm] +
34 California Stars

! w/ Glenn K and Ryley Walker
& w/ Nels Cline and Cibo Matto
^ w/ the Felice Brothers
# w/ Luluc
@ w/ John and Pat
% w/ Bill Frisell
+ w/ Mikael Jorgensen

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Jeff Tweedy and Wilco, visit their website, and purchase their official releases at their website [here].

Ryley Walker: June 26, 2015 Le Poisson Rouge

June 30, 2015
By

ryley-walker-3
[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.

ryley-walker-2

Ryley Walker: March 15, 2015 Baby’s All Right

March 22, 2015
By

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[photos by Jill Harrison]

There are many good singers, many more good writers of songs. More than enough to fill entire festivals with them year-round, to stuff streaming sites with more than anyone can listen to. But among that vast number, there are a tiny few in whom you can sense that something else, that spark, that undergirding realness, that makes their performance more than just-singing or just-playing-guitar. To see Ryley Walker perform is to experience a man singing to somewhere else, sending sound out to and for souls long since gone. That voice, that sound of his, the ecstatic yelps, those long, punch-drunk runs, threatening to split apart but never quite doing it, is singular. It may resonate with you, or it may not, but if it doesn’t, the thing missing in the equation is what you’re putting into it, not him.

This show at Baby’s All Right, our fourth time seeing Ryley in the last twelve months, finds him at an interesting point. Primrose Green, his tour-de-force second record, releases at month end, and has already found itself hailed in all the right places, turning Walker into a critical darling seemingly overnight. He’ll be at this summer’s Pitchfork Festival, at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival, at Levitation in Vancouver, and any number of other places in the U.S. and Europe where of-the-moment acts can be seen. It’s hard to know what the effect of the crowds might be on this man, this music that requires him to give so much of himself emotionally every night. There are too many tales about how this part of the music world has split women and men in half.

But our best evidence about Ryley’s part of this story is this night at Baby’s All Right, in a jammed show room on a Sunday night. The 38 minutes of this set consist of just four songs, played this time with a band consisting of Ryley’s Chicago-based musician colleagues on second guitar, upright bass, and keys (over half of the band that we first saw perform in Raleigh back in September). The foursome appeared, as far as I know, only in Chicago and at this New York date — D.C. two nights before was a threesome (minus upright bass), as was Philadelphia just before the Brooklyn show — but their playing reminds you how well they know this material. The band weaved around Ryley’s lead as they reinterpreted Primrose Green songs that most of these fans probably haven’t heard original versions of yet on record. These weren’t idle-minded jams, either, but successful experiments, one after the other, from the new “Funny Thing She Said”, to tour staple “Summer Dress”, to “Primrose Green” to Ryley’s go-to cover song of late, Van Morrison’s “Fair Play” from Veedon Fleece. Shaved, hair clipped, wearing a collar and sweater that even had Ryley laughing at himself, Walker played with all the intensity he’s mustered every time we’ve seen him, but there was a new assuredness there, too, an ability to pull back just when he needed to. These thirty-eight minutes were like all of his sets I have seen: a thing of beauty, something memorable, something unique.

If you go to see one new artist this year because you read about them on this site, I hope Ryley Walker is the one. Nobody, not even him, knows where his story is headed. But this set proved once again where he deserves to be.

Baby’s All Right engineer Harrison Fore recorded and mixed this set live; I mixed this and the house-installed audience mics and mastered the recording in post. The sound quality is outstanding, equal to the quality of the performer you’re listening to. Enjoy.

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

Ryley Walker
2015-03-15
Baby’s All Right
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and live mixed by Harrison Fore
Produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Harrison Fore) + Audio Technica 4051>digital multitrack>SD card>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down individual tracks, compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, imaging, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 38:06]
01 Funny Thing She Said
02 Summer Dress
03 [banter]
04 Primrose Green
05 [banter2]
06 Fair Play [Van Morrison]

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

ryley-walker-2

Ryley Walker: January 13, 2015 Baby’s All Right

February 5, 2015
By

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[photo from October 2014 Rough Trade show by acidjack]

Ryley Walker will be a breakout star this year, and the reason won’t just be his forthcoming album, Primrose Green. Walker has been touring hard, working out the new material, and consistently wowing audiences. BrooklynVegan brought him to New York for a Red Bull Sound Select event at Baby’s All Right, and we couldn’t have been happier, having seen Walker last in a similar two-man configuration back in October at Rough Trade.

Once Primrose Green hits shelves, those versions of Walker’s songs might well seem polite by comparison. The title track’s single, available on Soundcloud and on other streaming services, is a fine version, but pales when up against Walker’s fierce version on this night, a ten-minute ramble through his mind featuring an elongated intro and a virtuosic guitar playing that mimicked some of the dissociative elements of the alcoholic beverage for which the song is titled. But if I had to pick from among Walker’s post-All Kinds of You material, I think it’s “Summer Dress” that will go down as his signature song, as it begins with its loping guitar line under a vocal turn in which Walker yelps, deploys falsetto, flirts with chaos. Watching Walker, you get the sense that he’s not even trying to play these songs to please you, but he does anyway. There’s a sense of abandon to his work that can’t help but grab you; he’s feral up there, without anchor. He makes many of the greats to whom he’s compared — Bert Jansch, for one — sound like choirboys. As to other distinctions, this set boasted a new song, “Funny Thing She Said”, as well as a cover of Van Morrison’s “Fair Play” from Veedon Fleece, the latter a worthwhile reimagining that again places Walker right up there with the rarefied company that came before him.

This set was recorded by Baby’s engineer Rubes, whose dedication to craft is obvious in his flawless mix of his board feed with the house mics. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Walker will be back at Baby’s All Right on March 15 with another of our favorites, Kevin Morby. Get tickets here.

Download the complete show via the Live Music Archive: [FLAC] | [MP3]

Ryley Walker
2015-01-13
Baby’s All Right (sponsored by BrooklynVegan)
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded by Rubes
Produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Rubes) + Audio Technica 4051>digital multitrack>SD card>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down individual tracks, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, compression, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.5 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downwsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Note that two tags of the FLAC and MP3 files need updating]
01 Funny Thing She Said
02 [banter1]
03 Summer Dress
04 [banter2]
05 Primrose Green
06 On the Banks of the Old Kishwaukee
07 Fair Play [Van Morrison]
08 [banter3]
09 Sweet Satisfaction

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

NYCTaper Top 25 Moments of 2014

December 31, 2014
By

taper-larger

Here is our annual compilation of the 25 best “moments” of the entire year from our site to you. Its been another banner year at NYCTaper. We’ve managed to record and post nearly one show per day for the entire year and sometimes even more than one. Its a level of consistency for which we’ve striven for years and as the NYCTaper “team” has grown so has our ability to reach our goals. All of this would not be possible were it not for the bands — hundreds of amazingly talented artists who not only perform superb concerts but allow us to bring recordings of them to you, their fans. Thanks also of course to the venues who allow us to come into their locations and do what we do, the labels, managers, PR persons, photographers, fellow bloggers and countless other people whose assistance and cooperation help make this “NYCTaper” thing happen. Here’s to many more great years!

1. Jason Molina Tribute (mems. of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. w/ special guests) – January 11, 2014, Hideout, Chicago, IL

acidjack: For me, the most thrilling, moving concert moment came early in the year, and in another city, no less. Mike Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger guested with Magnolia Electric Co. on four special tribute shows around the country, including this one, but it was in Chicago that the majority of Molina’s former bands and supporters coalesced into an evolving unit that traded and vocalists and instrumentalists by the song. As I put it then:

The crowd’s largest response came to perhaps Molina’s best-known song (and inarguably one of his best), “Farewell Transmission”. In that song, Molina sings that the real truth about it is that no one gets it right, but we’re all supposed to try. Well, if Jason could have heard his former bandmates and friends on this night, I think he would agree that they got it right. And they proved another piece of truth from that great song, that he will be gone, but not forever. Because the real truth about it is, a great artist like Jason Molina doesn’t die, he just changes shape. In our hearts and minds, he is forever.

2. Wussy: October 11, 2014 Private House Larchmont NY

nyctaper: Lisa Walker’s voice is one of the most compelling in all of contemporary americana music in large part because as a person she’s real and unpretentious. Its a voice that can capture the longing and heartache of a beautifully sad song such as Lisa’s penned “Motorcycle”. The experience of watching the performance of that song from about ten feet away in a private house concert was moving and is undoubtedly my single “moment” of this year.

3. Hiss Golden Messenger – March 2, 2014 Mercury Lounge and September 18, 2014 Rough Trade

acidjack: Mike Taylor, aka Hiss Golden Messenger, broke in a big way in 2014, one of the most deserving artists in all the land to do so. In early 2014 Mike still toured alone, able to afford to do little more than sling a guitar over his back. By the time he hit Rough Trade in September, he had a record out on Durham, NC stalwart Merge, and a backing band replete with new and old collaborators. Not long after that, he and his new band were on Letterman. These two shows pretty much tell the story in miniature, of a band transformed, but an artist whose honesty and craft remain steadfast.

4. The War On Drugs – March 19 and March 20, 2014 Bowery Ballroom.

acidjack: We’ll probably have similar takes on this show, so I won’t waste words, but suffice it to say that Lost In the Dream was the album of the year, and this show, complete with a cover of John Lennon’s “Mind Games”, showed any doubters that the album’s greatness wasn’t just in the painstaking production.

nyctaper: At the time it was released, I called “Eyes To The Wind” a perfect song and I still believe that nearly a year later. It was the highlight of this show for me and will be a track to which I return for years.

5. Woods: November 6, 2014 Death By Audio

nyctaper: 2014 was also a year to say goodbye to some places that meant a lot to NYCTaper over the years. Death By Audio was one of those venues and our last show at the venue was a special one. We’ve attended many Woods shows, and invariably the song that is often the centerpiece of the night is “Bend Beyond” — a terrific song that also offers the band a chance to stretch out and improvise. At this DBA show, Woods was reunited for one night with former member G. Lucas Crane whose preceding set transitioned into a Woods jam that evolved into this song. It was a fairly dramatic moment and was musically right there. A definitely highlight of the year.

6. Ryley Walker – September 6, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Raleigh, NC and October 24, 2014 Rough Trade

acidjack: Ryley Walker seems poised for a similar trajectory to Hiss Golden Messenger — he’s an incinerating songwriter whose ability to make an emotional connection should bring him to many larger places. In a bit of a reverse of this year’s HGM experience, I saw Walker for the first time at Hopscotch Music Festival, backed by a full band on the broad stage of the Fletcher Opera Theater. A little over a month later, he was back on the road in his natural state, a man with his guitar (with upright bassist in tow for a few songs before he left for another gig). In my book, this “Summer Dress” from Rough Trade during CMJ blows away the full-band version — and that’s saying something.

7. Nicole Atkins: June 18, 2014 Madison Square Park

nyctaper: She put out one of the best records of the year, Slow Phaser, and by the time she and her new band returned to NYC, Nicole Atkins had found her live groove. This show at Madison Square Park was a strange one, with families on blankets, roaming kids, and what seemed like a never ending parade of police sirens. But for this one magical song, “Its Only Chemistry”, Nicole Atkins was the brightest light in this huge city park.

8. The Coup – March 13, 2014 South By Southwest

acidjack: Despite that SXSW has outstayed both its literal and cultural welcome, this day show, put on by our friend Steve, hearkened back to what it ought to be about. The bill had huge range, free tacos and beer were to be had, and people were there for music, not scenemaking. Boots Riley and his crew of left-leaning, hard-swinging, hip-shaking funk geniuses stormed the joint and never looked back.

9. Smashing Pumpkins: December 8, 2014 Webster Hall

nyctaper: A Smashing Pumpkins concert at a venue the size of Webster Hall is a special event in and of itself. But this year has been a productive one for Billy Corgan and his band. Their new album is Monuments to an Elegy is really quite excellent and the new touring band is a superb collection of pros. But the most memorable moment from this show for me was the finale — “Burnt Orange-Black” a powerful dirge that will appear on next year’s album. Its already a stunner and one of the best new songs we heard all year.

10. The Growlers: September 18, 2014 Bowery Ballroom

nyctaper: This show was fairly epic at two hours and it included nearly thirty distinct songs. But the highlight was the truly surreal mid-show appearance of two huge Chinese New Year’s styled dragons and a drum parade that entered through the back of the Bowery and worked through the packed crowd to the stage. The parade drumming transitioned into the titled track from The Growlers excellent new album Chinese Fountain, in what was an odd but very memorable moment.

11. Marah: July 12, 2014 Bowery Electric

nyctaper: A band with a ten year old prodigy that plays fiddle like a man five times his age would have to be a yearly highlight, but really Marah is much more than that. This show at Bowery Electric was a revelation and this performance of an old Marah song (when it was a completely different band) was one of the best things we saw all year particularly the sweet fiddle solo by Gus Tritsch and that moment when band leader David Bielanko realized in his mid-song monologue just exactly how special this band has become.

12. Yellow Ostrich – December 8, 2014 Glasslands

acidjack: This was one of those end-of-an-era shows in two ways — both the last by a beloved band, and in the final month of a venue where I spent a lot of time, Glasslands. We were sorry to see Yellow Ostrich go, but we’re glad they didn’t overstay their welcome. Alex Schaaf and his band exited at the top of their game, and we were honored to be part of it.

13. Dream Syndicate: November 16, 2014 Rough Trade

nyctaper: We’ve chronicled the solo career of Steve Wynn pretty regularly on this site, but I had personally not seen The Dream Syndicate in more than thirty years. The band’s reunion finally made it to NYC this Fall and it was certainly worth the wait. The last time I saw them, Dream Syndicate opened with “Tell Me When Its Over” and this past month it was the second song of the set and just as sweet.

14. Tweedy – June 7, 2014 Mountain Jam, Hunter, NY

acidjack: I had minimal hopes for this father-son band; nothing about nepotism tends to go well. But the Tweedy team proved doubters totally wrong, with a record that, if anything, exceeded Wilco’s recent output. The “band” debuted their entire new album for us on the Mountain Jam stage. Even if everyone wasn’t paying attention during that mid-afternoon set, the ones that mattered were.

15. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: October 13, 2014 Baby’s All Right

nyctaper: When I hear music scene veterans claim that there’s just nothing new that exciting, I happily point to bands like King Gizzard. The band came all the way from Australia to perform some shows this Summer, and we caught one of those shows, but it wasn’t until this night at Baby’s All Right that the lure of the Gizz fully clicked for us. A youthful and energetic take on neo-psych, this band’s new album is extraordinarily good and for this night at Baby’s they opened the show with the five-song segue that opens the album — after which there was a lot of affirmative head-shaking in the crowd. The Gizz had arrived and we can’t wait until they grace our shores again.

16. Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show – September 5, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival

acidjack: I might as well just put this on my list for every year — this showcase, jointly produced by Three Lobed Recordings and the Durham, NC radio station WXDU, produces the most consistently incredible lineup of challenging music that I see. This year’s lineup boasted The Little Black Egg Big Band (featuring Steve Gunn, William Tyler and members of Yo La Tengo), MV & EE, Rose Cross North Carolina, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Thurston Moore/Mary Lattimore/Ryan Sawyer, and Daniel Bachman/Nathaniel Bowles. Beyond the quality of the music, the show always brings its own special crowd, the die-hards and the heads whose lack of strength is numbers is more than made up for in passion.

17. Yo La Tengo: December 6, 2014 Trocadero Philly

nyctaper: I traveled to Philly to catch my only Yo La Tengo show this year, and of course it was infinitely worth it. But what separated this show from the “standard” YLT show was the ferocious and simply awe-inspiring version of “Story” that closed the set. The guitar-crushing noise jam that concludes the song stretched the entire number to twenty-two minutes and elevated this to epic proportions. The was the band’s last show of their 30th anniversary tour and they ended it in very appropriate fashion.

18. Steve Gunn – October 12, 2014 Rough Trade

acidjack: Steve Gunn’s name always comes up among the biggest names in current American guitar music. What he accomplished with this year’s “Wildwood” took him beyond those confines, as the wider world began to view him as equal in his songwriting to what he had been recognized for on the guitar. This show at Rough Trade put that all on display, as Gunn and his band didn’t let a grueling slog up the East Coast keep them from giving a signature performance.

19. The Kickback: June 10, 2014 Pianos

nyctaper: There are very few times when I can confess to literally gasping at a live performance. The Kickback came to town for the New Music Festival and Jeff from the Syndicate recommended that I check them out. The band was quite good but it was the last number of their set that took this show to entire other level. Billy Yost’s intensity during “Rob Our House” was as breathtaking as it was simply pure rock excellence. Based on this show we invited the band to play our CMJ show where they again played one of the best sets we saw all year.

20. Strand of Oaks – December 4, 2014 Bowery Ballroom

acidjack: Tim Showalter is one of those almost comically earnest musicians, a man whose heart is as big as his sound. Strand of Oaks isn’t a new band, but it might as well be, given how meteoric Showalter’s rise has been this year. He started the year at Mercury Lounge and ended it at Bowery Ballroom, and the ceiling is far from there. Strand of Oaks has that mainstream approachability and big tent emotion that serves rock colossuses like U2 so well, but Showalter actually believes what’s coming out of his mouth.

21. PUP: February 21, 2014 Cameo Gallery

nyctaper: A long time ago, I was suspended for a week from the college radio station where I worked for playing the Dead Kennedys’ “Too Drunk To Fuck” on the air. Given the times and my position, it was a fair cop. I’m happy to still be around when the song is now a quaint old punk novelty and can be played by a band with a sense of humor and a sense of history with no repercussions whatsoever. PUP’s performance gave me a big smile to cap off an excellent night.

22. Spacin’/Purling Hiss – September 5, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival

acidjack: Two of our favorite Philly bands formed an impromptu whole to replace someone I’ve already forgotten about on the end of this bill. While Mark Kozelek was being a dick over in the Lincoln Theatre on this night, those in the know caught this juggernaut (joined, just for good measure, by Steve Gunn and Mary Lattimore on the last song) playing real rock n’ roll that no crowd noise could keep down.

23. Hurray For The Riff Raff: July 26, 2014 XPonential Fest

nyctaper: acidjack and I went down to Camden for the Saturday of XPonential Fest and it was one of the best days we had all year. Its a great event and we’re hoping to do multiple days of XPN’s Fest in 2015. One of the reasons we made the trip was to see NYCTaper faves Hurray For The Riff Raff. The band continues to grow in stature and its fun to follow their ascent. “The Body Electric” is a song Alynda wrote as an “anti” murder ballad — the shaming of the idea that in traditional folk songs the protagonist is always the man killing a woman. The song was particularly poignant in a year when domestic violence was in the forefront of the news. The song’s powerful message earned it significant media attention including year end awards from the likes of NPR.

24. Herbcraft – January 24, 2014 Mercury Lounge

acidjack: I had no idea who Herbcraft even were when I arrived at this show, and barely got my recording equipment set up in time. They weren’t even the headliner. But what came next was no afterthought — this Woodsist band owned the stage, proving the real power of live music to expose you to new music in a way that clicking around on Spotify will never be able to top. Perhaps most notably, this post got several comments from people who felt the same way — that they couldn’t believe this band had slipped underneath their radar.

25. Dva – January 9, 2014 Trans Pecos

nyctaper: I attended this concert on the recommendation of Adam from Northern Spy and I’ll admit that I had no idea what to expect. At the end of the event, I was thanking Adam for inviting me because Dva is an amazing act and their live show has to be seen to be truly experienced. “Mulatu” was the first single from this Czech duo’s first US release and it encapsulates everything that’s great and interesting about Dva.

Ryley Walker: October 24, 2014 Aquarium Drunkard CMJ Showcase, Rough Trade – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

November 21, 2014
By

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[photos by acidjack]

It seems only appropriate to post a recording of Ryley Walker on the heels of one by the great Hiss Golden Messenger. These two artists represent among the very finest of their time, separated by a generation but potentially on very similar career trajectories. The two are also likely to have a lot of overlap in fans, because those drawn to authenticity, a canny understanding of their musical past, and honest songwriting are likely to find good company with these two. My first experience with Ryley Walker — playing with a full band at the Hopscotch Music Festival — also mirrored my first live experience with HGM two years before. Here, at the Aquarium Drunkard CMJ showcase at Rough Trade, Ryley proved himself alone (with a supporting bassist for part of the set). More to the point, Ryley proved himself an unmitigated master of his art, far beyond his years in poise and style.

Most CMJ sets tend to be truncated versions of artists’ “best stuff”, run through in perfunctory fashion to get the most bang for the buck in terms of setlist. Walker saw things differently, leading off with a twelve-minute, spine-tingling “Summer Dress” that equaled about a third of the set. That time wasn’t wasted, either, as Walker soared on improvised vocal runs that took the song beyond the singer-songwriter realm into something spiritual, his voice becoming its own instrument rather than the mere vessel of lyrics. As with the bulk of the set in North Carolina back in September, this focused entirely on new material in lieu of Walker’s outstanding album of earlier this year All Kinds of You. That alone should say something about how prolific this artist is at this point. The ability of the young Chicagoan to distill such pain and emotion into his work is a humbling surprise, the kind of thing you’d never guess from the rest of his happy-go-lucky stage persona. This is a man possessed of rare gifts, and we cannot wait to see them brought to a wider world.

I recorded this set primarily with a soundboard feed by Rough Trade engineer Kameron Biehl, with a small amount of Schoeps audience microphones added for ambiance. Other than a few glitches with a DI during one song, the sound is excellent. Enjoy, and spread the word!

Thanks to Ryley Walker and Aquarium Drunkard for permitting the recording.

Download the complete show via the Live Music Archive: [FLAC] | [MP3]

Stream the complete show:

Ryley Walker
2014-10-24
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Kameron Biehl) + Schoeps MK41 (DFC, PAS, at SBD)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (exciter effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 Summer Dress
02 The West Wind
03 [banter1]
04 Primrose Green
05 [banter2]
06 Sweet Satisfaction

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Ryley Walker, like him on Facebook, and buy his records here.

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