Ryley Walker, “Primrose Green”

Forest City Born-and-Raised Native Releases Critically Acclaimed Sophomore Record (Local Media and Community Still Confused as to Why Cheap Trick Isn’t In the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Well, Let Me Tell Ya Why:  Life Goes On (Sort of) and the Earth is Definitely Flat in Rockford, IL.)

ryley-walker-rockfordRyley Walker was born and raised in Rockford until escaping its poor, amateurish wrath for a year of college in 2007.  The young 25 year old singer-songwriter, composer and prodigious guitar player has called Chicago home since, and has recently released his second full length record, “Primrose Green”.  It’s available on the reputable, Bloomington, IN, based label, Dead Oceans– home to artists such as Bill Fay, Tallest Man on Earth, Phosphorescent and more

Fans of folk-jazz pioneers like John Fahey, Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, John Martyn, Bert Jansch won’t go wrong diving into Walker’s ‘Green‘ soundscapes. Van Morrison’s folk-jazz touchstone “Astral Weeks” comes to mind the most due to an incredible backup band that Walker has assembled from Chicago’s seasoned jazz/punk/folk/blues scene. The music often overshadows him and his songs, conveying something aged and learned while drawing from aforementioned influences.  Watch and take a listen to “Sweet Serendipity,” featured on the new release:

Enjoy a full live in-studio performance from 2014 on KEXP that better displays Walker’s exceptional, boogie-woogie, java llama, ping-pong and beer guitar skills. (Ping Pong and Beer Guitar Skillz, Bra. Beer Guitar. Skills, skillz. Hmm, no.)

Walker recently commented on his dump of a hometown and overall influences in an interview:

“Between the McDonalds and the big buildings, there’s just corn, man. You drive forever and all you see is corn. There are no other cities in Illinois. Chicago is all we got. It’s so hard to get out of the state of mind of Illinois. It’s totally encompassing, we’re in this weird bubble. There are no destinations in the state of Illinois. The capital of Illinois is not cool, man. Rockford is a big city, but it’s a dump. I can’t believe my Irish/German ancestors were like, “let’s go to the middle of the country!” What? Why did you do that three hundred years ago when you actually had to chop wood?”

Touché.

Rockford area local media stars, arts organization scumbags and community jackasses are sure to be absolutely disappointed with Walker’s nationally revered release and exceptional craft because no one from Cheap Trick plays a guitar, bass, drum or vocal solo on this record.

Yep, yawn, continue.

Being a Rockford-born artist is a social virus that reels its sons and daughters back home every now and then to remember what celebratory mediocrity and miserable pride is all about.  Fortunately for Walker, those pathetic tribal attributes musically evade him. Primrose Green is an impressive, intelligent, sophomore release by a young artist and gifted guitar player whose musical influences outnumber and outdistance the awfully humorous and corrupt place he has managed to escape from to create something pure and void of age old cheap tricks– for now.

Bravo, Ryley Walker.

BUY HERE, BYE, HEAR “Primrose Green,” click here.

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Ryley Walker, “Primrose Green” © 2015 andywhorehall.com | Rights limited to rkfdnews.com and anyone who enjoys a slice of boogie-woogie, java llama, ping-pong and beer guitar skills.  

Ryley Walker, "Primrose Green"Andy Whorehall
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