Riley’s like the reincarnation of the quintessential American guitar player from that seemingly bottomless pool of first-rate talent. He’s an underground personality out of the Chicago independent music scene initially but soon enough coming out of the shadows, he gifted us with albums like his second and most recent «Primrose Green» (2015). It promptly made album of the month of April as honored by Uncut and we wholeheartedly agree with that recognition. In fact, here by us it’s already enshrined as one of the albums of this year.
He’s a unique finger picking virtuoso guitar player with his own refined style of folk-jazz if you will and some folks have compared him to Nick Drake, John Martyn, Bert Jansch, Richard Thompson, John Renburn and Van Morrison, with a voice reminiscent of Tim Buckley, God bless his soul. Riley Walker’s roving and rambling ways are beautifully reflected in his craft and it never comes across as precious or strikes you as pretentious. His brilliant sideman originate from the U.S. jazz- and post-rock or experimental music scene and Riley has this to say about them: «This band, they’re great jazzers here in Chicago. Fabulous musicians, some of them my best friends. The songs are like riffs, we played them live while we continuously improvised.»
Whether it’s live or improvised you’ll enjoy both coming from this tremendously gifted new artists on this late summer night. And then some. Plus you can get a whiff and cop a feel of what’s up and coming in the traditional but ever evolving guitar and singer/songwriter universe. Before you’re a young soul in an old man’s body. Or something like that.