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Ryley Walker's New Great American Elegant Primitive

  • Boot & Saddle 1131 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA, 19147 United States (map)

There’s a lot of folks out there right now doing the American Primitive guitar thing — you know, free-form, acoustic-or-electric-based, open-tuning guitar music as pioneered by John Fahey and then revived with great gusto by the late Jack Rose in more recent years. And frankly, it’s all good. Truly. The form seems to be foolproof in a way that can’t be said for just about any other microgenre of music going.

But much like Steve Gunn has, Ryley Walker has managed to stand out from the (totally affable, wholly delightful) crowd by finding his voice and placing his music not just within the continuum of the American Primitive revival, but also within his own Midwestern post-rock legacy. On his third LP, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, Walker takes his chops and winds up with a genre all his own, something like… New Great American Elegant Primitive. Because inbetween the pickin’, there’s also Randy Newman vibes, torch-y Plush poses, and even a bit of Ram somewhere back there. If Ken Burns was cool, he’d start putting music like this in his movies; but he’s not, so put it in yours.

With Circuit des Yeux. Tickets here.