Ryley Walker: Nice and easy sounds on the road, from Chicago to the world

22. December 2016
Teresa Garcia

The Chicago based artist Ryley Walker’s first instrument was a guitar given to him by a family friend, ‘a piece of junk’ he says, and as by chance, always happy to play another gig, Ryley delighted with the audience at Kumu auditorium at his jam-session style concert with more matured and meticulously written lyrics than in previous albums. The energy of the Chicago music scene can be felt throughout the album, this free energy of endless possibilities without additives, natural and straight from the heart.


Jazzkaar’s reporter Teresa Garcia sat down with Ryley Walker to talk about life and music.


The pleasure he gets from playing wasn’t darkened by the black and sober walls of the auditorium, and as soon as the riffs started to travel through the room, we were captured by the musical conversation amongst the band. He claims that writing songs and playing his guitar is the only thing he’s good at, nevertheless anytime he spoke to the audience, there were nothing but smiles and grins all around.


He has made three albums in three years and although I was aware that his album was released in August, intuition told me that maybe there was already something in the oven and when I asked him about it my suspicion was confirmed, ‘well there’s always new tunes and ideas going around, little seedlings that hopefully will flourish and grow into beautiful songs’. In previous interviews he has stated that almost 80% of this album started off with riffs and tunes that came up somewhere on the road.


Ryley’s inspired by playing with other musicians and says that jazz has taught him about listening and musical relations with people and is always eager to learn as much as he can. He has a punk rock backround and his first concerts were at ‘The Pit’ in Rockford, Illinois, whenever he had a chance he would go check out the new bands forming almost instantaneously sometimes,


When asked about who he would like to collaborate with if he could choose anyone he wished, being realistic and taking into account that some collaborations would be highly unlikely, he was interested in sounds from South Africa in order to name one. His passion for touring and playing live music is something truly admirable and appreciated, just like he appreciates people that take time from their days to go to a show and hear him and his band play.


Making music, playing music, meeting musicians, having a good time while being on the road. Jazz, rock’n’roll and good vibes had the audience pulsating that night.


December 3rd 2016 at 9 pm at Kumu auditorium
Ryley Walker (USA)
Ryley Walker – acoustic guitar, vocal
Brian Sulpizio – electric guitar
Anton Hatwich – double bass


Check the photos from the concert here.