Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance (album review)

by Woody on May 17, 2018

Photo by Evan Jenkins

Ryley Walker reminds me of Chris Knight from 1985’s Real Genius, the movie that put Val Kilmer on the map. Walker is a walking encyclopedia of music. His knowledge is so deep and varied that he could just as easily be a professor. But that is balanced by his self-deprecating manner and a twitter feed so ludicrous; it can only be matched by Rob Delaney.

That genius is what drives Walker to recreate his sound from album to album, often looking back at his prior albums as sub-par. Deafman Glance is no different. Like all his albums, the sound is tethered to Walker’s guitar playing. But as you can see from the influences above, they’re all over the board. I was so happy with myself that I referenced Genesis before seeing that tweet; I was pretty close to stopping strangers on the street to tell them. Would have also dropped the fact that I love mayo as well.

Walker is constantly fighting being pigeon-holed in a genre and that’s admirable. But one thing is clear, he will not compromise his vision of how he envisions a song. For Deafman Glance, it was Chicago. Walker says, “And it’s more Chicago-y sounding. Chicago sounds like a train constantly coming towards you but never arriving. That’s the sound I hear, all the time, ringing in my ears.” There are some truly magical tunes on Deafman Glance, but Can’t Ask Why is simply off the hook. The closer, Spoil With The Rest, is another tune that just takes you a cosmic guitar trip.

I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Walker. I almost don’t want to as I’ve built him up in my head as this mystical rock ‘n’ roll riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma (covered in cheese sauce of course).

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Ryley Walker is here

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