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Aquarium Drunkard Presents: Ryley Walker Secret Show
To Be Announced (Long Beach, CA)
Long Beach, CA
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Aquarium Drunkard Presents: Ryley Walker Secret Show
This is a small, secret show. Full details on the location will be provided at the end of ticket purchase.  

No paper tickets will be sent.  

Print and bring your confirmation which will include the address and other details. Please don't share this info with anyone! In addition, your name will be on a list at the door. No additional tickets will be sold at the door. You must buy tickets here to get into this show.

Wednesday June 3rd, 2015
DOORS: Please arrive between 7:30PM and 8:00PM

This show will be general admission floor seating. Feel free to bring a pillow or cushion to sit more comfortably on the floor.

Due to the limited number of tickets please make sure you can attend before you make your purchase. If you can no longer attend a show you can give or sell (at face value) the tickets to a friend. Contact us ( before the show to transfer your tickets.  We'll cancel any tickets resold for higher than original price.  


Ryley Walker is the reincarnation of the True American Guitar Player. That's as much a testament to his roving, rambling ways as to the fact that his Guild D-35 guitar has endured a few stints in the pawn shop. Swap out rural juke joints for rotted DIY spaces and the archetype is solidly intact. His personal life might be tumultuous and his residential status in question, but his bedrock is disciplined daily rehearsal and an inexhaustible wellspring of song craft.

Raised on the banks of the ol' Rock River in northern Illinois, Ryley's early life doesn't give us much more than Midwestern mundanity to speak of. Things start to pick up in 2007, when he moves to Chicago and briefly attempts a collegiate lifestyle. Here, he storms the local noise scene with his Jasmine-brand electric guitar, and a few years of wasted finger-bleeding basement shows firmly established his name locally, if not always positively. By 2011, at age 21, Ryley's music offered impressive displays of fingerpicking prowess, though not fully elaborated documents.

It was a 2012 bike accident that set Ryley on his current path. Practice became more diligent. He began lacquering his fingertips at cheap salons. Ryley was finding a new path refracting the British traditional spectrum, from Bert Jansch to Nick Drake, and defying all the limitations of the genre. His 2013 recordings  "The West Wind" EP and All Kinds of You LP  fully express these Anglophilic tendencies to the point of nearly exhausting their possibilities.

This brings us to the present. Primrose Green begins near where All Kinds of You leaves off but quickly pushes far afield. The title sounds pastoral and quaint, but the titular green has dark hallucinogenic qualities, as does much of the LP.

The band is a mixture of new and old Chicago talent, blending both jaded veterans of the post-rock and jazz mini-circuits together with a few eager, open-eared youths. (It's worth stating at this point that this is not a jazz record, despite the sheer volume of jazz and experimental heavyweights that make up the rest of Primrose Green's all-star cast. Chicago has blurred these lines since forever.)

Ryley didn't have much time to write this LP, so some of it he didn't. Bits of lyrics were improvised into full-blown songs in the studio, more often than not on the fly. However, the ratty bits of handwritten words that make up the balance of the record grew from scattetered misadventures across an ill-fated 2013 tour. The title track "Primrose Green" was nearly discarded after its incarnation on a bleak St. Patrick's Day spent in Oxford, Mississippi. "Primrose Green" is a colloquial term for a cocktail of whiskey and morning glory seeds that has a murky, dreamy, absinthian quality when imbibed, and a spirit-crushing aftereffect the morning after. It is the moment before departure from the mindstate of Ryley's previous release, All Kinds Of You. "Summer Dress" is liftoff: seizing the mantle from Tim Buckley's Starsailor and perfecting its frantic jazz-induced fits. "Griffiths Bucks Blues" is named for a local artist and eccentric botanist in Ryley's hometown of Rockford, Illionois who has likely had few other songs named for him. "Love Can Be Cruel" spends almost two minutes "out" before becoming the song it was originally intended to be. Drummer Frank Rosaly pushes the song further and further until it borders on a cathartic meltdown to close out Side A.

Side B sets off with a shot of Americana, "On The Banks Of The Old Kishwaukee". It's an ode to the immersion baptisms Ryley's witnessed while walking along the banks. Unlike the idyllic memories of christenings under the weeping willows, the river was brown and polluted, the participants dirty and tired and disinterested. "Sweet Satisfaction" presents some of Ryley's most intricate and ecstatic fingerpicking. It's hard not to recall John Martyn's early 1970s work, though Ben Boye's piano work is particularly revelatory here.

"All Kinds Of You" is the oldest song included here. The title should seem familiar it was written after his first LP, All Kinds of You, was finished, but the name seemed to fit that collection of songs better than anything else. By now, the song has seen many transformations and now sits more comfortably amongst Primrose Green's cosmic transmissions. Lyrically, it copes with Ryley's roadworn identity crises, the need to be so many people in so many cities, trying to fit in however possible in different hemispheres or different languages.

No one knows what the future holds for young Ryley Walker. Hardship and setbacks and uncertainty only seem to spur him on creatively, and they have given way to a masterpiece of an album, an album of a sort we haven't seen since the 1970s. If the world catches on, the Ryley that follows up this album may be a different sort of person, one who knows the taste of better liquor and comfortable bedding and might not be nearly as driven. Here, with Primrose Green, we risk limiting his access to personal disaster by flirting with success.


To Be Announced (Long Beach, CA)
Displayed After Purchase
Long Beach, CA 90814
United States



Dog Friendly: No



Name Withheld
Long beach, CA United States
Jun 03, 2015 11:38 AM
Name Withheld
Long beach, CA United States
Jun 03, 2015 11:38 AM
Name Withheld
Lakewood, CA United States
Jun 03, 2015 10:54 AM
Name Withheld
Lakewood, CA United States
Jun 03, 2015 10:54 AM
Name Withheld
Long Beach, CA United States
Jun 03, 2015 8:01 AM
Name Withheld
Long Beach , CA United States
Jun 01, 2015 2:32 PM

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