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Big Ears 2015: The Best of the Festival

on March 31, 2015, 12:00am
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Best Throwback Performance

Ryley Walker

ryley walker Big Ears 2015: The Best of the Festival

Photo by Rachel Wise

Friday, 8:00 p.m., Square Room

If Ryley Walker and his band revealed to the audience that they had just stepped out of a time machine from 1969, I don’t think anyone would have blinked. The 25-year-old Walker and his four-piece band both look and sound like they should be playing the original Woodstock, not Big Ears. But that’s not to say their sound is entirely ripped off — they manage to make it their own, largely thanks to Walker’s tremendous voice and impressive range. His charming stage banter also warmed him to the audience, from wishing his bandmate a “happy motherfucking birthday” to musing about spending time in jail with Terry Riley after telling the crowd to smoke with him later. The band was pitch perfect, extending their hippie psych-folk songs into lengthy jams, and ending the set with a long version of the title track to his new album, “Primrose Green”. Forget about the “pop-folk” revival (looking at you, Mumford and Edward Sharpe). This guy’s the real thing.

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