2018 album also available in CD.
Chicago experimentalist Ryley Walker reimagines Dave Matthews Band’s lost 2001 album ‘The Lillywhite Sessions’ in full for a new era. Walker delivers a powerful, heartfelt meditation on the twists and turns of an individual’s musical journey across a life of enthusiastic and curious listening. Through his thoughtful performance and rearrangement, with frequent collaborators Andrew Scott Young and Ryan Jewell, he submits that perhaps DMB is justly due the reassessment it’s slowly been granted in the pop zeitgeist as of late. He transforms DMB’s loping and goofy Lillywhite Sessions lead-off track “Busted Stuff” into a buoyant and breathy jazz-tinged post-rock that recalls Chicago heroes The Sea & Cake.
On ‘The Lillywhite Sessions’, Ryley Walker and the similarly indebted trio of drummer Ryan Jewell and bassist Andrew Scott Young cover Dave Matthews’ infamously abandoned 2001 art-rock masterpiece of the same name, a record where he and his band indulged a new adult pathos and a budding musical wanderlust.
With a delicate rhythmic latticework and vocals that ask you to lean in, ‘Busted Stuff’ recalls Jim O’ Rourke’s golden Drag City days. Emerging from a wall of distortion, ‘Diggin’ a Ditch’ becomes a power trio wallop . la Dinosaur Jr, shaking off existential malaise like twenty-something pals writing rock songs in the garage. Walker’s ‘Grace is Gone’, the most faithful take here, is a testament to his unflagging love for the music that helped make him a musician.
This end-to-end interpretation of youthful fascination is a collective reminder that we are all just kids from somewhere, reckoning with our upbringing the best we can. Walker has stepped through the door long ago opened by the Dave Matthews Band to find a world teeming with musical possibilities. On ‘The Lillywhite Sessions’, he has, in turn, created his own.