Best Kid Guitarist Who Sounds Like Davey Graham

Ryley Walker

Critics' Picks

You can't really pin Ryley Walker down to a single style. With the combo Heat Death, the guitarist whips up a skronkfest that will scorch your ears and scour the walls; on his instrumental cassette The Evidence of Things Unseen, he's a consummate practitioner of the American Primitive acoustic style. But why would you want to pin the guy down when he's not even 24 years old? The latest step in his journey of self-discovery involves a newfound capacity to channel the greats of British folk-jazz. At concerts and on a forthcoming solo LP for Tompkins Square Records, Walker immaculately re-creates the jazz-tinged sound of the late Davey Graham with his moody singing and tightly knotted guitar figures. And why shouldn't he, now that Graham isn't around to play it anymore? I have no idea what Walker will do next, but I hope he sticks with this persona for a while.


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