Footsie with Jesus
I have my vinyl copy and that does matter, for obvious reasons, but also because Walker reminds so much of the singersongwriter from the 60s/70s and thus nostalgia becomes a part of the vinyl preference and collectability.
And it is a sublime album, musically mesmerising in the jazz-raga rhythms that roll out clever narratives and seemingly confessional truths as well as witticisms: about marriage, having babies, parental preferences - not his own but his father's - and playing footsie with Jesus.
There's delicate finger-picking and psychedelic strumming storms, Rylie whopping and yelping as he does live so there is that stronger sense of this here than on his debut and second albums. The stunning simplicity of the songs' varying impacts is delivered by the paradox of the virtuoso playing, naturally, but it is very much in the building pace of many and Walker's warming vocal, closer Age Old Tale a fine example. The musical accompaniments within glisten in their mix of light orchestral [clarinet start of opener The Halfwit in Me] and psychedelia. The percussive contributions [superb on A Choir Apart] add much to the overall texture.
I have little doubt this will be my album of the year. My other reviews, including the great pleasure of seeing him play live with Danny Thompson, can be read here.