Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Ryley Walker and Bill MacKay at the Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis on April 23, 2018

I was visiting a relative in Minneapolis and flew in on April 23rd, not realizing when I booked the flight that I would be able to check out Ryley and Bill open for Calexico on the evening of my arrival. I was shocked to see what a large group of live music fans the Twin Cities were able to produce on a Tuesday night at one simple location (just one of four live music clubs which the "First Avenue" organization runs).

Photo uncredited. 
If you can help me identify the photographer, I would appreciate it!

I wasn't able to take any photos of this shorter opening set because I was not only using a stealth setup (even with permission to tape, I didn't feel like dealing with the notorious security guys at the Fine Line) but also using a new Shure MV88 microphone which is a sophisticated and quality microphone that is inserted into the lightning port of an iDevice and when used with the Shure Motiv app, produces some excellent sound for videos (such as this one of Steve Gunn). I was field-testing that particular setup for audio-only sound quality so I couldn't also snap photos.

The set of four songs was lively and had quite a bit of Ryley's trademark between-song goofy banter. For convenience I placed all the talking at the end of each file so each file will start with music.

01 The Halfwit in Me (2018-04-23 Minneapolis)      13:08
02 Spoil With the Rest (2018-04-23 Minneapolis)     5:32
03 The Grand Old Trout (2018-04-23 Minneapolis)  13:30
04 The Roundabout (2018-04-23 Minneapolis)        12:44

This set was recorded after obtaining explicit artist permission by Richard Hayes using a modified pair of Audiotechnica AT853 cardioid microphones fed directly into a Sony M-10 recorder at 24/96 resolution. i stood 6 feet in front of the right stack (the room mix was in mono). The files were trimmed and gentle compression and careful EQ were applied using Audacity. The files were extracted to ALAC and mp3 format using xAct.

I will eventually add embedded links to souncloud so you can stream the whole show if you want, and also the show will be uploaded soon to Ryley's section of the (truly amazing) Live Music Archive on the website. In the meantime -- feel free to download the show from my server (see below)

Please support these fine artists and decent people by going to their shows, buying multiple copies of their merchandise (your friends need the music), and talking to them like they are real human beings after shows. If they don't mind.

A guide to download formats:
WAV = files which are able to be burned as a CD without any conversion steps. This is the largest size of file on offer here.
ALAC = stands for Apple Lossless Audio Codec, which is a method of making a lossless copy of an audio file with about 50-60% of the space required with a WAV file. You can natively play these files on any Apple device and enjoy the same resolution and sound quality as a WAV file (it just takes up half as much space on your hard drive or device). 
mp3 - this is a lossy compression codec which utilizes psycho-acoustic "tricks" to drop certain audio information which is not noticeable under normal hearing situations. I am not a huge fan of mp3 but still find it useful because a high quality mp3 file will take up about 25% of the room on your storage device compared to a WAV file and about half as much as a ALAC file.