The scruffy American Ryley Walker arrives at Toronto's Drake Hotel on Sunday with impressive press clippings, an endorsement from Robert Plant and an excellent new album, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung.
The singer-guitarist does a progressive sort of stoned folk music, perhaps inspired by the likes of Van Morrison or fellow Chicagoan Jim O'Rourke.
He's a bit of a rambler, this guy. And if the song The Halfwit In Me is to be considered autobiographical, he would seem to be the self-deprecating type.
But if Walker doesn't take himself too seriously, that does not mean he is less than fully committed to his art. His new material is more structured than the jam-based pieces of his previous album, Primrose Green. One suspects Walker is a slacker in image only, for his dazzle is strong and his capabilities are clear.
Ryley Walker plays the Drake Hotel, Sept. 25, 8 p.m., $15.50, 1150 Queen St. E., ticketfly.com.