By Eileen Tilson
Once upon a time, musical troubadours would travel
around town to town singing the news of distant lands. They were the pied pipers
of their time, drawing in their audience with a plot filled with twists and
turns, and intricate characters. In PT Walkley’s first solo project Mr Macy
Wakes Alone, the art of storytelling is brought back to life. The album is
pieced together like a story, based around the lives of Audrey Macy, a Manhattan
trust fund baby who poisons her father, the evil record label executive, and
Calvin the Coroner, the aspiring songwriter exploited by Mr. Macy, who is also
secretly in love with Audrey.
The genius behind Walkley’s latest collection has
been a long time in the making. Having recently opened for Coldplay at Madison
Square Garden, he has also composed music for several acclaimed feature films
and scored for national ad campaigns.
Along with co-producers Mary Wood and Scott
Hollingsworth, Walkley brings the story to life with an impressive team of
collaborators. Joining Walkley on Mr. Macy Wakes Alone are guitarist
Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm), trumpeter Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob,
Rufus Wainwright) string arranger David Campbell (Beck, Johnny Cash), mixer
Trina Shoemaker (Sheryl Crow, Queens of the Stone Age) and Sean Lennon, who
plays guitar and piano on several tracks. Walkley’s intention for this “Double
Vision”-esque album, was to create the experience of listening to an album from
front to back, for a full musical experience.
This is a very rich album with an imaginative use of
instruments as obscure as the flute, harp and saw. It's an album that needs to be listened to
carefully, preferably with the lyrics book in hand, in order to be truly
appreciated. What you will discover is a musical Alice in Wonderland; a
piece of art that will be appreciated for years to come.