Rightley Solo

By Joel Patenaude, March 2018
Originally published in Madison Magazine

Madison’s Kyle Rightley—co-leader of the band Big Payback (with Jamie Kember), lead guitarist for Driveway Thriftdwellers and trombone and euphonium player for Five Points Jazz Collective—has released his first full-length solo record, solidifying his acoustic folk trajectory. The classically trained multi-instrumentalist sounds as legit in this genre as he does in jazz and country/bluegrass—categories in which his bands won Madison Area Music Awards last year. 

Kyle Rightley
Making Home

By John Noyd, November 2017
Published by Maximum Ink Music Magazine

Accompanied by a few well-chosen guitars and a talent for spinning honest tales from clear-eyed lyrics, Rightley’s solo album gathers strumming drumless love-songs washed in pithy hitchhiker’s pickin’ addressing open roads and underdogs with glowing folk-poet anecdotes. Add a dash of racetrack boogie, dreamy jangle-pop and crushed-velvet jazz and, “Home,” casually conjures rolling, green pastures and lonely, late-night interstates with warm, friendly memories and kindly, tempered perspective. Bright, chiming solos and cozy melodies pique ears and hearts alike as twang, sizzle and fuzz tumble over six-string rhythms with woeful steel and howling electric raising spirits in reinforced chords and gun-slinger licks.

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December, 2017
Published in Isthmus

It’s tough these days to be observant without falling into despair, staying optimistic without being ignorant. On his new album, Making Home, Rightley attempts to strike a balance and march forward despite the bleakness. On the LP, as well as at this release party, listeners will hear protest songs directed at Gov. Scott Walker (“Don’t Talk to Me”) alongside rallying anthems like “Deep Runs The Well,” all rooted in traditional Americana that resembles political forebearers like Joan Baez or Willie Nelson. Rightley also will have a full backing band in this live setting to add depth to his normally concise compositions.

Various Artists - If You Have to Ask... Warrior Songs, Vol. 1. 

By Rick Tvedt, October 2016
Published in Local Sounds Magazine

"Madison’s Kyle Rightley... contributes “Brothers,” a muscular slow burner with tremolo guitars that contribute significantly to the song’s dark subject matter. This track is one of the album’s strongest with clear and powerful production and featuring Blueheels members drummer Adam Cargin... and bassist Landon Arkens."

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The Big Payback

An Interview with Guitarist Kyle Rightley

By Michelle Harper, November 2016
Published in Maximum Ink Music Magazine

"Fronted by the spicy soulful vocals of Leah Isabel Tirado, The Big Payback is compromised of highly experienced and profoundly innovative artists whose collective sound has earned them award after award after award. Guitarist Kyle Rightley took time out this week to talk with me about “Animal Brain” and how the theme of musically unifying the duality of the human mind came to fruition."

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A glimpse into a songwriter's life

By John Everman, Staff Writer
Published in The Clarion, March 2016

"Rightley, a multi-genre classically trained musician, also discussed the importance of lyrics in a song. He attributes his inspiration for his creative lyrics to both internal forces such as a desire to address an issue or tell a story and external forces, like someone else’s life."

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Kyle Rightley launches a folk-driven solo act after five years leading the Big Payback

Rugged individualism

By Julie Burke, October 2014
Published in Isthmus

"Low guitar notes cut through the sound of falling rain in the opening lines of "Song for the Flatirons," a pretty and wistful highlight of Kyle Rightley's latest EP. Titled The Bleak, Barbarian Pines, the album is the Madison artist's sophomore solo release, but it doesn't sound like the work of a green musician."
 

Five Favorites: Kyle Rightley

A friendly Q & A with local musician Kyle Rightley 

by John Noyd, December 2014
Published in Maximum Ink Music Magazine

"One might not guess hearing Kyle Rightley’s windswept folk guitar trimmed in mandolin and graced with a clear calm voice that the talented singer-songwriter spent time in the nine-piece funk and soul band The Big Payback, attends Tuesday night jams every week at Madison’s Mason Lounge playing trombone and euphonium with the Five Points Jazz Collective and produces electronic prog-rock as (io)."

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Cortez native releases new solo EP

Published in The Cortez Journal, October 2014

"Many of Rightley’s songs are inspired by his childhood home in Colorado. The bouncy tune “Before Too Long” reminiscences about the Ponderosa pine and mountain mahogany of Colorado’s forests, foothills, and canyons. The hard-driving “When the Dam Comes Down” imagines the fate of the Colorado River. A melodic instrumental, “Song for the Flatirons” began its life while Rightley was an undergraduate at the University of Colorado Boulder. Inspired by the famous sheaves of rock that jut out of the Earth, he wrote this song as a salute to the town’s dramatic backdrop. He graduated from CU-Boulder in 2007."

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