Ryan Wayne Releases Debut Solo Album “Crow Amongst the Sparrows”
Toronto-based singer-songwriter Ryan Wayne released his debut solo album “Crow Amongst the Sparrows” on September 22, 2023.
The album comprises 8-track, produced by Ryan Wayne, Malcolm Burn, Brian Kobayakawa, and David Celia.
It is his first project after rehab for suffering two strokes. As part of the healing process, Ryan Wayne began making the album.
Ryan Wayne said of the album, “This album, Crow Amongst the Sparrows, marks a return to recording after a very difficult time in my life. Last Spring, I suffered two strokes and during recovery was left seriously contemplating my priorities. Outside of family and health, music was at the top of the list. I had taken time away from touring and recording with my previous band, The Warped 45s, to raise two young children and to complete a masters degree.”
- He continued, “Then, the pandemic hit. Suddenly several years had passed since I had released music or performed live and it became astoundingly clear that I needed to get back into the business, both for creative and mental health reasons. During recovery, from the comfort of my bed and home studio, I recorded and produced a series of songs. I then collaborated with Grammy award winner Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Patti Smith) for help with some final production and mixing.”
He added, “During my initial recovery, I was only able to work in small blocks of time, but it’s amazing how those small blocks add up. You can accomplish a lot in 15 or 20 minutes if you set the intention. I also learned, simply, that music heals.”
Ryan Wayne explained about some tracks for the album.
“Forty Paces To The Bottom”
“The song is an attempt to create a narrative out of life’s personal challenges, particularly: financial insecurity, alcoholism, mindfulness, lost love, and indecisiveness. The song has lingered for many years, seeing several iterations in sound and lyrics. What was once a simple folk song, became a song that my previous band, The Warped 45s, occasionally played live, until it eventually landed on the sound that made this record. With each turn, came changes to the lyrical narrative as well. Whether it has found its appropriate finale, I’m not sure, but at some point, it needed to be set loose.”
“Maybe I'm To Blame”
“The seeds of the song 'Maybe I’m to Blame' were recorded many years ago during an impromptu, late night, writing session with my old friend and fellow songwriter, Dave Celia. It sat dormant and lyricless for many years and was revived during my stroke recovery. Kelley McCrae, who is featured on many tracks on the record, added a beautiful harmony later in the process as well.”
“Wherever You Land”
“‘Wherever You Land’ started as a hypothetical letter to the late great John Prine in the wake of his death in the early days of the pandemic. His new single brings forth the message that life is precious. None of us are exempt from the fates of illness, old age, or dying. There is beauty in the small things.”
“Oh My Maria”
“The song reflects on the challenge of remaining compassionate while at the same time setting healthy boundaries.”
“In the wake of a powerful derecho that ripped across the North Eastern United States, leaving much of the region without electricity, my wife and I were embarking on a road trip to the Blue Ridge mountains and Asheville, North Carolina, our young daughter in the back seat. As day turned to night, we passed a number of hotels that were closed due to the power outage and a number of gas stations, also closed. Gas tank running low, sleepy, countless deer on the shoulders, and desperately in need of a room, we finally found a place accepting cash only. With a flashlight, we made our way to a room and then out to the parking lot I went, where an opportunistic man in a tank top and trucker hat was pumping gas from a large barrel in the back of his pickup truck, by hand, with a lit cigarette dangling from his lip – $10 a gallon. This song attempts to capture that adventure.”
“Overheard In An All Night Diner”
“The song grew from an old poem and from a series of lines jotted down in a notebook during a period of writing in an all-night diner, near an old house I lived in in Toronto. There is a charm in diners that has always bred creativity, a charm that transcends bottomless coffee refills and cheap breakfast. Further romanticizing the setting was the Tom Waits album Nighthawks at the Diner, whose album art was itself inspired by a famous 1940s Edward Hopper painting of a diner, ‘Nighthawks.’”
- source : Apple Music