Sphere Music Podcast #6 With Layne Greene as Special Guest

Layne Greene and Bryan MacDonald during the skype interview for www.radio-happy.com

Layne Greene and Bryan MacDonald during the skype interview for http://www.radio-happy.com

Hello listeners of my radio show in www.radiohappy.eu and readers of this blog. The sixth podcast is out and this time I have a special guest, Canadian singer/songwriter Layne Greene( Interview begins at 29:45 of the show). A cool interview where he performs three original tracks accompanied by guitarist Bryan MacDonald. There are also great artists you will hear when you click ‘play.’ So listen to this podcast and if you have requests feel free to tell me on the comments section.

Playlist

Sugar Man by Sixto Rodriguez 
The Rock by Eve Williams and Dominik Boncza-Skrzynecki
Robinson Crusoe by Von Shakes 
Only One Still Dancing by Joel Sarakula 
Disappointed Me by John Munnelly
Broken Wings by Chemical Sweet Kid
Cliffs Along the Sea by Layne Greene 
Interview with Layne Greene 
Talk Dirty and Work by Black n White
Energy by My.Cosmo 
Speeding Train by Dennis McCalmont 
Homesick by Western Skies Motel

Layne Greene: Inflation (Feat. Bryan MacDonald)

Canadian guitarist Bryan MacDonald first appeared in my musical radar when he performed with Layne Greene during the Sounds of Youth Music Competition at the Decoste Centre. First impression lasts! His guitar playing has this shimmering, atmospheric, delicate characteristics and you can’t miss it. It’s like a hovering presence in the cloud of sounds. Inflation is a track that has appeared in Layne Green’s online releases including the latest Break. I am impressed by Layne’s artistic approach to the songs he wrote. Instead of putting out a bunch of compositions out , he makes use of different approaches existing tracks in his file. I think this is wise. It shows a great respect for one’s craft by trying out different ways of presenting it.

I love the artistic direction of the video. People who also helped making this happen are Andy Cunningham, Adam Johnson and Al Gunn. Inflation, shows the exciting collective that Canadian artist Layne Greene is trying to build up. Makes you want to be part of every musical project doesn’t it?

Layne Greene and Bryan MacDonald.

Layne Greene and Bryan MacDonald.

https://www.facebook.com/LayneGreeneFolk
http://laynegreene.bandcamp.com/album…

Break by Layne Greene

cover1

Released 01 February 2013
Layne Greene – Vocals, Guitars, Piano
Bryan MacDonald – Guitars
Lloyd White – Bass
Alex Lank – Drums
Art by juliegnome.tumblr.com

I got myself a copy of Break before its release. What can I say? It is an honor to be on the list of one of the compelling singer/songwriters of this generation. The musical vision of Layne Greene is this: to be able to make a living doing what he loves most: Music.

If you are into great looking album artwork then the cover of this EP will win you over. It shows what looks like a fox and crow locked in a playful mood.   Now let us look closer beyond the beautiful exterior. This is a fourth release from Nova Scotia artist Layne Greene. The tracks are recorded after New Year and the gang cooped up in Layne’s home to capture the vibe and mood of the season.

The album begins with Break. I already heard the demo version of this track which has no drums or ‘undertow’ sound. This time, the drumming skill of Alex Lank blends with the gentle and breezy atmosphere rather than over power everything. The guitar solo of Bryan MacDonald is awesomely atmospheric.The bass of Lloyd White cocoon’s the instrumentation and vocals. Check out the lyrics:

Part of me, was left behind,
In those days, and into those nights.
A simple place to get away,
With grey walls, and empty frames.

Layne has always been a visionary. This voracious reader and Brandon Sanderson fan seems to have taken more credit as a musician rather than as a lyricist in the past. But now that I got a good read, I realized that he has a taste for the mysterious and the subtle. His songs are marked by melancholic moods. For instance, the second stanza goes this way:

“A great escape, a walk through the snow.
And we’ll all wait, cause soon you’ll know.
The freezing cold, won’t thaw your bones,
And reckless hearts can’t cast those stones.”

I move over to the second track. Different People is marked by a chill out steady mood. ” Desperate people in the snow” is the dominant phrase in this song. It is easy to get lost listening to this song and watching the view from the window. Inflation is probably my favorite track because of its arrangement and beautiful chord pattern. Bryan’s guitar playing creates a sense of being cocooned. I can imagine myself walking in an open windy field while this song plays. There is something cinematic about it. Like snippets of wonderful scenes taken from real life and have those scenes posted on a big screen. This track has a very jazzy feel brought about by the syncopated drumming and perky guitar solo.

Disposition further cements Layne’s mastery of the scales. This is a song that requires intermediate understanding of music composition. It is short but sweet. The EP ends with Working man. This song is about his late grandfather who was a builder of musical instruments. Again the syncopated beats create that down tempo rhythm which is really engaging. Check out the part around 4:00 when the drums become heavy and insistent.

Break is a departure from his usual musical style. One can sense the attention to detail given in each of the tracks and also in the mixing and mastering.

Gallery:

Layne Green – Sounds of Youth Music Competition 2012 Finalist

This video came out yesterday and I was already jumpy to plug it. You know, if this is the representation of today’s youth music then it means there is still hope! I might sound biased to say that my friend Layne is an excellent musician but it is true. His compositions have always been filled with intricate arrangements and elaborated guitar solos. And yes he sings! Bryan MacDonald made a huge impression in this video because of his guitar style. It is atmospheric relying on reverb, delay and brilliant playing that he captures the style of such guitarist as The Edge of U2 and Johnny Buckland of Coldplay.