Don’t judge a book by it cover, but this album’s title speaks volumes. I just knew this was lit, an album I could enjoy just by it’s title. Ryan Wayne’s debut solo album, “Crow Amongst The Sparrows,” is set to make a significant impact in the music world. The songs on this album are like treasures washed ashore on a storm-ridden coast, where iconic artists like Tom Waits, Warren Zevon, and John Prine comb the beach for musical gems, as described by Lenny Stoute of BTW This Week.
Hailing from Canada, Ryan Wayne is not a newcomer to the music scene. He gained recognition as a founding member and songwriter of the critically acclaimed band, The Warped 45s, known for their award-winning music on Pheromone Recordings. The journey to “Crow Amongst The Sparrows” was not without its trials. In early 2022, Ryan faced two strokes that brought him back to the world of music as part of his healing process. He embarked on the final production and mixing of a series of self-produced songs, guided by Grammy-Award winning producer and mixing engineer Malcolm Burn, known for his work with legends like Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Patti Smith, and Daniel Lanois. These songs now form the heart of his 2023 album.
Born and raised in the blue-collar town of Oshawa, Ryan’s musical roots run deep. His father, a truck driver who’s also a songwriter, played a significant role in shaping his musical journey. Family gatherings at the cabin in the Madawaska Valley filled his summers with songs, shared with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends. Throughout his career, Ryan had the privilege of touring globally and sharing stages with remarkable artists such as The Drive By Truckers, The Skydiggers, Elliott Brood, Deer Tick, The Once, and Justin Rutledge. He also contributed to various artists’ recordings, including playing mandolin on Dan Mangan’s seminal record, “Nice, Nice, Very Nice.”
Now, “Crow Amongst The Sparrows” is ready to take flight. This Americana/roots-rock masterpiece has already been released a week ago, accompanied by an album release matinee party on November 4th at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto. Special guests John Bridgens & Annelise Noronha will join Ryan Wayne for a short opening set. The album is already garnering praise. Lenny Stoute calls it a “touch of brilliance,” and it’s described as a stunning addition to the folk music genre. Each track is a journey in itself, exploring themes like personal challenges, accountability, love, and the toll of the pandemic.
Let’s delve into the lyrics of two songs from this remarkable album: The first song on the album “Forty Paces To The Bottom”, with it’s atmospheric guitar layers and Wayne’s vocals create a beautiful mood, reflecting on financial insecurity, alcoholism, mindfulness and lost love. It’s a powerful narrative that has evolved over time, finding its place on this record.
Another amazing track on the album is “Oh My Maria”, it’s a heartfelt reflection on a complex relationship, with Wayne apologizing and acknowledging the challenges. It’s a beautiful piece that talks about the emotions of love and distance. Prepare as you listen to “Crow Amongst The Sparrows.” Ryan Wayne’s storytelling and musical prowess shine through on this album, making it a must-listen for folk and Americana fans.
It shows the healing and self-discovery power of music, and it’s sure to touch the hearts of those who actually take their time to listen and understand it. Well well, just click on the links below for more info;