Oshawa, a town pulsating with industry, is the birthplace of exceptional talent such as Ryan Wayne.
Growing up in this town, with a father who drove trucks by day and penned songs by night, Ryan was nurtured in a home where melodies intertwined with memories.
Summer escapes to the family cabin in the Madawaska Valley provided the backdrop for gatherings that sowed the seeds of his musical aspirations.
Ryan’s not just another name in the bustling world of music. He lent his deft fingers to Dan Mangan’s iconic “Road Regrets,” plucking the mandolin strings that became synonymous with the song.
He’s flexed his musical muscles with a plethora of artists and gifted fans with gems as a part of The Warped 45s, a band that not only shattered ceilings but also saw him shine as a songwriter.
But even stars face their nights. Early 2022 saw Ryan step away from the limelight and battle two strokes. Yet, resilience has always been his forte. Teaming up with Grammy-award-winning maestro Malcolm Burn, Ryan poured his soul into an album that’s as therapeutic as it is artistic.
Delve into its lyrics, and you’re immediately transported to the bustling streets of Manhattan. The imagery is vivid, painting a tapestry of the city’s hustle, its serenity, and the myriad souls navigating their journeys.
Within this tangled web, a quest for clarity and connection unfolds. Ryan beautifully captures the essence of city life’s allure, its challenges, and its unending mysteries.
The narrator of “Crow Among the Sparrows” follows a lighthouse across NYC’s vastness, experiencing emotions and epiphanies. Listeners explore intimacy, identity, and contemporary existence via music and words.
The album’s track listing may be found below, along with Ryan’s in-depth synopses.
Forty Paces to the Bottom
“Forty Paces to the Bottom” compares the height of a fire escape to the distance between life’s turning points. Wayne’s passionate vocals and atmospheric guitar make the song sad.
Maybe I’m to Blame
The protagonist admits their involvement in a romance’s collapse in “Maybe I’m to Blame,” an American-infused psychedelic music. The song combines Steve Earle, Pink Floyd, and Daniel Lanois’ production, culminating in a Crazy Horse-style guitar beat.
Originally created with guitarist David Celia, it was revived during Wayne’s stroke rehabilitation and incorporates Kelley McCrae’s backing vocals.
Wherever You Land
The delicate waltz “Wherever You Land” is evocative of John Prine’s composition, Bob Dylan’s voice, U2’s instruments, and Daniel Lanois’ production. The song sends epidemic victims warm wishes.
The song was written in anticipation of the pandemic and dedicated to John Prine, who died of COVID-19. Wayne completed it following his own health crisis.
Oh My Maria
“Oh My Maria” is a folk tune with a compelling production about addiction and love. The chorus says, “Oh My Maria, I’m sorry but you can’t stay.” to a captivating melody. The song emphasises compassion and appropriate limits.
After a huge derecho left much of the North Eastern U.S. without power, Ryan, his wife and daughter drove to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville, North Carolina. The outage closed numerous hotels and gas stations, and their gas was nearly low at night.
They found a cash-only hotel. A parking lot vendor sold $10-a-gallon fuel from a barrel while carelessly smoking. A trumpet solo by Teppei Kamei highlights “Bonafide Drifter’s powerful ending.
Crow Amongst the Sparrows
“Crow Amongst the Sparrows” is a slow-paced love story. The song’s guitar tones, slow beat, and gentle vocals add mystery. The plot is minimal yet depicts a seductive Manhattan lady.
The song fluidly moves between locales, ages, and perspectives, inspired by a peculiar dream featuring Leonard Cohen’s spirit and an unnamed individual.
Overheard in an All-Night Diner
Instead of concentrating on the talks, “Overheard in an All-Night Diner” catches the ethereal atmosphere of a diner at 4 a.m. after a long night.
The song’s dreamy synthesisers, distorted guitars, and occasional piano notes create a foggy, echoing ambience.
I Will Always Be Here For You
The ballad “I Will Always Be Here For You,” written for Wayne’s wife on their 10th anniversary, is well-suited to its subtle production.