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Ryan Wayne is readying the release of Crow Among the Sparrows next month

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Accomplished Americana/roots-rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Wayne releases his debut solo album, Crow Amongst The Sparrows on Friday, Sept. 22 – followed by an album release matinee party on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto.

Ryan will be joined by special guests John Bridgens and Annelise Noronha for a short opening set.

Doors open at 2:00 p.m. and music starts at 2:30. Tickets are $25 + HST/Fees in advance at Eventbrite and $30 at the door.

The songs on Crow Amongst The Sparrows include “Forty Paces to the Bottom,” which compares the height of a fire escape to the length of the downward distance travelled before reaching a necessary turning point in one’s life. The atmospheric layers of treated guitar and Ryan’s tender-hearted vocal set an appropriately wistful mood.

“Maybe I’m to Blame” is a slice of Americana-meets-psychedelia that swirls drunkenly along as the protagonist accepts accountability for the end of a romance. It sounds like Steve Earle backed by Pink Floyd and produced by Daniel Lanois, culminating in a swaying semi-frenzy of Crazy Horse-type guitar. It was co-written many years ago with fellow singer-songwriter and ace guitarist David Celia and revived during Ryan’s stroke recovery, with backing vocalist Kelley McCrae.

“Wherever You Land” is a gentle waltz that sounds like it was written by John Prine, sung by Bob Dylan, played by U2, and once again, produced by Daniel Lanois. The song extends a generous wish and prayer to all who’ve suffered, survived, or perished from the toll of the pandemic. Mired in the angst and apprehension of the early pandemic, the song is a farewell letter of sorts to the late great, John Prine in the wake of Prine’s passing from COVID-19, and it was completed after Ryan suffered a health scare of his own.

And the title track, a vaguely detailed story of a budding romance, “Crow Amongst the Sparrows,” lopes along as it describes an unhurried but undeniable attraction. The sonically treated guitar textures, relaxed pace, and lean-in-to-hear-it vocals all evoke the mysterious mood of the song. There’s a woman waiting tables, blowing smoke, and shadows on her bed in Manhattan – but not too much more to go on. The song started as a peculiar dream featuring the ghost of Leonard Cohen and a faceless stranger, shifting whimsically between cities, timeframes, and perspectives.

Ryan Wayne is a Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who first came to recognition as a founding member and songwriter in the critically acclaimed, award-winning band, The Warped 45s (Pheromone Recordings).

In early 2022, after several years away from touring and recording, Ryan suffered two strokes. As part of the healing process, Ryan was drawn back to the music world and began the final production and mixing on a series of self-produced songs with Grammy-Award winning producer and mixing engineer, Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Patti Smith, Daniel Lanois), songs that will comprise Crow Amongst the Sparrows.

Born and raised in the blue collar town of Oshawa, just east of Toronto, Ryan grew up surrounded by music. His father is a songwriting truck driver, and Ryan spent countless summer nights singing with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends at the family cabin in the Madawaska Valley.

During his musical career, Ryan has had the opportunity to tour the globe, sharing the stage with artists such as The Drive By Truckers, The Skydiggers, Elliott Brood, Deer Tick, The Once, and Justin Rutledge. Ryan has also recorded with many artists including playing mandolin on “Road Regrets” off Dan Mangan’s seminal record, Nice, Nice, Very Nice.

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