We were so excited in 2011 to have the opportunity to let you hear the songs of Wayne Drury, in their first public performances for 30 years, brought to you by the enthusiasm and commitment of a group of people led by Rob Anderson.
That was the Goose’s very first gig at The Ivy House, with Wizz Jones also headlining, and what a memorable one! We said then that we hoped that we would be able to bring some or all members of the project (see below) back again to the Goose in the future to sing these songs together.
We were delighted that a somewhat smaller version of the Wayne Drury Project (WDP) was able to perform at our fundraiser for Dulwich Community Garden in January 2012.
The current formation centres on Rob Anderson, (guitar/vocals), who played with Wayne in those days, with lots of help from Alan McMahon (guitar/vocals), Mark Langmead (dobro) and Davide Nayuguhora (bass).
US singer-songwriter Wayne Drury generated a dedicated following in the state of Oregon in the early 70s, performing his own unique take on acoustic folk/alt country developing at the time.
His continuing battle with MS made playing and singing progressively more difficult until the late 70s when it came to a complete halt. His reputation stalled, but his creative output continued even though the songs were unheard. Until now. His later work is arguably his best. He is currently bedridden in a care facility in Oregon.
In 2011, Wayne’s 70s singing partner Rob Anderson unearthed rough recordings of early work, and inspired by the quality of both lyrics and melodies, has launched a campaign to bring the songs to the surface with the help of a number of talented London-based musicians and an American singer songwriter from the period visiting the UK specifically to participate in the project. Please note! This is not a charity exercise to raise money for Wayne, but a desire to save the music!
The original project in England comprised:
- Wizz Jones
- The Flynn Brothers
- Laddie Ray Melvin (first UK tour!)
- Geri van Essen
- Mark Langmead
- Alan McMahon
- Rob Anderson
Here’s what Time Out has said about the Flynn Brothers:
“Breathtaking, ultra-close harmony singing, sparkling guitar arrangements and musicianship as good as any you’ll hear this year – an absolute delight”
And here’s a review of Laddie Ray Melvin:
“The sweet grit of his expressive baritone and the rich imagery of his lyrics have a genuine and immediate impact on his listeners. There’s raw tenderness and strength in Laddie Ray’s style that seems uniquely masculine, yet universally human.” Marilyn O’Malley, Victory Review