Today, octogenarian Layng Martine Jr. is premiering his new single, "Love You Back To Georgia," at The Bluegrass Situation. The upbeat track, written in the early '70s by the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, celebrates summer, cars, and live music and the exhilaration of sharing it all with someone you love. Layng's songs have been covered by Elvis, Reba, Jerry Lee, The Pointer Sisters and many others back in his Nashville songwriting heyday. "Love You Back to Georgia" appears on Music Man, out May 19 on Bloodshot Records/Kill Rock Stars. The album sessions were put together by Layng's son, super producer Tucker Martine, and recorded at his Portland studio, Flora Recording and Playback. Tucker, who also plays drums on the album, is known for his production work with My Morning Jacket, Sufjan Stevens, Neko Case, and First Aid Kit as well as the new Grammy-winning Madison Cunningham album.
Layng says of the song, "I wrote ‘Love You Back to Georgia’ in 1973, soon after we arrived in Nashville. I was 31. Cars, girls, and music had pretty much summed up my youthful obsessions. Nothing had … or has … really changed. Even now at 81, I still can’t imagine anything much more enjoyable and uplifting than my wife and I pulling into a Dairy Queen in our convertible with ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ blasting from the car speakers. It’s our modern-day version of ‘Love You Back to Georgia’ … when being young and in the back seat of a car with a girl and going somewhere exciting to hear music was ‘as good as it gets.’ ‘Love You Back to Georgia’ is a celebration of all those moments and emotions.”
For Music Man, Tucker assembled an inspired cast of musician and guests (Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Laura Laura Veirs, Bill Frisell, k.d. lang, among others) at his Portland, OR studio, Flora Recording and Playback, as a Christmas gift to Layng. Music Man has a vintage sound that might make you think you’re listening to a ‘70s reissue on Light in the Attic or Bear Family rather than a brand new recording.
These days, Layng and his wife Linda split their time between Nashville and Rhode Island. His life has had its share of triumphs and tragedies. Layng’s 2019 memoir, Permission to Fly, details his early wandering days, his time as a songwriter in Nashville, and the car accident that left his wife a paraplegic. He was inspired to write a memoir after his “Modern Love” essay for the New York Times about the incident, which shared details of their life post accident with candor and humor and became one of its most shared columns.
PRE-SAVE/PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE
STREAM/PURCHASE "LOVE YOU BACK TO GEORGIA" HERE
CHECK OUT LAYNG'S BANDCAMP PAGE HERE