Today, octogenarian Layng Martine Jr., a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member whose songs have been hits for Elvis, Reba, Jerry Lee, The Pointer Sisters and many others, releases his debut album, Music Man. To celebrate, Layng is sharing an in-studio video for the effervescent "Little Bit of Magic," filmed at Flora Recording and Playback. No Depression writes, "Music Man is the feel-good album of the year, and it illustrates Martine’s gift for weaving ingenious, often humorous lyrics (Ray Stevens was Martine’s earliest supporter) and rollicking music that encourages listeners to roll back the rug and dance.” You can listen to new interviews featuring Layng as well, including Otis Gibbs' YouTube convos (check out "Breakfast with Merle Haggard") and "Wheels Off with Rhett Miller," where he banters with the Old 97's frontman.
WATCH THE VIDEO FOR "LITTLE BIT OF MAGIC" HERE
Music Man is the first new release on the newly launched Bloodshot Records in conjunction with renowned indie label 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.
For the sessions, 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.