John Layton

John Layton


Singer song writer, lyrics poetic humorous contemporary, in the vein of Randy Newman or Leonard Cohen, accompanied by rhythmic syncopated finger style dobro and classical guitars, and harmonica, ala Mississippi John Hurt. This is uniquely John Layton music and highly accessible to any audience.


Major influences, 30's blues, Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, 50's rock n role, Jack Kerouac, Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman, and Father (his antics as a professional wrestler). Musically John plays a three finger, finger style, ranging from syncopated ragtime and base thumping blues on the dobro, to almost baroque on the classical guitar. Admiring the poetry of Cohen, Irving Layton, the songs of Dylan, Lou Reed, Randy Newman , Gary Brooker, John's lyrics create pictures and mood and take you through a labyrinth of common human experience often in a comical self deprecating way. Observing, never preaching. The melodies are simple and carry the word pictures on the back of those syncopated rhythms. All in all the sound is quite unique, something you won't often hear and is best heard in live performance, although his CD, "Femmes Fatales" , by himself in the studio recording 12 songs, captures the idea. John is a different cat, as a sculptor for the past 25 years and now also a songwriter performer.


The Band Plays On

Written By: John Layton

There's a girl in a tower
And she's paid by the hour
And she looks at her life
And she thinks she's a flower
In fall
When the days disappear
I hope she will be alright
Doing the dance of life
And the band plays on
She's sitting alone in her room
For the love has gone
Far too soon

When love is a beggar
Outside your door
With his hand out for moments
Lost but still living
In time
When he once had a wife
She made him feel alright
Doing the dance of life
And the band plays on
He's sitting alone in his gloom
For the love has gone
Far too soon

There by the dance floor
With stars in her eyes
Watching the couples
As they glide on by
Hoping that fortune
Will smile on her soon
Here on this night of romance
Would you like to dance
And the band plays on
Couples stay on the floor
For it's the same old song
As before

Now in those sessions
Of sweet silent thaught
I summons up memories
Like soap opera stories
But when I think of you
Dear Em
Heartbreak and sorrows end
I'll waltz you around again
And the band plays on
Couples waltz round the floor
For it's the same old song
Ever more.


CD "Femmes Fatales" 12 original songs, available for purchase or preview (streaming) at or purchase also at

Set List

Sets, anywhere between 15 and 45 min.
Can perform 40 original songs and throw in a cover here and there. A set might be:
Wasn't Love At First Sight (Countryish)
Paulette's Brush (Ragtime)
Femmes Fatales (Humorous)
Land of Nog (Middle Eastern Rock)
Rocky Road (Bluesy)
Big River (Johnny Cash)
Frankie and Albert (Traditional Blues)
Metropol Hotel (Blues)
The Band Played On (Ballard)
Olympic Lover (Twisted Love Song)