Ken Layne and the Corvids
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Ken Layne and the Corvids

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


So, how is Fought Down? Real good. This is raw-edged, ramshackle alt-country with a busted taillight. "Worried" is one of the catchiest singles I've heard this year, a perfect selection to play on the you-just-got-jilted-jukebox.
- Tony Peyser, Santa Monica Mirror


With grit and swagger, not unlike the Rolling Stones of the early '70s, Ken Layne & The Corvids play great rock 'n' roll ... Layne's whisky soaked voice is kept warm by a blanket of crunchy guitar, and slightly drawled by the Southern-rock vibe that fuels these songs about hard livin' and drinkin.' This is hard honky-tonk for the punk rocker in you - Miles of Music


There's some grit and reality to this record which I never saw in my 10 or so trips to the Los Angeles area, which leads me to believe there's some kind of secret roots rock society there, where you can eat fatty foods, smoke cigarettes, and actually listen to the band on stage. Go West young man. - Jack Sparks, WMGT Minneapolis


Layne has retained the ability he showed with The Outriders to write tunes that meld striking lyric imagery and memorable melodies. Songs, in other words, that get stuck in your head.

These are the kind of earthy musical stories that Neil Young, Tom Waits and Tom Russell have long turned out. Although actually, there's a lot more Rolling Stones and Lou Reed running through Layne's songwriting (and his singing, for that matter) than Young or Waits.

His return to the music scene ought to be a welcome one.

- Jim Trageser, North County Times


One album that I've been listening to a lot lately is Ken Layne and the Corvids' new CD, Fought Down. It sounds the way Exile on Main Street would sound if it were recorded in the 21st Century, by guys who weren't already millionaires but who really liked to sing and play. - Glenn Reynolds, MSNBC.com


Call it alt.country, call it roots rock ... I just call it damned good. - Cindy Chaffin, TexasGigs.com


A wonderful band called Ken Layne and the Corvids (which means crows) have a gorgeous new album out, called Fought Down. It is luxurious and nocturnal electrified country rock .... The guitars may come from Manchester via Austin; the rest is floating somewhere over the desert, at night, in a Santa Ana wind, just before the Big One hits.

The miracle is that it was recorded in like three days or something insane, in a little hole in the wall in Pasadena, with no budget and plenty of whisky. A band that came together just to record an album and discovered instantaneously that they had an elegant and handsome sound, sprung fully formed like Athena, the goddess of war, from the mind of Zeus.
- Kate Sullivan


Discography

"Fought Down," Ken Layne and the Corvids
Scrub Jay Records 2004

"Analog Bootlegs," Ken Layne
Scrub Jay Records 2003

"The Outriders," The Outriders
Bandit Records, 1987

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

"A very good set of the kind of pure rock 'n' roll hardly anyone plays anymore." That's how North County Times critic Jim Trageser described Fought Down, the debut album by Ken Layne & the Corvids.

In the 12 short weeks since Web-only indie label Scrub Jay Records released Fought Down, sales have been racking up at Amazon (where the CD climbed as high as #400 in sales rank; remarkable for a new label's new release from a new band), CDBaby.com, the KenLayne.com Web site and Americana tastemaker MilesOfMusic.com -- where Layne's CD has been a top seller for two months. Catamount Records chose a track for its "Hot Unsung Americana Compilation," released at the Folk Alliance & SXSW conventions. Meanwhile, freethinking deejays in Dallas, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Reno have been featuring the disc on some of the nation's best "alt country" programs -- Jack Sparks, of WMGT's "The Other Side of Country" show and the Minneapolis City Pages, has played tracks from Fought Down an extraordinary six weeks in a row.

As the "pre release" rolls along, Ken Layne & the Corvids started touring California and will soon embark on a Pacific Northwest run, followed by a summer U.S. jaunt, to coincide with national retail distribution and a sustained radio / press campaign. The San Diego Reader, CityBeat, North County Times and Santa Monica Mirror were the first newspapers to do stories on Layne & Co., while scores of online publications have heaped praise on the CD. Display ads are appearing in No Depression, Paste and Harp magazines.

Ken Layne once made his living as leader of The Outriders, part of the legendary 1980's SoCal "roots rock" scene that introduced the likes of the Beat Farmers and Mojo Nixon. After making an album for Austin's Wrestler Records, Layne quit "professional music" at age 22 and began a life of international intrigue that took him to Eastern Europe, Australia, the Balkans, his hometown of New Orleans and further such seedy locales, writing journalism and other lies (including the acclaimed Aussie thriller "Dot Con"). In late 2003, he assembled The Corvids and recorded Fought Down. Listeners are calling Layne's CD Luxurious and nocturnal electrified country rock (Kate Sullivan), A helluva CD (TexasGigs.com), and Dinosaur Jr. busting into a Drive-By Truckers show (an Amazon.com reviewer).