14, August, 2000
"I reckon that I first met Bill Laymon in 1985 around the time he joined up with the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Laymon's phat bass sound bolstered the legendary country-rock outfit and he easily stood out in the mix. Laymon was perfect for NRPS at that time and his inventive bass playing easily recalled the best work of the late Dave Torbert as well as the Grateful Dead's own Phil Lesh.
Before catching the train with NRPS, the Springfield, IL native had been kicking around the Santa Cruz music scene for quite some time playing in numerous bands including country queen Lacy J. Dalton, and Moby Grape founder Jerry Miller. By the time Bill had joined NRPS, he had developed a well-earned reputation as a musician that was just as comfortable with country music as he was with rock 'n' roll. That would prove to be one of Laymon's greatest assets as he soon took on gigs and recording jobs with the likes of: Kingfish, Stackabones, Jefferson Starship, Dead Ringers, and later, The David Nelson Band, for which Bill Laymon is best known.
As a member of The David Nelson Band, Laymon became an integral musical partner in the legendary country rocker's band. Laymon's songwriting and vocal skills were brought to the forefront to many for the first time. Songs such as: "Kerouac," and "Way of the Wind," quickly became staples in The David Nelson Band considerable song cannon. Not that this was much of a surprise to me.
Nearly ten years ago I produced a cut by Laymon's own country-rock band, Gypsy Cowboy titled "Lonesome Highway," for a music sampler that I did for the Relix label. At that time, I discovered that Laymon had a pocket full of incredible tunes just waiting to be recorded and a killer band that included a couple of music legends; drummer Johnny C and pedal steel wizard "Slippery" John Weston, to record them. Not that Laymon is not used to playing with other killer musicians as The David Nelson Band is easily one of the finest country music bands on the planet, much to the credit of Laymon, and his musical associates Barry Sless, and Mookie Siegel.
Besides being one of the nicest guys that I've met during my many years in the music business, Bill Laymon is also one of the business's consummate professionals. It is seldom that one meets someone who reconciles the two as beautifully as Bill does. I'm proud to call him my friend."
© 2000 By J.C. Juanis, All rights Reserved
Bill Laymon took serious bass lessons from me when I lived in the Santa Cruz/Capitola area in 1982-83. I noticed this rather tall very serious and friendly young guy who showed up promptly every lesson time. Next thing I knew his career had shot right up as a member of the New Riders of The Purple Sage...right on, I tho't. Couldn't happen to a most-deserving hard-working good talent.
We sort of lost touch with each other for a short time, but he found me in Colorado a few years later and we've been corresponding ever since, especially after the time I moved back to Calif. in 1993. I can truly say I admire Bill, not only because he's a helluva great bass player, always laying down the foundation for ANY band to sound great with, but as a great professional, yet a fun-guy, good sense of humor, good sense of life and warm-hearted yet, sharp as they come too. He's got his priorities in order, his integrity hat on straight, his bigness in life with self-assurance and he's such a great bassist, just warms my heart to hear him play. And his singing on Kerouc too - a big talent he is.
To say I'm proud to have taught him on bass is an understatement. But he was fine before he came to me, it's just great to see the creative musical spirit carried on by good people such as Bill Laymon, matters not the group, David Nelson, the Gypsy Cowboys or subbing for Jack Casaday, he can lay it down and put the fire under all musicians. Yo Bill!!
"Bill Laymon is unquestionably one of the finest bassists on the jam band circuit. His work with the David Nelson Band, NRPS, Big Brother, and Jefferson Airplane is unparalleled. Laymon can play in a variety of styles and often brings to mind the legendary work of Phil Lesh with the Grateful Dead and Paul McCartney with The Beatles. In addition, Laymon is an outstanding songwriter who fully comprehends the rich hertiage of American folk as well as how to craft a memorable melody. One listen to Kerouac and you'll be singing it for months."
Editor, The Music Box
"I'd also mention that Bill Laymon, the bassist for the group, is one of the best I've yet to see and hear. It's not often that bass guitar players get any notoriety, but when you watch a player as technically sound as Bill Laymon, you just have to tell folks about him."
Dan Bissonette, Country Music News
"Bill Laymon is one of the premier bass players on the circuit."
Toni Brown, Relix Magazine.
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