ABOUT STRING BONE
Americana to the bone, Canadiana in the heart & soul
Heart and home are often elusive for those whose spirits are drawn to the open road.
Sit back, buckle up and ride along with String Bone down winding highways, around sharp turns, on great escapes and daring rescues with searching songs in pursuit of home for an unbound heart.
An unbreakable bone nut creates the essential contact point between a guitar's strings and the wooden body; String Bone draws the chaotic vibrations of the restless heart closer to its desire for gravity with songs of adventure bearing the weight left behind.
Southern Ontario songwriter Barry James Payne is the architect of String Bone, and brings listeners to a collection of artfully designed songs and stories with "Love & Highways", his latest full-length recording.
String Bone brings Payne's true life narratives close to the ear with tender arrangements supporting his gruff sincerity, well worn by the rumble of the road.
Many of Payne's songs on 'Love & Highways' as well as his debut 'nadir' drive through darkness, betrayal and remorse towards love, light, escape and freedom on the road ahead with String Bone at the wheel.
Payne shares struggles with relationships, and wrestles in the aftermath of lost wishes and broken dreams with an eye towards the next adventure.
Unraveling ten melodic originals and two well-chosen covers from Neil Young and Radiohead, 'Love & Highways' features a full complement of players including pedal steel by Steve Wood, electric guitar by the album's producer Shannon Lyon, cello by Ben Bolt-Martin and violins by Payne's 'Rant Maggie Rant' band-mate Lindsay Schindler.
In the passenger seat on "Love & Highways" is a stellar collection of guest vocalists including Sarah Jane Scouten, Mae Moore and longtime String Bone collaborator Ginger St. James, who also co-wrote 'Where Do You Go'. Violinist Lindsay Schindler also contributes to trio harmonies on a soaring cover of Neil Young's "Birds" with Trent Severn collaborators Dayna Manning and Emm Gryner. Roman Tome (New Country Rehab) contributes background vocals to "Somber Eyes", as well as percussion on five of the album's tracks.
"Love & Highways" was recorded by Shannon Lyon at Lyon's Lake Studio in Point Clark and Bayfield, Ontario at sessions through 2015 and 2016, with additional sessions at Stratford’s Knox Presbyterian Church by John Hazen (Loreena McKennitt, Rita Chiarelli, Harry Belafonte).
He has shared the stage with Juno (Canada's Grammy) nominees and winners and some among them include Bill Bourne, Danny Michel, Emm Gryner, Luke Doucet, Loreena McKennitt, Linda McRae, Jenny Whitely and he has collaborated with the likes of Ginger St. James, Shannon Lyon, Bob Egan (ex-Blue Rodeo, ex-Wilco), and many more.
Rave reviews for String Bone:
“...nadir is truly a masterpiece” ~ Music Star (Germany)
''...'nadir' is an album that will 'grow' on you each time you listen to the songs because of the high quality of each individual song on the album, the superb vocals of Barry James Payne and the musical contributions of some undeniably professional musicians." ~ RootsTime (Belgium)
"...'nadir' is a richly decorated composition. Payne scores big as a lyrical talent because of his depth and a focused, refined approach that isn't over-produced and this effort heralds the arrival of a major songwriter." ~ JiveWired (USA)
"The strength of singer/songwriter String Bone is both in the lyrics and the melody of these folk/Americana songs which, on 'nadir' he lays out for you on a platter. If you can put out such terrific songs on a debut CD categorized as great, you must be a very gifted lyricist and songwriter. ‘nadir’ from String Bone is of an excellent high quality." ~ Alt.Country Forum (Holland)
"Payne is a talented songwriter with a vocal style recalling Elvis Costello." ~ K-W Record (Canada)
“Payne is a talented songwriter with a vocal style recalling Elvis Costello. ”
— K-W Record (Canada)
“...'nadir' is truly a masterpiece!”
— Music Star (Germany)
“...'nadir' is an album that will 'grow' on you each time you listen to the songs because of the high quality of each individual song on the album, the superb vocals of Barry James Payne and the musical contributions of some undeniably professional musicians.”
— RootsTime (Belgium)
“In addition to being a good singer with a pleasant timbre, Barry James Payne is a traditional songsmith, of which Love & Highways is excellent proof. ”
— Music That Needs Attention - Theo Volk