Thomas Wywrot is about to release a self-produced solo project, Every Time I Walk This Road. The album has a modern, in-your-face bluegrass sound with Wywrot’s banjo and guitar prominent in the mix.
A Canadian by birth, he grew up in Dryden, Ontario and came to the States to attend East Tennesse State University on a bluegrass scholarship. Since graduating, Thomas has worked in and around bluegrass in Nashville for the past few years. He played banjo with Alecia Nugent – featured on several tracks on her terrific CD, Hillbilly Goddess – and has performed with The Isaacs this past year.
Joining him on Every Time I Walk This Road are Jim VanCleve on fiddle, Randy Kohrs on resonator guitar, Jason Chapman and Alan Bartram on bass, and Jeremy Chapman and Ashby Frank on mandolin. His CD won’t be available officially until January 5, 2010, but Thomas agreed to share a few words and some audio samples here on Bluegrass Today in advance of the street date.
“These are all songs I’ve thought about recording over the past five years or more, and I collected most of them and wrote a few of them while I was in college at ETSU.
I wrote three of the songs on the CD. Kayla Dear, which started as a bit of an inside joke, and still is, but it ended up making a good love gone wrong song. F.T.L. is a slow guitar instrumental, and Meat Eater is an uptempo banjo instrumental that was named by Jamey Booher, winner of a MySpace contest I held in order to name the tune.”
Kayla Dear – Listen Now [http://www.thomaswywrot.com/Site/Purchase_A_CD_files/Kayla%20Dear.mp3]
Meat Eater – Listen Now [http://www.thomaswywrot.com/Site/Purchase_A_CD_files/Meat%20Eater.mp3]
Most of the lead vocals on the CD come from Daniel Salyer, who also contributed two new songs, Lonesome Tonight and Running Through My Mind. Two others, 95 Years and Now Here Comes The Rain were written by Carter Moore.
“I met both of these guys while attending school at ETSU and they are both great songwriters.
Rounding out the CD are some of my favorite songs. Carolina In The Pines is a Michael Martin Murphy song I first heard by Gibson, Martin, and I, a band based out of Thunder Bay, Ontario. I was about 10 when I first heard them play it, and it has stuck in my mind the whole time, so I based my arrangement on theirs.
Till I See You Again is a Kevin Welch tune I first heard played by Chris Silver about 7 years ago. I was very fortunate to have Alecia Nugent come in and sing the Tenor on this song, and it really turned out great.
I think my favorite song on the CD would have to be Lily Green. It was written by Ben Winship and was recorded by Growling Old Men, a duo consisting of Ben and John Lowell. They were both playing together at the time as members of Kane’s River, a killer band from Montana. The original recording just had mandola and guitar on it, so it was cool to put it together as a bluegrass tune and it just took on a life of it’s own. Alan Bartram handled the lead vocals and my girlfriend Laura Keel sang high baritone. I even got Jesse Stockman of the Isaacs to layer some baritone fiddles on one part to really build it up.
Lilly Green – Listen Now [http://www.thomaswywrot.com/Site/Purchase_A_CD_files/Lily%20Green.mp3]
Last but not least is the song Handsome Molly, which is a great traditional tune that I rearranged to give it a bit of a modern sound to it. Jeremy Chapman plays a killer mandolin intro and outro and Randy Kohrs’ dobro break is perfect.”
Handsome Molly – Listen Now [http://www.thomaswywrot.com/Site/Purchase_A_CD_files/Handsome%20Molly.mp3]
Every Time I Walk This Road will be released 1/5/10 on CD, and should be available in iTunes and at Amazon.com shortly thereafter. Pre-orders are being accepted now on Wyrot’s web site.