Location: AMERICA NORTH: Canada: Ontario
Genre: AC, Alternative, Americana, Roots Rock
Influences: Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams, Jay Farrar, Wico, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan
Americana best describes the music of String Bone, a project born of the songwriting talents of Canadian singer-songwriter Barry James Payne. A mix of alt.country, blues, folk, rock and other contemporary and traditional elements harder to pinpoint.
Reviewers have referenced influences in his first full length CD 'nadir' as diverse as Lucinda Williams, Jay Farrar, Wilco, Dylan, Steve Earle, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello.
Music Star in Germany wrote, "nadir is truly a masterpiece".
2011 saw String Bone's song 'Midnight Train' in regular rotation on ABC Country, The Australia Broadcasting Corporation's national country station, for most of the year.
At the same time, String Bone's song, 'Killing Town', made it onto Neil Young's 'Living With War Today' campaign debuting at number 59 out of over 3,400 songs submitted from around the world.
He has recently been included in the local Stratford Perth Museum's Exhibition "Linda's Playlist" celebrating the region's music makers, along with Loreena McKennitt, Richard Manual (The Band), John Till (Janis Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie band), Ken Kalmusky (Ian & Sylvia), local singer/songwriter's Emm Gryner (David Bowie, Trent Severn) and Dayna Manning (Trent Severn) and teen sensation, Justin Bieber.
Born in London, Ontario, Canada surrounded by tobacco and corn growing farms and the richest soil in the world, Payne has hitchhiked or travelled across Canada's West from his home a half a dozen times, down the West Coast of the US and 15 other states, and has travelled to England, France, Spain, Greece, Holland & Germany. Having lived in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, he currently resides in Stratford.
Payne set out in 2006 to write his debut record, subsequently bringing together several musicians, such as Blue Rodeo'’s Bob Egan, also formerly of Wilco, and Kitchener native and veteran troubadour Shannon Lyon and went into the studio. Produced by Lyon, Payne and technical wiz engineer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Giesbrecht, the resulting recording, ‘nadir’ was acclaimed by music reviewers in Canada, the US, England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.
Payne has been playing live with a number of musicians since his project began; Dan Henshall, Antonia Munro, Brad Canning, Jeff Laughton, Lisa Bates, and perrenial sideman Steve Wood on pedal steel from Kitchener, who helps Payne create his haunting sound live. A perfect marriage to his intimate songs which he introduces with often comical and touching stories.
He paints portraits with his words, and the various musicians involved help Payne change the colour of his pallet from emotional folk and country ballads to uptempo alt.country and blues-rock.
Reviewers from the US, Canada, and Europe have lauded Payne on his debut record ‘nadir’ for his lyrics and melodies, stating in their reviews:
''...'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."
"'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."
"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)