Andy Layfield is a blues guitarist, harmonica, singer and songwriter, exploring his passion for music through both solo performances and with his four piece band The Andy Layfield Sound. Forté chat to Andy about his sound, upcoming performances and a future album.
Hey Andy, thanks for chatting with us. How are you and what are you up to at the moment?
I’m fantastic thanks – have heaps planned for 2017. On the band front with The Andy Layfield Sound, I’m looking to team up with some other acts and do some highly promoted ticketed events. I’ll be ramping things up with the acoustic solo as well, a new CD release, and a possible East Coast tour – think there will be plenty to keep me busy.
You are performing at the upcoming Bluestone Blues Festival at the end of the year. What can people expect from The Andy Layfield Sound’s live set?
We’ll be hitting the ground running with lots of energy and groove. A couple of new original songs (from the yet to be released CD) plus a selection of our best oldies. Pete (our Hammond player) will give the saxophone a rip on a couple, and there will be lots of guitar, harmonica and hammond impro’s. Lot’s of diversity and different grooves, the “musical surprises” will just keep coming. We can’t wait.
What are you looking forward to most at this year’s Bluestone Blues Festival?
We’ve never played at Bluestone Blues before – can’t wait to experience it. A “Blues Festival” combined with a “New Years Eve crowd” is pure gold. From a performer point of view it just doesn’t get any better than this.
Quite a few of your songs involve the harmonica, which showcases your unique style of blues rhythms. What drew you to incorporate this instrument with the traditional guitar?
Guitar will always be my primary instrument having played since the age of 16. Harmonica is a recent addition, started in 2011/2012. The idea of harmonica came about because I was doing some solo gigs at that time and thought harmonica would really add as a solo instrument, allowing the guitar to accompany. Interestingly, the acoustic guitar and harmonica became a big part of my 2014 CD Change My Hat, with the songs written with harmonica in mind. More recently, I’ve been focusing on a combination of electric guitar and harmonica, I’m really happy the way it blends.
You have been playing since you were 16 years old, playing in rock bands, writing and recording original songs, and performing regularly with your four piece band The Andy Layfield Sound. What would be your fondest memory or achievement as a musician?
There has been heaps of highlights so it’s hard to choose. From a performance point of view, it’s probably the band performance with the “Andy Layfield Sound” at Mordialloc Festival March this year in front of thousands of people – was absolutely amazing. From a recording point of view, “Mad Time” achieved number three in the September 2015 Australian Blues and Roots Charts and stayed in the charts for six months, so really proud.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m in the process of recording another CD which will be released in 2017. In the studio, I’m really focusing on energy levels and vibes. It will be a combination of contemporary and retro styled blues and groove. There will be a big CD release gig in Melbourne to launch the CD, and hopefully an east coast tour to follow. Plus I’ll be doing heaps to promote the CD overseas this time, looking to ramp things up internationally.
Keep up with all Andy’s news on his Facebook page or keep an eye on his website www.andylayfield.com
When & Where: Bluestone Blues Festival @ Murgheboluc Reserve, Murgheboluc (20km west of Geelong) – December 31 2016 – January 1 2017.
For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit sleepyhollowblues.club.