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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Rich Layton and the Troublemakers

Live in Portland, Oregon, August 2012

Review by Larry Toering

This is a North West band featuring Rich Layton.  Layton grew up in Texas, so their sound is from that of the gulf area, with everything from swampy blues to rocking country, Cajun influences and even R&B. It’s all done with the vocal and harmonica prowess of Layton, resulting to me in something closer to the Americana genre of late that has been stirring souls across the nation. But it can be considered anything from that to contemporary blues. It was a hot night and they delivered a hot set that took a lot of cooling down afterward.

They blazed through a lot their new CD Tough Town and others, combined with a few rock 'n roll covers from bands like The Yardbirds. One notable thing about Layton is his use of the harp. He's a fantastic player who adds that special spark to a song by his use of it with killer chops. Everyone including the drummer played with big smiles and enthusiasm. I was lucky to see them before this current break they're on, and will be anxious to catch them again as soon as they're back in action.

Larry Toering
Larry Toering

This is a great band with unique players, particularly in guitarist and backing vocalist Mark Sexton, whose charismatic performance is not to be missed. But they all put on a rocking show on the waterfront to help end a great summer of music at a venue that housed only the best the northwest has to offer. Not for a long time has the live music scene in the northwest been so exciting, and Layton and the Troublemakers are a part of it, and help bring much hope to the future of live music here.

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Larry Toering
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 5 at
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
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