The original Project was created in 2011 when Wayne's old musical partner, Rob Anderson unearthed a quarter inch tape he'd carried around unheard for over 30 years. Recorded informally in 1972, it covered six of Wayne's songs sung by them, two of which Rob could barely remember. While the tape was rough, the songs were great and he wondered if anything had been done with them in the intervening years. He contacted Wayne in Oregon, to find that he'd continued to write into the 80s even though his condition made it nearly impossible to play or sing. Wayne confirmed that nothing had happened with any of the songs, most having never been played in public and certainly not recorded.
Having left the US in 1979 and now residing in the UK, Rob passed a handful of raw lyrics and old garbled tapes to a few London based musicians to see if any would like to help him save the songs and the Wayne Drury Project was born. There was never a concrete plan, but Wizz Jones offered the band the first of what was to become a series of four gigs in London and they began rehearsing.
Wizz agreed to perform one of Wayne's songs and together with Laddie Ray Melvin (coming from the state of Washington specifically to work on the Project), Geri Van Essen, James & Nick Flynn, Mark Langmead, Alan McMahon, Davidi Nzoyisaba and Rob, the Wayne Drury Project played its first gig at Wizz's Sitting Room in Tooting, London, in September 2011. This was followed by London gigs with The Goose is Out at The Ivy House, The 12 Bar Club and The Troubadour.
A CD was created from a combination of rehearsal sessions and the live performances.
Geri Van Essen
Laddie Ray Melvin
the wayne drury project UK