Bill Laymon

Born: October 31, 1955
Urbana, IL, USA

BILL LAYMON is a well renowned & respected musician/ bassist/songwriter/producer & educator based in Santa Cruz, California. Perhaps best known for his many years as bassist for the New Riders of the Purple Sage, as well as the critically-acclaimed David Nelson Band, Bill Laymon's credentials also include numerous tours of duty with the world-renowned Jefferson Starship, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Kingfish & hosts of other high-profile & successful acts.

BILL LAYMON loved the rock'n'roll of the 50's & 60's, has played in rock'n'roll bands since age 13 & in the intervening years has played in well over 100 bands. He studied film production & music at the University of Illinois/Springfield & for several years performed with the SSU Jazz Ensemble. Upon graduating from college in 1981, he moved to Santa Cruz, CA, where he immediatley began playing steadily, most notably with the musically-adventurous Continental Drifters. It was Bill's great fortune to become aquainted with one of his musical heroes, legendary LA studio bassist Carol Kaye, with whom Bill took private bass instruction, furthering the expertise of his already notable training & experience. From there, things moved fast for BILL LAYMON, becoming a high in demand recording & live session player, typically working over 300 days a year. The result of all the great music, hard work, enthusiasm for musical adventure & fun was getting called to play bass for seminal psychedelic country rockers The New Riders of the Purple Sage in the mid-80's, raising Bill's profile as an outstanding bassist & singer to the national level.

Meanwhile, Bill Laymon continued his work as an in-demand session musician around the San Francisco Bay Area, including many appearances with the Sam Andrew Band, Moby Grape's Jerry Miller, legendary drummer John Craviatto, Doobie Brother Dale Ockerman, country diva Ginny Mitchell, Zero's Steve Kimock, Greg Anton & Martin Fierro, acclaimed songwriters Bradley Ditto, David Beaudry, Jim Lewin & Steve Kritzer, as well as touring with other nationally famous acts such as Big Brother & the Holding Company & Kingfish.

In 1993, at the invitation of the Grateful Dead's Tom Constanten, Bill signed on for several national tours with Dead Ringers, a "pedigreed" Grateful Dead cover band, which featured Constanten, David Nelson, Mathew Kelly & future DNB members guitar great Barry Sless & drummer Arthur Steinhorn.

In 1994, the David Nelson Band emerged as a new entity, featuring David Nelson, BILL LAYMON, Barry Sless, Arthur Steinhorn & keyboardist Mookie Siegel, showcasing innovative new, original tunes & extended jazzy improvisations. To date, the DNB remains a tireless touring & recording act, releasing 4 CD's & 1 live concert video ("High Adventure in Japan"). Each DNB concert is completely unique in structure, incorporating elements of rock, blues, jazz, bluegrass & swing into a very musically adventurous mix that continues to thrill audiences & pack venues all across the US & Japan.

In 1996, BILL got the call to play with the world renowned Jefferson Starship (with Paul Kantner and Marty Balin), whose normal bassist Jack Casady was encountering scheduling problems with his other touring band, Hot Tuna. Bill played with Jefferson Starship on their summer tour across the US. More concert dates followed & BILL still plays with JS whenever mutual scheduling allows.

Much of BILL's schedule is taken up with fairly relentless touring with the David Nelson Band. Recent highlights include a Texas tour (co-billed with Peter Rowan), headlining the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in West Texas, GrooveGrass Festival in Glenwood Springs, CO (with David Grisman Quintet, Tony Rice, Tony Furtado & Peter Rowan), HempAid Fest in Vandalia, Michigan (with Leftover Salmon) & the Camp Creek Festival in upstate New York (with CPR, featuring David Crosby).

Bill Laymon is emerging as a promising & talented songwriter, as well. His original compositions have always been staples of Bill's own GYPSY COWBOY BAND and are now regularly featured in the DNB's concert repertoire. Bill's self-penned song "Kerouac" was included on the DNB's CD release "Visions Under the Moon" & achieved rotation status at radio stations throughout the US. Bill is currently preparing a CD recording project of his own. Scheduled for release: 2001

In the final analysis, the sky is the limit for this talented & respected musical veteran., whose abilites & grace are reflected by the many musical roads traveled...

"Still got a long way to go..."

This biography was taken from Bill Laymon's Official Website.

Instruments Played / Skills:
Bass Guitar

Hard Rock

Bands That Bill Laymon Has Played For:
New Riders of the Purple Sage Jefferson Starship Big Brother and the Holding Company Al Jardine and Friends David Nelson Band

Bill Laymon Has Worked With:
Skip Battin Buddy Cage John Dawson Spencer Dryden Val Fuentes Jerry Garcia Rusty Gauthier Mickey Hart Allen Kemp Greg Legardo Phil Lesh Stephen Love David Nelson Dave Torbert Gary Vogenson Michael White Bill Wolf John Barbata Craig Chaquico Aynsley Dunbar Grace Slick Johnny Dalton Al Jardine

Bill Laymon Was Influenced By:
Jack Casady Rick Danko Carol Kaye Phil Lesh Paul McCartney Berry Oakley Brian Wilson Bill Wyman
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