This review was first published on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.
The tracks on Max Layton’s new album, “2 The Max,” are more stories than songs. Influenced by two of Canada’s greatest poets, his father Irving Layton and his close family friend Leonard Cohen,as well as his own interesting 66 years of existence, the singer-songwriter shares some hard-earned lessons on life and love set to a musical backdrop.
In this year, the centennial of his father’s birth, the Ontario-based Layton looks to the past and the future as he celebrates restored eyesight. It was a sudden onset of legal blindness a few years ago that prompted Layton to retreat into a private darkness to write his first album, “Heartbeat of Time.” His new album is a response to the restoration of his sight, thanks to “the miracles of modern medicine” as he writes in the CD’s liner notes.
Layton was taught as a young child to play guitar by Cohen, and has been playing and singing his whole life.
“My one constant was the guitar. I learned new songs wherever I went and played in coffee houses and on street corners whenever I got the chance,” he writes on his website.
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© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.