Standing at the crossroads of twang and tremolo, Rich Layton and The Troublemakers weave a swampadelic soundtrack for the heart of a Gulf Coast Saturday night. Your table waits under the broken neon in a bar at the outskirts of Tough Town.
Harmonica player Rich Layton began his serious blues schooling after college with then-girlfriend Lucinda Williams, playing Austin street corners and dives for tips. When the two moved to Houston, Rich became house harp player for Anderson Fair, the inner city club that was home to Lu, Townes Van Zandt, Nanci Griffith, Lightning Hopkins, Lyle Lovett and many others.
Rich became a founding member of Houston’s premier rockin’ blues revue, Dr. Rockit & The Sisters of Mercy, where he earned the moniker "The Duke of Juke" for his impeccable taste, tone and wardrobe. He went on to play, record and tour with many Texas talents including Alan Haynes, the late Rocky Hill and sax man Johnny Reno. In 1985, the Lone Star State’s leading music magazine honored Rich as one of six Texas Harmonica Tornados, a list that included such luminaries as Kim Wilson and Delbert McClinton.
After 30 years in Texas, Rich moved to Portland in 1997 and entered the vibrant blues scene courtesy of guitarist Robbie Laws. In 2003, Rich felt the tug of his Gulf Coast roots and set out to create the sound of an East Texas roadhouse. The result was Rich Layton & The Troublemakers, serving up roots rock, blues, honky-tonk and more, all of it harmonica-fueled and swampified.
In a special category Rich calls "Died-And-Gone-To-Heaven" are performances with rock ‘n roll legend Bo Diddley and with long-time friend Buckwheat Zydeco. Rich also takes the stage with such musical pals as Lyle Lovett, Dave Alvin, Dale Watson and many more when their tours hit the Northwest.