Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: In Layman Terms

Sometimes it just seems music sounds better when it’s played for a good cause, don’t you think? With family act In Layman Terms – consisting of brother Cole [age 13], sister Logan [age 10] and mom Sandy Layman – taking the stage at Bangkok Blues to benefit charitable organization For Growing Hope in the fight against cancer, we chatted with the three Laymans to get their take on the cause and their unique local band.

Sometimes it just seems music sounds better when it’s played for a good cause, don’t you think? With family-act In Layman Terms – consisting of brother Cole [age 13], sister Logan [age 10] and mom Sandy Layman – taking the stage at Bangkok Blues to benefit charitable organization For Growing Hope in the fight against cancer, we chatted with the three Laymans to get their take on the cause and their unique local band.

Mike Hume: When did you first become familiar with Growing Hope?

Sandy: I teach at Cunningham Park Elementary School in Vienna. I facilitate a Kids Care Club after school on Wednesdays and both Logan and Cole attend and participate. One of our members, Ellie Heider (fifth grade), had a very close friend, Ryan Hold, who lost his battle with childhood cancer. Ryan’s parents started Growing Hope to help other families in crisis. The money is used to provide crafts for children going through treatments, transportation to the treatments, phone cards and to offer events such as a family picnic. Ellie suggested that we do something for them, and together the club came up with ways to help. Our passion is music, so we thought that a benefit concert would be a perfect fit.

MH: If people want to get more involved, where can they go?

Logan: They should come to our concert, of course!

Cole: Start a Kids Care Club and come up with your own ideas to raise money or do kind acts for people.

Sandy: For Growing Hope, you can go to www.ryanholt.com and make donations there.

MH: In terms of your band, when did you first start playing together?

Logan: Eight months ago.

Sandy: It’s funny, we were just talking about that last Saturday night when we played at The Main Street Café in Gaithersburg. We figured that we have been “officially” playing together for eight months, but we have shared music since the kids were born.

MH: Why do you think music is so important to your family?

Logan: Because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. We love playing out. My dad isn’t in the band, but he is the best roadie ever.

Cole: We get to spend a lot of time with each other. It is not one of those things, like a vacation or a trip to Disney, where you have to wait for it. We can get up any time and go downstairs to the music room and pick up our instruments and have fun. It is a family bond. Who wouldn’t want music as a passion?

MH: Cole seems to have an interesting story about first taking up the guitar. Can you explain that a little more?

Sandy: Cole was developmentally delayed as a toddler. He had a hard time focusing and he had really weak hands. He could barely even hold a crayon. I am a special education teacher, and I was always looking for ways to help him. We played alligator puppets with clothespins, for example. He loved music from the very beginning. I thought that if we gave him a guitar to play with it would strengthen his fingers. He was 5. I guess it worked. Look at him now!

MH: How often do you play out?

Sandy: We are really blessed. It seems like we play out at least twice a month. We will be at Jammin Java on Wednesday the 23rd, and Epicure Café on March 11th. You can check our website [www.3inlaymanterms.com] for an updated list of shows.

MH: What’s your favorite part of the band?

Logan: That all of us feel the music and work together.

Cole: The music. I love coming up with lyrics or a riff and Logan listens and then plays a bass line to go with it and then mom comes in with the beat. Sometimes Logan comes up with the bass line first, or I will play something and she just starts singing. She just made up a song about teasing. She was sad because a boy in her class was being teased so she wrote about it.

Sandy: We have so much to learn, but that is the fun part, tackling something that is difficult and then looking back after we finally nail it. Like “Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan. We thought we would never get it, and now it is our favorite song to play. I love the whole process. There is no other feeling like sitting at the drums and making music with my kids. It doesn’t get much better than that.

MH: Cole and Logan, how cool is your mom?

Logan: The coolest!

Cole: She’s much more cool than the coolest! She is a bright light.