Rayland Baxter With Ruby The Rabbitfoot: Nashville Sunday Night Presented By Lightning 100

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Rayland Baxter With Ruby The Rabbitfoot: Nashville Sunday Night Presented By Lightning 100
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3rd & Lindsley Nashville says
Tickets: $10


Itʼs hard to pinpoint the moment that songs are born, the day casual hummers become singers or scribblers become songwriters. Rayland Baxter certainly canʼt, and he wouldnʼt want to. Though he grew up in Nashville to the sounds of his fatherʼs pedal steel, he didnʼt dream of being a rock star. He loved music, of course, but he liked other things, too: being outside, playing sports, working at the bait shop to make spare change. Heʼd always just let things settle into place naturally, following his gut from Tennessee to Colorado to Israel and back again, not knowing that when he returned home heʼd have a handful of songs and the knowledge that, at the end of the day, he didnʼt want to do anything else but make music. He leads a life without reigns, his work always echoing the ease in which it came to be.

Growing up, Baxterʼs father Bucky (a multi-instrumentalist for Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and Ryan Adams, among others) made sure music was just a natural part of life, a soundtrack to childhood. “I grew up around pedal steel melodies,” Baxter says, “not knowing how later in life it would shape me and how I sing or place lyrics in a song.” Heʼd met Dylan and become friends with a young Justin Townes Earle—back then, they were just two kids who knew their dads were gone frequently. One day, while out on a motorcycle trip, Bucky bought his son a guitar: a used, blue electric one. He was in elementary school, no older than third grade. “I played it,” Baxter says. “But I also played Nintendo.”

After a relationship in Paris went sour (though would later inspire the song “oLivia) he took his fatherʼs old friend up on an offer to spend some time at his home in Ashkelon, Israel. “I was supposed to be there for two weeks,” he says. “I ended up staying for six months.”

He began recording his full-length in January 2011, produced by Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose) and supported by his friends, including Eric Masse (producer/engineer), Jacquire King (mix) and instrumentals by his father, Bucky. The songs range from the solemn, steel guitar and harmonica anchored “marjoria”; to the locomotive, du-wop of “driveway meLody”; to the stark, Middle Eastern tinge of “wiLLow.” Each is thickly emotional, raw but supremely balanced, pulling reference not only from musical idols but from love had and lost, roads traveled and trials awaiting back at home. And, when you strip it all away, these are songs that could exist with just Baxterʼs voice and guitar alone, timeless.
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By: 3rd & Lindsley Nashville

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