Rayland Baxter prefers letting life play itself out.
“All of my music has come in a very natural way, by following the organic process of life and letting it just happen.”
While Baxter has now made music his way of life, it wasn’t always that way. Growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, Rayland enjoyed the simple things: nature, sports, an honest day’s work. It wasn’t until Rayland made a cross-continental trip that things started to fall in place for the singer/songwriter. After moving from Tennessee to Colorado, from Colorado to Israel, and from Israel back home, Baxter finally found himself in tune with his artistic side.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have talent in your blood. Rayland’s father, Bucky Baxter, is a multi-instrumentalist who’s worked with Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and Ryan Adams, to name a few. Rayland grew up listening to his father play the pedal steel guitar on a daily basis.
“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.”
Rayland’s father would later purchase him an electric guitar, but it wasn’t until he was in college that Baxter started giving the instrument a real shot. Surprised at how quickly he was able to pick playing up, he would soon drop out of college and move to Creede, Colorado, where he would make the open-mic tour in search of tips. After making a few connections, Baxter found himself on his way to Europe as a guitar tech for the band Moonshine Sessions. Soon after, he spent six months with his father’s friend in Ashkelon, Israel.
After putting together his first EP, “Miscalculation of Song,” Rayland Baxter headed back to the states and began working on his feature full-length in January of 2011. Now, a year and a half later, “Feathers and Fishhooks” is slated for an August 28th release.
“It puts me at ease,” says Baxter on his music. “And that’s what I hope it will do for those who listen.”
Dean Goranites | Associate Editor