Rayland Baxter, Live Session #127

by Shirk on January 13, 2016


I was pretty excited to have Rayland Baxter and his band in for a HearYa Live session as it was the first full-band session we’ve cut since recording the Strand of Oaks session back in August of 2014. 2015 was our busiest year yet at SHIRK studios and we just haven’t had time to do as many live sessions as we used to.  It is my hope that we can squeeze a few in throughout 2016.

In talking with Rayland, I learned that he did his very first tour back in 2010 opening for our friend, and HearYa Live Session alumni, Joe Pug. Since that time Rayland put out an EP, a pair of excellent albums, toured with the likes of Jason Isbell, The Civil Wars, Grace Potter, among many others, received accolades from American Songwriter and the Tennessean, signed to ATO records and managed to put together one of the best damn backing bands I’ve had the privilege of recording.  I’m a big fan of Rayland’s latest album, Imaginary Man. However, some of these songs really come to life and spread their wings in a live situation with Mr. Jimmy Rowland (keys), Matt Musty (drums), Tyler Osmond (bass) and Jaan Cohan (guitar) supporting their structure.  For example, this live version of “Young Man” shows a particularly dark and heavy side that I didn’t feel as much on the album. It gets angry in there and by the four minute mark the band is on fire.  The version of Mr. Rodriguez they gave us has a much more fluid and laid back groove as compared to the more rigid album version.  It feels great and gives a strong nod to the influence the Grateful Dead had on Rayland during the early part of his career.  “My Captain” has a more haunting yet soulful quality to it. I really feel that this band brings Rayland’s songs to the next level. Be sure to check their 2016 tour schedule that begins next week.

We cut this session straight to 16 track 2″ tape.  It was thrilling to lean on this format for tone and embrace it’s limitations.  I could’t be more pleased with the way the tracks turned out. George Stearns (Stearns Media Productions) returned to Chicago once again to lend his talents on video production duties.  Justin Edwards and Peter Hongisto also contributed behind the lens.  Thanks go out to all involved.

Exclusive: Rayland Baxter – Mr. Rodriguez

Exclusive: Rayland Baxter – My Captain

Exclusive: Rayland Baxter – Young Man

Exclusive: Rayland Baxter – Yellow Eyes

Download the Rayland Baxter Live Session as a zip file.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

josoon January 18, 2016 at 9:58 am

brilliant, makes my day

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