Trail Mix – Rayland Baxter

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Trail Mix goes on the road with singer/songwriter Rayland Baxter.

Imaginary Man, the brand new long player from Nashville based singer/songwriter Rayland Baxter, hits the streets this Friday, August 14th.

Music fans first took note of Baxter in 2010, when he was featured in Caitlin Rose’s “Shanghai Cigarettes.” Since then, Baxter has established himself as a captivating songwriter and performer in his own rite.

Already awash with critical acclaim since his debut release in 2012, feathers & fishHooks, it is easy to predict that more buzz is coming Baxter’s way once listeners take in Imaginary Man. His stock is going to soar.

Baxter has been a busy man lately, blending a calendar full of his own dates with a slew of opening dates for Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. I recently caught up with him to chat about life on the road.

BRO – Stage you haven’t played that you would love to play?

RB – Red Rocks. My first show there was Phil Lesh & Friends, Rainbow Paper, and Samantha the Hippie. We watched from maybe fifty rows up. Since then I’ve been to a few more shows there and it’s always mesmerizing. I’d like to see what it’s like from the other side.

BRO – Any pre-show rituals?

RB – I don’t have any rituals. Sometimes I’ll take a shot of whiskey and drink a Stella Artois. Some nights I’ll smoke a little hash before we play. Some nights I’ll drink orange juice and eat spicy Thai food. I do a vocal warm up before every show, though. It’s smart to keep the voice in good working shape when out on the road. The poor thing takes a beating.

BRO – One item that you can’t leave home for the road without?

RB – The Golden Eagle, my favorite guitar pedal. It’s my heart for the time being, a sweet and crunchy power monster that makes my guitar sound awesoooooome.

BRO – Three items you would love to add to your rider?

RB – A puppy for each show that we could hang with, a masseuse and acupuncture specialist, and lobster rolls.

BRO – In the van – NPR? Satellite radio? iPod?

RB – No music through the van speakers because they don’t work. When it comes to headphones, I listen to my Rain, Rain app. It puts me to sleep. I prefer the airplane sound. We do jam Terrapin Station daily from the speaker box, just to get us tapped into Jerry for a bit.

BRO – Favorite on stage libation?

RB – Whiskey and water.

BRO – City you have played that made you think, “Yeah, I could live here.”?

RB – Berlin. I was just there a month ago on tour and I had three incredible nights. I met a group of amazing Iranian musicians and we sat in this tiny, smoky room just off the sidewalk and I listened to them sing the most beautiful Iranian melodies. It’s hard to describe with words, but I definitely had a moment where I could’ve been there for a long time.

You can catch Rayland Baxter out in California this weekend. He’ll be joining Grace Potter at the Henry Fonda Theater in L.A. on August 13th and 14th before heading to Oakland and the Fox Theater on August 15th. Later this month, Rayland returns to the Southeast, with dates in Kentucky and Tennessee on the calendar.

Imaginary Man, the brand new record, drops on Friday. For more information on how you can get a copy, surf over to www.raylandbaxter.com.

Make sure you take a listen to “Yellow Eyes” on this month’s Trail Mix.

 

 

Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson.

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