Rayland Baxter - The Miscalculation of Song EP
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: Jan. 17 2012
Rayland Baxter is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter and the son of a performing musician. The Miscalculation of Song is his debut EP.
How is it?
Pretty terrific. Sometimes a disc comes out of nowhere and completely takes the listening experience to a whole new level. Said disc is the debut seven song EP from Nashville's Rayland Baxter. On the first dozen listens few songs stand out as strongly as "The Woman For Me," a timeless and indelible paean to "the one." Quite simply it is the kind of song that many artists spend lifetimes trying to write but never can. It is in a word: spellbinding.
But "The Woman For Me," is not where The Miscalculation of Song begins and ends. Take for example the jaunty eulogy "Willy's Song," written for a friend who disappeared in Costa Rica. In it Baxter sings, "Willy was from Birmingham, had the world in his hands, an office job, a bank account and a pretty wife. Friday would come too soon, he would fly the to moon, his old lady never knew what he was talking about." And it is in these 3:45 that Baxter really hits at something truly extraordinary.
There's a palpable sense of history and modernity in his music. That is to say in every passing second there is an homage to those that came before (Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, etc) and enough relativity to sound current (i.e Justin Townes Earle, Cory Chisel, etc). On the lap-steel driven opener "Hoot Owl," the sounds and warmth of the American South seep through like an Eudora Welty novel. And for those that need something catchy and playful, the rollicking "Driveway Melody," is the perfect tonic.
If this is Baxter's opening salvo, then chances are his final testimonial is going to be one the music world will be pointing to for years to come. This EP is the hallmark of a true talent and someone certainly worth rallying behind.