Spent Time With Nashville Part Two: Nashville Tennessee's Rayland Baxter, started his journey on tour with The Civil Wars last Thursday evening in Seattle Washington, USA- performing in front of a sold out audience live at The Triple Door.

Through strange circumstances, which we will reveal in Part Three of FYM's Spent Time With Nashville series, Rayland Baxter (pictured above at Seattle Center) and his Day-to-Day/Tour Manager Austin Littrell, also happened to be staying with us, crashing in our FYM HQ studio, during their time in Seattle. It offered this Art Director the rare opportunity of truly getting to know an artist as person first, before ever really hearing their music or seeing them perform live.

It was no surprise that the kind, charismatic, genuine spirit- that is Rayland Baxter offstage, also carries over into his live performances. A great example of his honesty, talent, and the thoughtful perspectives Rayland produces live- can be found in the footage we took below:

Over the past couple years Baxter has put together an impressive catalog of well crafted, vivid tales that shimmer with intimacy live. Good music is a part of Baxter's DNA- Rayland is the son of Pedal Steel Guitar legend Bucky Baxter (most notable for his work with Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, and Ryan Adams). Our favorite song of the night came at the end of Baxter's set, it's an uplifting tune that any 27 year-old who finds themselves (full of doubt/worry) at the crossroads of life needs to hear. The track has yet to be titled, but it encapsulates everything dreamers like us need to remember while traveling through life:

RayLand Baxter: Untitled (These Days) -Live

After his set there was no question Rayland Baxter had struck an emotional chord with an audience who predominately came to support the headliner- The Civil Wars. A long line started to form around the merch table, where Rayland signed copies of his EP- the miscaLcuLation of song (an incredible collection of music and formidable package design). A one of a kind moment (and example of Baxter's tremendous character) came as a young boy approached Rayland explaining that this was his first concert ever, and he loved Baxter's set. Without hesitation Rayland gave the boy a free record (which obviously meant the world to the boy- full of surprise and excitement), and Baxter even took the time to sign a personal message on the back of the EP. Coasting on those good vibes, FYM went back inside the theater and took our seats in preparation for The Civil Wars.

The Taylor Swift (twitter approved) harmony filled folk-duo comprised of singer/songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White formed The Civil Wars during a Nashville songwriting session in 2009. Since then they have been blessed with chart-climbing crossover success with 2011's Barton Hollow. Watch the duo's champion vocal beauty shared on 20 years, recorded by FYM live at The Triple Door:

The Civil Wars impressed us with their dominant fan devotion- the sold out crowd was passionate, yet respectful, with everyone in the room seemingly awestruck by the duo's elegant, nurturing sound.

The big surprise of the evening was The Civil Wars decision to put their stamp on two classic tracks. The first cover incorporated into their set was The Smashing Pumpkins masterpiece single- Disarm. Later on in the night they also hammered out a folk/countrified version of the untouchable Michael Jackson jam- Billie Jean (giving the tune a whole new perspective and feel). Both tracks below are streaming recordings from the show (and can't be downloaded).

The Civil Wars: Disarm (Cover) -Live

The Civil Wars: Billie Jean (Cover) -Live

A special thanks goes out to Rayland and The Civil Wars for an unforgettable sonic experience. Both continue on tour together across North America through the end of July, click HERE to view tour dates. Get tickets while you can, as most of these shows are selling out fast! Cheers, FYM. 

Words, Graphics, Photos, Video: J Thomas Codling


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