Rayland Baxter performs in The Current studio

Rayland Baxter performs "Yellow Eyes" off the album Imaginary Man live in the studios of 89.3 The Current. (MPR)
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Rayland Baxter In-studio (full session + interview)
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| 00:21:47
  • Rayland Baxter In-studio (full session + interview) 21:47
  • Rayland Baxter - Oh My Captain (Live on The Current) 03:35
  • Rayland Baxter - Mr. Rodriquez (Live on The Current) 03:52
  • Rayland Baxter - Yellow Eyes (Live on The Current) 03:47

"I wasn't into [playing music] until I got into it," says Rayland Baxter in The Current studio. "I was just a hippie jock running around in the creek, playing in the mountains and playing soccer and lacrosse."

But when Baxter tore both his ACLs, the Nashville-based musician found himself intertwined in the roots of his father, Bucky Baxter, a well-known multi-instrumentalist who has played with R.E.M., Bob Dylan and Steve Earle. Rayland first learned how to play the Grateful Dead and started a cover band called Ralph and the Movers with his moving company colleagues – a 6'8" drummer who sang in the children's choir on Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" and a three-fingered bass player.

Baxter has come a long way since he moved (back) to Nashville seven years ago. Ahead of his performance at the State Theatre opening for Grace Potter, Rayland Baxter and his band—Mr. Jimmy Rowland (keys), Matt Musty (drums), Tyler Osmond (bass) and Jaan Cohan (guitar)—stopped by The Current to perform live in-studio and to chat with Mark Wheat.

Rayland was impressed to hear that the last time Grace Potter was in town she performed on stage with the Rolling Stones – a clear career highlight for any musician. Rayland's career highlight thus far? Opening for Lauryn Hill. After playing the Electric Forest Festival together last year, Hill and her booking manager, much to his surprise, asked Baxter and his band to open for her for three shows on an upcoming tour.

Listen to the full in-studio to hear Rayland chat with Mark Wheat about his new album, how he stumbled upon the story of Rodriguez—the inspiration for track one on Imaginary Man—and his memories of the Twin Cities.

Songs Performed

"Oh My Captain"
"Mr. Rodriquez"
"Yellow Eyes"

All songs off Rayland Baxter's latest album, Imaginary Man, out now on ATO Records.

Hosted by Mark Wheat
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Corey Schreppel and Dan Mariska
Web feature by Leah Garaas