Rayland Baxter “If I Were A Butterfly” Out November 4th
If I Were A Butterfly, out November 4 is the fourth studio album from Rayland Baxter. The album examines loss and existential ruminations on happiness and freedom and was completed in the wake of his father, the legendary Bucky Baxter’s (Bob Dylan’s longtime pedal steel player and member of Steve Earle’s Dukes) passing. His late father appears on the album along with a host of collaborators including Shakey Graves, Zac Cockrell of Alabama Shakes, members of Cage the Elephant, Stella, Rose, Morning Teleportation’s Travis Goodwin, and legendary Motown drummer Miss Bobbye Hall, among many others. If I Were A Butterfly was in large part recorded while Baxter was living alone at Thunder Sound, an abandoned rubber-band factory turned studio in Kentucky with later sessions taking place in California, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.
The Nashville eccentric and ever-evolving journeyman’s most recent release was Good Mmornin, a tribute to the late Mac Miller. Prior to that he released three full-length studio albums – Wide Awake, Imagainery Man, feathers & fishHooks and the EP ashkeLON. Rayland Baxter will be on tour throughout 2022 and 2023. Full tour dates are below. “Baxter tends to keep his references oblique, working his commentary into the fabric of storytelling that leaves equal space for love songs and humorous vignettes,” said Rolling Stone. Popmatters notes that “the amount of craft evident in Baxter’s lyricism borders on breathtaking at times.” It’s this wit and songcraft that is so front and center on If I Were A Butterfly, Baxter’s most fully evolved and wisest body of work to date, but it also bears the sonic freedom of someone who’s got nothing left to lose.
For the making of his fourth album If I Were a Butterfly, Rayland Baxter holed up for over a year at a former rubber-band factory turned studio in the Kentucky countryside—a seemingly humble environment that proved to be something of a wonderland. “I spent that year living in a barn with the squirrels and the birds, on my own most of the time, and I discovered so much about music and how to create it,” says the Tennessee-bred singer/songwriter. “Instead of going into a studio with a producer for two weeks, I just waited for the record to build itself. I’d get up and go outside, see a butterfly and connect that with some impulsive thought I’d had three months ago, and suddenly a song I’d been working on would make sense. That’s how the whole album came to be.”
Even in its most somber moments, If I Were a Butterfly wholly fulfills Baxter’s mission of imparting a certain purposeful joy. “It’s been a weird few years, but I think the big picture is for us to just exist and find love and be loved, and try to see that all the daily bullshit is simply bugs on the windshield,” says Baxter. “I hope that this album makes people feel the way I do whenever I listen to my favorite records, and that it gives them a platform to dream on.”
Nov 4 – Nashville, TN – Grimey’s in-storeNov 5 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal WestNov 6 – Charleston, SC – The WindjammerNov 11 – Nashville, TN – Brooklyn BowlNov 16 – New York – Brooklyn MadeNov 18 – Philadelphia, PA – Ardmore Music HallNov 19 – Washington D.C – The HamiltonJan 14 – Portland OR – Portland’s Folk Fest