The benefit of having two albums and, effectively, a doubled output is not lost on Nashville singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter.
"I spent the last three years doing 45-minute sets, so with two albums under my belt now, I can play two and a half hours, really," Baxter says by phone from a tour stop in New York City. And he was especially happy to have "Imaginary Man" come out last August after sitting on it longer than he would have liked.
"When it came out it had been done for almost a year," says Baxter, whose father, William "Bucky" Baxter is also a musician who's played with Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Rochester Adams High School alumnus Joe Henry and others. "I had been touring the entire time, playing these songs, learning to play them.
"And that was a bonus, too. It took a year from the time we were done recording for me and the guys I'm playing with to see how we can play (the songs). And now that it's time for people to hear them, they're kind of shocked. They're like, 'Man, the live show is way better than the album' which is exactly what I want them to say."
"Imaginary Man" also provides Baxter with some extra assurance that he made the right career choice. Despite his father's influence (his parents divorced when he was young) Baxter didn't start playing music until he was 20 and didn't write his first songs for another five years. Even on his 2013 debut "Feathers and Fishhooks" he acknowledges that "I had no idea what I was doing the studio."
He still considers it "a neat little album," but "Imaginary Man" is more to his liking.
"I'm still forming, too," Baxter adds. "If you look at it like a house made of bricks, this (album) would be the second brick. And each brick shapes a little bit more of what my stance is, my posture with music and songwriting and performing. The idea is to just keep building that house and making it better and stronger with each brick."
Rayland Baxter and Margaret Glaspy
Wednesday, Feb. 10. Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.
Tickets are $12.
Call 248-544-3030 or visit themagicbag.com.
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