It was no surprise to see a nearly full house this Friday for singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter. After all, not only is his style of alt-country immediately infectious, but many XPN fans got a chance to see him rock the Susquehanna Bank Main Center Stage in support of Grace Potter this summer at the XPoNential Music Festival.
Baxter brought the same kind of playful, easy-going energy to open this week’s Free at Noon, opening with “Olivia” from his debut album Feathers & Fishhooks before moving into his some of the singles, like “Ms. Rodriguez” and “Yellow Eyes” from his latest album Imaginary Man.
Baxter’s set slid effortlessly between light, easy-breezy alt-county and edgy and rough down-home swamp rock. Baxter and his more than qualified backing band went on some long, whirling instrumental solos that had the World Cafe Live swaying in harmony. He even slowed it down for one particularly personal song, “Oh My Captain” about his time spent in Israel.
Rayland Baxter is surely growing into himself as an artist as moves through his second record and the crowd at World Cafe Live during this Friday’s Free at Noon got a change to see a musician whose confident songwriter will only continue to grow in coming years. Baxter is playing a stripped down show tonight at Main Street Music and will be coming back to World Cafe Live on Saturday, January 30. Listen back to the Free at Noon below and check out a gallery and the setlist below.