Rayland Baxter

104.7 The Point welcomes

Rayland Baxter

Illiterate Light

Fri, Feb 01, 2019

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Higher Ground Ballroom

$15 advance | $18 day of show

This event is all ages

Rayland Baxter
Rayland Baxter
Thoreau had Walden Pond. Kerouac had Big Sur. Rayland Baxter? He had an old rubber band factory in Franklin, Kentucky, and it suited him just fine. As one of the hardest-touring artists on the road today, Baxter’s spent most of his professional life in transit, but ever since he was a kid, he dreamed of creative seclusion someplace lonely and isolated, somewhere he could sit still and devote his every waking hour to writing without interruption or distraction. When the opportunity finally presented itself in late 2016, the Nashville native pounced.

“I packed everything in my van and moved to Franklin for three months,” says Baxter. “It was the fist time I ever got to be alone and focus solely on songs like that. All I did was write, write, write all day every day. I was obsessed.”

By the time Baxter emerged, he’d penned more than 50 tunes and crafted a detailed blueprint for his spectacular new album, ‘Wide Awake.’ Deftly produced by Butch Walker, the record infuses Baxter’s easygoing, soulful sound with British Invasion melodies and rock and roll swagger, marrying lean, muscular songwriting with adventurous, inventive arrangements. It’s a cutting, insightful collection, one that takes a sardonic view the violence, greed, and division that seem to define the modern American landscape. Rather than point a finger, though, the music holds up a mirror, offering a sober reflection of the times thoughtfully bundled in bright, infectious hooks. There’s no judgment here, only keen observation, and Baxter implicates himself as much as his neighbor through it all.

“This is an album about decision making,” he explains. “It’s about being a human at the crossroads. Do I do good or do I do evil? Do I lie or do I tell the truth? Am I going to be happy or am I going to be sad? All of these questions and emotions are things I see in myself, and they’re the same things I see in everyone else no matter where I go.”

Baxter’s built a career on capturing those sorts of timeless, deeply human sentiments, bringing colorful characters to vivid life with equal parts humor and pathos. His debut album, ‘feathers & fishhooks,’ was a critical hit praised by Interview for its “well-worn maturity,” while NPR described “Yellow Eyes,” the lead single from his 2015 follow-up, ‘Imaginary Man,’ as “close-to-perfect.” Stereogum dubbed the record “an impeccable sophomore break-out,” and Rolling Stone hailed its pairing of “whimsical narrative with often deceptively complex arrangements.” The music earned Baxter festival appearances from Bonnaroo to Newport Folk in addition to tours with an astonishing array of artists, including Jason Isbell, The Lumineers, Kacey Musgraves, The Head and The Heart, Shakey Graves, Lauryn Hill, and Grace Potter.
Illiterate Light
Formed in the summer of 2015, Illiterate Light transcend expectations of typical rock music through their limitations as a duo. Jeff Gorman elevates his gritty guitar melodies and honest lyricism by stomping out thunderous synth bass with his feet as Jake Cochran layers lush vocal harmony and explodes with body convulsing energy around his minimalist standing drum kit. Gorman and Cochran’s incessant writing, commanding live performance, and constant touring promise a bright future as they finish their debut album with Vance Powell (Jack White, Kings of Leon, Chris Stapleton) and Adrian Olsen (Foxygen, Natalie Prass). “Better Than I Used To” is the first taste of what’s to come from Illiterate Light.


Spanning the better part of a decade, the creative evolution between Gorman and Cochran is far from ordinary. The duo has run an organic farm in the Shenandoah Valley, toured the mid-Atlantic in bands by bicycle, and lived in small communities while pursuing modes of alternative education. Their eclectic background is mirrored in their sound and lyricism, floating between postmodern confusion and vibrant optimism. Though shaped by the DIY music scene of their hometown Harrisonburg VA, the duo has grown immensely through immersion in the thriving communities of both Richmond, VA and Nashville, TN.
Venue Information:
Higher Ground Ballroom
1214 Williston Road
South Burlington, VT, 05403
http://www.highergroundmusic.com/