Rayland Baxter

Seeing is Believing at The Visulite

Rayland Baxter isn’t black & white. Rayland Baxter isn’t one dimensional. Rayland Baxter certainly isn’t ordinary. Rayland is his own kind, a one-off, a truly magical artist that you need to see to believe.

The Nashville native(which makes him even more special) made his triumphant return to the Queen City, since his last appearance in Charlotte at The Evening Muse.

Most of the world including myself, were introduced to Rayland’s unique characteristics though one of his more popular songs “Yellow Eyes”. I still remember watching through the screen as a man in a Goodyear hat played all the right notes and hit all the right emotions.

After playing a couple of tried and true originals, Rayland’s tribute to another unique artist was one of the highlights of the night. His cover of “Come Back to Earth” by the late Mac Miller drew the crowd close. I took it as not only as as a tribute, but a gesture of respect. Later in the night, a cover by Neil Young was wildly accepted.

I believe very root of Baxters rise to prominence has to do with his carefree nature. He isn’t flashy or egotistic. He doesn’t try too hard to be “different”. He’s there for the music and the people. While other artists erect grandiose stage plots, Rayland comes out on stage amidst a tie dye backdrop, plugs in his Gibson semi hollow-body guitar, and lets the music shine.

We all came out on a Thursday night, not only to see a performance, but to believe in the magic of Baxter.

Baxter, known for his heavy touring, will be on the road through September.

Diamonds and Whiskey.

One of Charlotte’s country gems puts on one hell of a show.

A chilly night in January. Running from car to venue in order not to freeze was a requirement. Once inside, a warm welcome was made to Diamonds and Whiskey as they started their set.

With a kick of the leg on every downbeat, Von Bury(the guitar player for D&W) first caught my eye with his energetic stage presence and ferocious lead tones.

The band started out strong and loud, pairing original songs with some well known cover songs by Kings of Leon and other classic rock icons. When it was time for the energy of the set to come down, it was for good reason.

Jenny Webb(lead singer and guitar player for D&W) announced that they would play a song they had never done before live. The song entitled “hero” was about Jenny’s fight with Lyme disease.

It was honestly my favorite part of the night, showing how such a terrible ordeal can lead to such a moving song. If I didn’t know it was the first time this band had played this song live, I would have thought it had been a staple in their set for years.

After such an emotional & moving song, the band launched back into more original songs with the occasional cover song thrown in. Notably “Buy Me A Boat” by Chris Janson was a welcome surprise.

After the final song had been played, and the lights had come up, I was left with a really great feeling about this band. Their fans are loyal hard-working folks that just want to have a good time, they play no-frills in your face country-rock, and as a band they really gel well together.

I’m glad to see a band that knows how they want to sound & knows where they want to go.

Diamonds & Whiskey was on fire on a cold January night.