KaiL Baxley’s songs cut right to the bone for many reasons, so pay attention. First, there’s the cast of characters from the deep south, who he carries with him every day. There’s his father, an outlaw who he only met twice but insists is a good man. Then there’s his mother, who he visited on sundays at the state penitentiary as a child. And her fellow inmate James Brown (yes, the James Brown) who sang at that prison’s church and taught a shy Baxley how to dance. And there's his grandfather, whose anecdotes and wisdom Baxley will be quoting ad infinitum. Finally, there’s the best guitar player he's ever met: his small town's local mechanic.
Second, there’s the stories which Baxley’s hesitant to share, the stories hidden behind his poignant, timeless songwriting. A Golden Glove boxing champions dream of fighting for the US olympic team and a string of football scholarships sidetracked by a run-in with the law. The gunshot wound on his left shoulder he probably will never mention. The loss of a close friend honored in his devastating song “Chasing James Dean.” How Baxley drove across the country to LA without much more than a guitar. How he humbly slept in an RV for 2 years on Selma blvd in order to pay for his first record Heat Stroke / The Wind and The War. And how, astonishingly, that record, a soul wrenching mash of gospel, soul, blues and damn good songwriting, went on to be nominated as album of the year by NPR.
Then there's his second record that’s better than the first: “A Light that Never Dies.” Released July 2015, KCRW and NPR snuck in as early adopters, hailing the album a true reflection of Baxley’s greatest talent: seeing beauty in our darkest of moments. A few modest triumphs followed: sold out shows with Michael Kiwanuka, Marlon Williams, KT Tunstall, receiving his first encore at the revered Troubadour as an opening act, clocking in 1 million streams on spotify simply by word of mouth and performing to 10,000 awe stricken new fans at Edmonton Folk festival.
Early 2017, Baxley continues his slow-burn legacy with two new singles “Killin’ Floor” and “High on the Moon.” Recruiting Gus Seyffert to produce (Beck, Black Keys), the new tunes carry on Baxley’s signature breathtaking voice and heart wrenching lyrics.