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: His father, an outlaw who he only met a few times but insists is a good man. His mother, who he visited on Sundays at the state penitentiary as a child. Mom's fellow inmate James Brown (yes, the James Brown), who sang at that prison’s church and taught a shy Baxley how to dance. His grandfather, whose anecdotes and wisdom Baxley will be quoting for the rest of his days. Finally, there’s the Haitian refugee who along with his hometown's best guitarist, the local car mechanic, taught him the basics of rhythm and blues.
Second, there’s the stories which Baxley’s hesitant to share, the stories hidden behind his poignant, timeless songwriting. A Golden Glove boxing champion's dream of fighting for the US olympic team sidetracked by a run in with the law. The gunshot wound on his left shoulder he probably will never mention. The fact that he supported himself as a teenager by digging graves for the local funeral home and working the watermelon fields of his hometown in the rural South Carolina heartland. The loss of not one but two parents to drug overdose. Most recently his mother since his last album release “A light that never dies”.
Third, how he drove across the country to LA without much more than a guitar and 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.
Now on the cusp of releasing his third and most accomplished album “Beneath the Bones,” Baxley delivers again. The self-produced album recorded at the late Elliot Smith’s New Monkey Studio, HAS Studios in Charleston, SC and United Studios in Los Angeles, California is both prophetic and profound.
Beneath the Bones will be released in early 2020 via Antifragile Records.