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Rayland Baxter On World Cafe

The first single off Rayland Baxter's latest album Wide Awake is about a dysfunctional relationship. That's a near-universal truth we can appreciate. However, when you learn the woman's name is Sallie Mae, you realize he's not singing about a human being, but instead, the giant student loan corporation. That's how you get closer to the heart of Rayland Baxter.

As a songwriter, Rayland's got a way of twisting those near-universal truths into new ideas and songs. You can hear that on Wide Awake — a slick mix of power pop, rock, folk and even a little glam — recorded with producer Butch Walker.

Rayland's father is Bucky Baxter, a well known musician who has worked with Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and R.E.M. In this session, Rayland talks about his musical upbringing, the impact spending time in a Baltimore jail cell had on him and how he embraced a career in music. Hear it all in the player.

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