May 13, 2023
Once again, our May festival kicks us off as our singer/songwriter show. With a talented mix of performers not afraid to create music in their own style, their own way. All veterans of the industry who have been creating music for years, our May #DRMF is delivering you songs that have a mix of past, present, and even a little bit of futuristic with this group of artists.
For the making of his fourth album If I Were a Butterfly, Rayland Baxter holed up for over a year at a former rubber-band factory turned studio in the Kentucky countryside—a seemingly humble environment that proved to be something of a wonderland. “I spent that year living in a barn with the squirrels and the birds, on my own most of the time, and I discovered so much about music and how to create it,” says the Tennessee-bred singer/songwriter. “Instead of going into a studio with a producer for two weeks, I just waited for the record to build itself. I’d get up and go outside, see a butterfly and connect that with some impulsive thought I’d had three months ago, and suddenly a song I’d been working on would make sense. That’s how the whole album came to be.”
After a series of indie record releases, Shawn Mullins’ critical breakthrough came when 1998 Soul’s Core album shot him to fame on the strength of its Grammy-nominated No. 1 hit, “Lullaby” followed by AAA/Americana No. 1 “Beautiful Wreck” from 2006’s 9th Ward Pickin Parlor. His song, “Shimmer” was used in promotion of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and was included on the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack. He co-wrote “All in My Head” which was featured in episode one of the hit TV sitcom “Scrubs.” Mullins also cowrote the Zac Brown Band’s No. 1 country tune “Toes.” In early 2002, he formed super group The Thorns with Matthew Sweet and Peter Droge. Mullins’ most recent album My Stupid Heart, was released in 2015, the theme of which, Mullins says, can be summed up most succinctly by the song title, “It All Comes Down To Love,” the guiding force behind just about every song on the album.
Will Hoge is a mainstay of 21st century rock & roll, carrying the torch for a blue-collar sound rooted in ringing Telecaster guitars and anthemic songwriting. He makes music for roadhouses and rallies, for car stereos and dive-bar jukeboxes, for Saturday night hell-raising and Sunday morning comedowns. In an era of social media influencers looking to fast-track their way to fame, Hoge has proudly taken the long way around, dedicating himself not to the destination, but to the journey itself.