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KaiL Baxley grew up in the small backwater town of Williston in Barnwell County, South Carolina, the birthplace and stomping grounds of the late great soul legend James Brown, with whom KaiL shared an unlikely friendship as a child. “Yeah, James used to say, ‘Boy you bein’ good?’ I’d say, ‘Yes sir.’ He’d say, ‘You know you doin’ wrong! Nah, show me your moves lil’ man!’ And we’d have a little dance off. I’m pretty sure he always won, ha, ha. There’s something about the groove of James Brown that has always stayed with me.”
An accomplished athlete in his youth, winning many amateur boxing titles including, Golden Gloves and The Junior Olympic Regional Championships, the idea of playing music only arrived to KaiL after his godfather, a former band director, bought him a guitar for high school graduation. He never put it down. After years of singing for his supper across the South, Europe and parts of Africa, KaiL found himself in California with hopes of composing music for film scores. A chance meeting with engineer/ producer Eric Corne convinced him to write a record of his own. Within a few months, the two were in the late Elliott Smith’s New Monkey Studio with some of LA’s finest musicians. The result is his debut effort, a double EP drawing heavily on both the literary and musical influences of his Irish/Southern roots.
It’s quite a ride all the way through.
“It’s as if he tells his life story through this Victorian veil with the haunting, indie folk of The Wind and the War EP. Then, he flips on this switch for the HeatStroke EP and drops us in ‘The Dirty South’, mixing blues, hip-hop, gospel and soul with a swagger all his own…” – Eric Corne (Walter Trout, Lucinda Williams, DeVotchKa)
“These moody shuffles, haunting gospel-workouts and bluesy testimonials are lush, knowing and wise. Absolute perfection!” – Alex Green, Editor Caught In The Carousel
“His voice and his songs are simply arresting! They have a way of haunting you to the bone.” – David Tyson (Joe Cocker, Hall & Oats)