Tell us about yourself and your music
My brother and I grew up in the mountains of southern California. Influenced equally by 60s rock and hillbilly bluegrass, we have played independently or in the same bands over the years. Currently our band – the Rayburn Brothers Band – consists of my brother, my son and me, and four others, playing all-original Americana Roots Rock.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My last album is a solo album called “Highway” (Keith Rayburn).
My son decided to produce this album because I had a big backlog of songs the band hadn’t learned yet.
The previous album was a Rayburn Brothers Band work: “Back to California”. Both are available to hear on Spotify.
What inspired you to write this release?
My son Kito offered to record this collection of songs I had accumulated recently, as a way to teach them to the band. In the process, we had a lot of fun recruiting local musicians to add stuff. Once recorded, we decided we might as well put it out as a solo album.
Describe the writing and recording process
Our musician friends came over to the garage and added their parts one by one (after I had laid down the basic song).
In one case, we stumbled upon this super hot fiddler (Toby Weaver, also a member of the band Cordova) in the town of Todos Santos, Mexico. He agreed to add some fiddling, so we recorded him in the hotel room. You can hear him in the songs Highway and Don’t Wanna Miss This Train.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
Coronavirus literally stole the show this year, though we had been scheduled to play all over the Santa Cruz area regularly. We were also supposed to play at a songwriters showcase at South by Southwest in Austin last March – selected for that spot due to one of my songs winning first place in a category of the USA Songwriting Competition. The song, Do What You Do, is on the RBB album Back to California.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
All original songs with distinctly old- school Americana Roots Rock approach but timeless appeal. Very upbeat and danceable but also often sentimental and heartfelt. The audience always has fun and we do too!
Who have you been listening to lately?
Mac Miller. Of course, he’s very different from our style, but I love him. Too bad he’s gone…
Who are your biggest influences?
The Eagles, Johnny Cash, Little Feat, Stevie Wonder, The New Riders of the Purple Sage…. many many others.
Tell us about your passions
- The environment. You will note the song that won in the recent USA Songwriting Contest – “Do What You Do” – is a song I wrote about deforestation, water pollution, climate change, and our responsibility for that, as a plea to take collective and individual action to change our current suicidal environmental course.
What else is happening next in your world?
Trying to keep our music alive during this COVID 19 pandemic. Playing by 2s and 3s in the garage or around campfires. We’re ready whenever we can come back out of the woodwork!
Thanks for an awesome interview, Rayburn Brothers Band