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Review of “Back to California” by The Equal Ground, Indie Music Reviews

Rayburn Brothers Band

Back To California
self-released; 2013

3.7 out of 5

By Ted Rogen
The next time you want to hear an album with pristine production just pop in Back To California by Rayburn Brothers Band. Everything from the guitars to the drums to the vocals fit perfectly in their own pocket. Production and recording quality are important factors when assessing an album but above all else it needs to have substantial songs, which have some sort of emotional impact. I’m happy to say that Back To California also succeeds in that department as well. The songs often combine elements of rock, country and pop in an accessible – dare I say -commercial appeal.

There’s a distinct country twang within the vocals while the guitars, bass, drums, etc. often blend various genres creating an appealing array of sounds. The album starts off with a song that doesn’t waste anytime getting into the heart and the soul of the music entitled “Go Down Easy.” It’s an immediately likeable song that combines bright electric guitars, organ and bass. The verse was catchy but the chorus is even more infectious as the vocal melody feel familiar while original.

The second track “Te Propongo” is a change in pace and contains an almost mariachi style guitar, a mix of Spanish and English lyrics as well as a surplus of vocal harmonies. It creates a chill, relaxing atmosphere and ended up being one of the highlights on the album.

There are thirteen tracks on this album and it was hard to find one that didn’t seem radio friendly. Take for the example “The Wave,” which has a near perfect blend of nostalgia, hope, optimism and melancholy or “Lonely Train,” which has a vocal melody that seems conducive to a sing-a-long. On “Laura’s Dream” Rayburn Brothers Band display that they don’t need more than an acoustic guitar to create an impactful sound. Closer “Do What You Do’” is subdued yet somehow festive and upbeat.

Back To California is an enjoyable album and will resonate most with fans of bands like the Eagles, Jimmy Buffet, Santana and Neil Young.

2014 gigs

We’ve been getting a variety of interesting gigs this year. From our bang up- rocking release party at the Kuumbwa to lively Otter Cafe in Morro Bay, it’s been fun. We loved the atmosphere at Keith Holland Guitars, “The Woodshed” in Los Gatos and we are looking forward to San Gregorio General Store, a funky, good natured place to play. Good Old Days Festival in Pacific Grove is always a blast. We’re throwing in some acoustic gigs with just brothers Craig and Keith doing their famous harmonies and a great 4th of July party. We’re hoping to see you at some of these, bring on the good cheer!

CD Release Kuumbwa Jazz Center Santa Cruz, January 4-Ticket Link!

2013-cd-Back-to-California-9-16-2013-front

Here’s the link on Brown Paper Tickets to our upcoming CD Release Party on January 4, 2014 at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/534773