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Rayburn: Rayburn

Gotta love when little labels like Psych of the South unearth from the vaults gems like the unreleased recordings from Rayburn, a practically unknown prog/hard rock band from Little Rock, Arkansas in the early 1970's. Rayburn's tale is one that will sound familiar to anyone who has had a band who came 'this close' to getting signed by a major label, only to have it fall through, leaving the band to fall into obscurity before the world could hear their music. Fast forward more than 30 years to 2009, when Psych of the South got a hold of the Rayburn recordings after the band played a reunion concert, and the resulting CD is now available to the public. While the music of Rayburn is not the most original you will ever hear, if you like acts such as Deep Purple, Gentle Giant, Yes, Iron Butterfly, Starcastle, Mirthrander, Happy the Man, and Vanilla Fudge, chances are you will really enjoy this talented group.

Plenty of Hammond B3 and electric guitar jams going on here, especially on tunes such as "Your Mind", "Got to Get Ready to Die", and "Steam Shuffle", courtesy of Steve Stephens and Jimmy Roberts, who really scratch your itch for the pairings of Lord/Blackmore, Howe/Wakeman, or Minnear/Green.Though none of the tracks are overly heavy, many of them do rock quite a bit, and they are interspersed with the more melodic, atmospheric numbers like "Said, I Love Only You", and "Righteous Man", which have just enough symphonic and folk elements to please the prog rock fans. There's no shortage of jangly, intricate guitar patterns (hence the Yes & Gentle Giant reference), and Stephens also pulls out his piano and Moog a bit as well. Lead vocals are very well done, and shared by the band, and the talented bassist Mack Price and drummer Robbie Carder round out the group. When the band is really on and firing on all cylinders, as they are on the bluesy hard rock of "The Trail is Gone", the Hammond freak out "Saltless Tears", or the psych/prog ramblings of "America", the results are quite fun, and really make you wish the band scored that record deal way back in the day.

As with many of these 'unearthed treasures', don't expect superior sound quality here, but take this for what it is, a little slice of history from a solid little band that never quite made it. With a neat booklet featuring the bands history and plenty of photos, this is a great piece of prog/hard rock history for all those interested to savor for years to come.

Track Listing
1. Your Mind (Doubt)
2. Got to Get Ready to Die
3. Steam Shuffle
4. Said, I Love Only You
5. Righteous Man
6. Songbird
7. See My Eyes
8. The Trail is Gone
9. Your Mind (Doubt) version 2
10. America
11. Saltless Tears
12. Hey Friend
13. Working My Way Upstream
14. Your Mind (Doubt) version 3

Added: November 29th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Psych of the South
Hits: 4253
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Rayburn: Rayburn
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-04 10:58:35
My Score:

At 51, and devoted fan of prog for 40 of those years, to say the reunion of Rayburn concert was beyond thrilling. I am fortunate enough to own the CD from the 70s many years now. What was really a thrill was to see the sons of the original members performing with them.
I get to play music with Robbie weekly and was blown away by the talent of their sons! Check out Robbie's facebook for a sample of the concert.

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