i’ve always been a fan of the country/soul/folk thing and the intersection where they all meet musically. most of the time, i’ll drift towards almost any genre that has soul, some rhythm and heart to it. stuff like tony joe white, charlie rich, bobby charles, ray charles singing country & western, lyle lovett singing with al green, elvis singing the jerry butler/gamble & huff jawn “only the strong survive,” dusty in memphis, larry jon wilson, dan penn, bobbie gentry and johnny jenkins. take it one step further: throw in some jesse winchester, ry cooder (back in the day), lowell and little feat into the mix, and you’ve got a comfort zone of super soulful rich music. i drop this laundry list as a means to introduce you to kaiL baxley, a singer-songwriter from barnwell, south carolina (based in los angeles) who releases his debut double EP, HeatStroke/The Wind And The War, on February 5th. the album reminds me a little of all those forementioned above and it’s knocked my socks off. “say goodbye to the night,” (download it below) is simply enthralling, a slow burner that showcases baxley’s moodier, contemplative side. helps that he sounds a bit like bill withers, too. the song reminds me a bit of danny o’keefe’s classic “angel spread your wings”, one of the greatest “singer-songwriter” songs from the 70’s not heard by many people (although some of you may remember O’Keefe’s “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues”). but i digress. baxley’s made a fantastic record that draws on soul and country and acoustic music. the first “side” showcases his more soulful chops; the flip side is a singer-songwriter fan’s wet dream. seriously. i’m stuck on this one.