Band: Rayburn

CD Title: “Rayburn”

Band Website:

Label: Psych of the South Records

Release Date: 2009


I’d like you to set your the time machine to the early seventies…maybe even the late sixties so that you can check out a band from Arkansas calledRayburn. Imagine the time where prog was just morphing out from its psychedelic cocoon. Groups of all stripes were excited about experimenting with new instruments and incorporating new styles of music and all the while getting away from the standard 3-minute pop song. Rayburn was one of those bands that never got their fair share of attention, until now that is. The quartet consisted of Mack Price (bass, vocals), Jimmy Roberts (guitar, vocals, piano), Robbie Carder (drums, vocals) and Steve Stephens (Hammond B3, piano, Moog, vocals). 


TheRayburn CD has been lovingly assembled by the good folks at Psych of the South and is made up of 14 tracks that cover the full range of music produced by the band. Call it Proto-prog if you like but it’s prog that in many respects resembles the music of early Yes, both in terms of guitar style, organ sounds and arrangements. Still Rayburn were able to inject a lot of their own feel into these compositions and some of the material has more in common with the fading psychedelic era especially some of the guitar and vocal styles. Length of songs here is all over the map. While the band could write a 2 or 3 minute pop tune, they weren’t afraid to stretch out and some of the songs are over six or eight minutes.  The Yes influence is most obvious on track one “Your Mind” [3:13] in particular the way the guitar is played and also how the song is arranged. However it’s the vocals that confirm the song as part of Rayburn’s repertoire as they sound nothing like Yes. This track even appears three times here in slightly different versions. The band was not shy about experimenting with adventurous arrangements and song structure. Even some of the shorter tracks provide numerous musical change-ups. Most of these tracks were written and recorded in the very early seventies and feature that distinctive bass, guitar and organ as the up-front musical sounds that will certainly take you back to the early days of the progressive rock movement.


If you enjoy digging into the past and listening to music that never had the chance to be heard when it was originally made, this is definitely a disc you need to get your hands on. To my ears Rayburn was yet another band who never had the opportunity to reach a wider audience which is too bad because the music for its day was really good. The musicianship was quite accomplished, even adventurous and certainly deserves our attention now that it’s available on CD. This is early styled prog at its best; with no pretense other than the desire to create music that was out of the mainstream. And on that score Rayburn is 100% successful! This is a great disc.