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From Ranching to a Traveling Troubadour

In his early 20’s, Memphis-born musician Rob Baird was following his dream of managing a ranch.  While in college in Texas, the “young, affable charmer” (SPIN) was reminiscing a speech he’d heard in high school from songwriter Rivers Rutherford (“Ain’t Nothing ’bout You,” “When I Get Where I’m Going,” “Living In Fast Forward”) when he had an epiphany, realizing he was more fulfilled by music than chasing cattle.  Both offering their own struggles, he left a ranch management program and took hold to storytelling.  RB_cover_400_400_s_c1

Equally inspired by bluesmen he watched when he skipped school in Memphis, evenings spent out West, and his love for Lucinda Williams on vinyl, the “cathartic” (Rolling Stone Country) musician’s 10-track Wrong Side of the River autobiography will release May 13 via Hard Luck Recording Company.  Recorded in a garage with no mixing board, inexpensive microphones and hungry musicians, Baird closes the album with “Cowboy Cliche,” an open-ended statement on seeking freedom while trying to stay true to his roots.

You can check out that tune now airing in episode 6 of Netflix’s “The Ranch” (Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Sam Elliot and Debra Winger):

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