Tim Raybon Band Present “I Could Get Used To This”

Coming to life like the rays of the sun in the early morning, Tim Raybon Band’s I Could Get Used To This hits us in the face with a blistering beat courtesy of “Leaving Cleveland” that instantly makes any melody-lover want to move. In this opening cut, Raybon’s voice is cushioned by a velvety harmony serving as a perfect backdrop to his verses, with every word he sings finding an instrumental extension almost seamlessly. The mystical marriage of flamboyant grooves and melodic ribbonry doesn’t cease as we sink into “Can’t Get Away From This Broken Heart” and its decidedly dreamlike bluegrass counterpart “Sally Johnson,” instead getting more powerful as the record plays on. Tim Raybon Band might not be a household name, but in this LP, he’s certainly performing like he is.


“1959” gushes with a bucolic harmony that is straight out of the retro Nashville playbook, but I wouldn’t call this song a throwback entirely. Next to the rather eclectic “That Reunion,” it doesn’t conceal its influences, but in general, I don’t think any of the material on I Could Get Used To This feels indebted to the past fireworks of legendary bluegrass players now in their graves. “Nothing So Blue” is too romanticized for the conventional country model, and though it’s not as physical as the two tracks preceding it are, it stokes as hearty a flame through its rich rhythm as any of the other songs here do.

If it’s experimentalism that gets you going more than anything else, “Before I Told Mama and Daddy Goodbye” will probably be your favorite track on I Could Get Used To This. It isn’t so much that this song struck me as being a deliberate step away from the mainstream as it flows so much differently than any other composition on the LP. There’s a loveable unevenness to the latter half of this album that makes it so easy to play over and over (especially if you’re as into bluegrass music as I am), and while “Ilene Baker” and the much-less boisterous “Headed Back to Tulsa” invite a bit more energy into the conclusion, they’re just as steeped in classic aesthetics. I Could Get Used To This might not fit into a traditional box, but you’d be crazy to pass up its ten songs simply because of their abstract construct.

Tim Raybon’s new album comes to an end with the fairly calm sway of its title track, but while this song might feel like a gentle wave goodbye, I don’t think it’s going to be the last we hear of this band. In I Could Get Used To This, Raybon reestablishes himself as one of bluegrass’ premier players, and if he can stir up the same momentum for himself as his scene has in general over the past ten years, I think this era of his career will be even more prolific than many expect. I’ve become a big fan of Tim Raybon all over thanks to this record, and once it finds a home on bluegrass radio, I believe my sentiments will be shared by scores of audiences everywhere.

Gwen Waggoner