Bloomin’ Fest features local artist Kirk Baxley

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Published May 15, 2014

By Patrick Lacombe, Journal reporter

Belton has produced many talented people from all walks of life and vocations, and Kirk Baxley and his band are no exception. A talented song writer, musician and singer, he attributes his talents to God and acknowledges that without the Lord, he may have strayed down the wrong path musically.
Before taking the stage at Bloomin’ Festival in Temple last Saturday, he and his band mates and Manager Gabriel Colbert put their arms around each other in a circle and praised God with a prayer. Upon the stage manager’s cue, they then took the stage and started with the song “Times Are Changing.”
The crowd responded enthusiastically to the driving riffs of lead guitarist Brent Williams and the licks from bassist Nick Arbuckle. Drummer Johnathan Bautista hit the skins with the precision of the likes of John Bonham and Keith Moon. As every professional front man does, Baxley involved the audience and entertained with his unique vocals and rhythm guitar.
Baxley’s musical career took off when he was a member of the rock band “Greatness in Tragedy” in the ‘90s and early 2000s. His vocal prowess earned him a spot singing as a guest vocalist with “Blue October” on the soundtrack for the movie Saw III, which came out in 2006.
“We toured with bands like ‘Blue October’ but I felt like lyrically my hands were tied with that genre of music. It was a great learning experience but they wanted a more erotic style of music,” Baxley said. “I felt that being a minister’s son, it was time that I got back to my roots, so I ran with it honestly and lyrically, and I started writing and playing country music, but I like to keep a little bit of that rock edge in our live shows.”
Baxley’s music influences were greats like Johnny Cash, Elvis and Waylon Jennings.
“I like that Rockabilly sound from the 60s and 70s so I try to incorporate it into our music and modernize it,” he said. “Texas country music is a lot about trials and heartaches but coming out on top by doing something positive and allowing the Lord to change you. I use my music for therapy. I write about personal experiences and hope people can take it to heart and realize they are not alone. Without God, everything will fall apart, so we make the Lord our priority, and He is at the forefront of everything we do.”
Baxley and the band are currently touring, and you can catch them tonight at the Rockin Rodeo in Denton at 8 p.m., then on May 24 at All Bottoms Up in Harker Heights. To see the entire tour schedule and order his self-titled album, visit their website at www.kirkbaxley.com.