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Kail Baxley: Music From An Amateur Boxer Who Danced For James Brown

Kail Baxley.
Kail Baxley.

When Kail Baxley was a kid growing up in Williston, S.C., James Brown used to challenge him to dance-offs. Baxley didn't win so much. He did better as an amateur boxer — his key to getting out of the small town and traveling to Europe and Africa.

Baxley eventually became as obsessed with playing guitar and writing songs as he was with boxing. In this installment of World Cafe, he discusses how a trip to County Wicklow in Ireland led to the songs on Baxley's full-length debut, Heatstroke/The Wind and the War. Baxley and his band also play tunes from the album and discuss the inspiration behind "The Rebel."

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