“I woke up feeling bold as shit” sings Raymond Raposa on the opening track, Allegiance, re-introducing us to the world of an emotive American wanderer.
His most recent project, the first full-length under the name Raymond Byron & the White Freighter, encompasses several different genres, from Country and Americana to Roadhouse Blues and Rock.
Little Death Shaker’s nearly completely live recording transports you to a dive bar that could be somewhere in the Midwest or even in the Deep South, and something about it seems to be intrinsically American. Maybe it’s the playful lyrics or the refreshing sound of a raw recording. Or perhaps it could be the drunken and sinful indulgences that stain much of the set. Most measurably it’s Raposa’s lifestyle and experiences. At 15 he spent four years periodically drifting through North America on grey hound buses later followed by a brief stint as a telemarketer, both of which seem like rites of passage for today’s erratic youth. As Raposa graduates from the Castanets and on to this new project, it seems he too has come of age, and entered a new phase of adulthood.
Standout tracks include Some of My Friends, a cover of Dan Reeder’s You’ll Never Surf Again, and You’re Not Standing Like You Used To featuring Talia Gordon.
Overall, listening to the record is like a live music experience- transformative and transitive. There are moments where Raposa is at risk of alienating his audience with his jam sessions, as with the track Stateline (spanning an entire nine minutes and forty-three seconds), but overall it’s an album worthy of a dedicated listen.