BAKER
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BAKER

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The corporate music industry is over. Radio is no longer the source for music. MTV? Forget it, unless you're into not so real reality shows with young thugs punching out girls on the Jersey Shore.

And yet… the 2000's are shaping up to be a good time for music again. The Zac Brown Band is getting it done. "Pass The Jar…Live From The Fabulous Fox Theater," their follow up to "The Foundation" is great, and have you seen the edition of CMT's Crossroads that has been running on Palladia featuring Brown and Jimmy Buffett? It is killer. Seek it out.

Santana is on the road with special guest Steve Winwood this summer. Both Gogol Bordello and Flogging Molly have new CD's out.

Finally there's some real music that's real good. Another example of this comes from an Illinois dude who now resides in California named Baker. His new CD can hold its own with all of the artists above. It is titled "Baker" and it is nothing short of incredible.

It's not easy to write about a new artist without comparing their music to others. Way back when there was Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds…from those bands the careers of Neil Young and Poco evolved, and then there was The Eagles and on and on right up to now with Baker. He is next in line with music makers from that great American rock country tradition.

The striking, no-nonsense cover photo of the man looking you right in the eye is a perfect representation for the straight-to-your-soul music on the inside. Every cut in this collection is a gem. First line, first cut… "She can cry real good…she can make me feel bad"…and we are off and running with "Why I'm Leavin," and our first taste of the artist's clear, easy on the ear vocal style. Reminds you of the pre-millionaire Eagles when they were still pure and hungry.

When you hear the line, "Slide along the cutting edge…someone's gonna bleed," from "Your Mistakes," you realize that Baker can write too. The cut features his great lead vocal and harmonies that rival Poco at their apogee.

"My Kinda Girl" is a tune Joe Ely would have been proud to have recorded. A just damn pretty vocal and mandolin by Michael Lennon kick it off. Mix in the vocal harmony/guitar filled sound and lyrics and…well, just turn it up. "Rain" is a Glenn Frey-type ballad, a potential Grammy award winner. Then, "What's Going On" …..here Baker gets down to his roots on this Garth Brooks meets Poco kind of song.

It's followed by "Ride." Wow, if Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band were still on the scene this is what they would sound like….Nelson…with a little Steve Wariner… and Neil Young ….can you hear it? See what I'm saying? Maybe America if they ever let it rip. Just trying to describe the indescribable here. "Ride" is what this artist is all about. The cut is his first classic.

"Left Out of Nowhere" is another hit. It's good as any, and better than most of the Eagles greatest hits. Yeah, that's what I wrote.

When "Last Saturday Night" began and I thought hold on…this ain't Poco…this ain't no Neil Young deal…this is chicken-fried Stones! Jagger would have loved to wrap his lips around these lyrics: "Now its 3 AM…took the bartender home…She's a dirty blonde with a black skirt on." In the middle of this scorcher, Baker and Isaiah Mitchell do a killer guitar tribute to Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards. Just when I had this CD figured out it tossed me this real cool musical curve.

Then the humid and sticky Creedence Clearwaterish funk sound of "Expectations." If you loved the Fogerty brothers you'll love this. If you don't get the reference just remember it's always new for someone, so turn it up and enjoy the trip. Listen how the guy uses the word polite and Harley in the same line….genius.

The last cut "U" brings us in for a mellow landing. Starts off with just an acoustic guitar and solo vocal singing, "Palm trees and ocean breeze, one more Margarita please." It reminds us that Neil was young once and the torch has been passed.

Everyone involved in this project performs brilliantly. To single out a few, there's Anthony Crawford on steel guitar. He's worked with Neil Young and Vince Gill. Then there's the co-writer/engineer/producer Andy Acklang who has worked with The Eagles, Eric Clapton and Willie Nelson. These guys brought everything they've ever done or learned to this new CD. Its obvious Baker has decided to surround himself with the best, but the deal is these guys decided to work with him as well. Neil Young, Vince Gill, Eagles, Clapton, Willie….Baker…you see what I'm saying here?

Bottom line…Baker is on the scene. Can't promise he'll save the day, but now at least we've got a shot. If you only do one thing for yourself this week buy this CD. It will clear your head and make you feel good knowin' that despite the cookie cutter, over-produced noise that is so often fed to us today there is still real music being created. They say the truth will set you free. Baker is close to the truth you're gonna get in 2010.

You can purchase Baker's new CD at cdbaby.com

Check out his website at www.bakersongs.com - CD Review by Ray D'Ariano


A lot of people can be overheard in bars asking each other “what is country music these days?” A good question, but try this one on for size instead. What is Americana music at all? I have heard countless descriptions of what this genre and style is and no two are the same but they all have the same spirit behind them, Americana isn’t about a genre or about what’s popular, it is about playing what you feel and singing about what you know. Then by that account Baker is Americana and he proudly displays it throughout his new Self-Titled album. His southern rockin’ country vibes are spread throughout the album and even when he slows things down a bit he just can’t help but to still carry that rock vibe as he shows with cuts like “Left Out Of Nowhere.” His country roots are proudly put on display throughout “What’s Goin’ On” where he sings of shooting old beer cans, cooking ribs on the Bar-b-que, and of course that trusty old John Deere and mowing the lawn. But he also explores the realism of a Saturday night for some guys out there on “Last Saturday Night,” where he very candidly recounts an evening spent with biker girls, strip clubs, and a lot of beer. His well-crafted lyrics throughout the album paint perfect pictures not only of life, but rather the moments within’ it. So what is Americana? By Baker’s standards it is singing about true life, love, and all the things in between which make people who they are as he shows us throughout this album. - Today's Country Magazine


Discography

(Nashville, TN)…Nashville based recording artist BAKER recently returned from a summer tour which included numerous shows in Little Rock, Hot Springs, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Southern California. Baker’s debut single, Why I’m Leaving, is currently impacting Americana radio stations nationwide and is receiving airplay around the world: including Amsterdam, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, among others.

In California, BAKER’s live shows were extremely well received in Studio City, Santa Monica and San Diego. He even teamed-up with Harley Davidson of San Diego for a Freedom Ride -- leading the motorcycle ride and headlining the following rally -- to benefit the Wounded Warrior Foundation. In Los Angeles, BAKER stopped by ASCAP’s offices to visit with Josh Briggs and also signed a Publishing Administration deal with McJames Music.

"I'd been talking with co-owner Steven McClintock for several months about signing with McJames,” says Baker. “Our personal relationship goes back several years so I’m very comfortable with him. I’m really excited about making this move with my song catalogue." Based in Southern California, McJames Music is well known for consistent song placement in television and movies along with its’ diverse catalogue of songs which have been recorded by a variety of artists since the early ‘80s.

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Bio

A lot of people can be overheard in bars asking each other “what is country music these days?” A good question, but try this one on for size instead. What is Americana music at all? I have heard countless descriptions of what this genre and style is and no two are the same but they all have the same spirit behind them, Americana isn’t about a genre or about what’s popular, it is about playing what you feel and singing about what you know. Then by that account Baker is Americana and he proudly displays it throughout his new Self-Titled album. His southern rockin’ country vibes are spread throughout the album and even when he slows things down a bit he just can’t help but to still carry that rock vibe as he shows with cuts like “Left Out Of Nowhere.” His country roots are proudly put on display throughout “What’s Goin’ On” where he sings of shooting old beer cans, cooking ribs on the Bar-b-que, and of course that trusty old John Deere and mowing the lawn. But he also explores the realism of a Saturday night for some guys out there on “Last Saturday Night,” where he very candidly recounts an evening spent with biker girls, strip clubs, and a lot of beer. His well-crafted lyrics throughout the album paint perfect pictures not only of life, but rather the moments within’ it. So what is Americana? By Baker’s standards it is singing about true life, love, and all the things in between which make people who they are as he shows us throughout this album.