Geoff Baker
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Geoff Baker

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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"Geoff Baker, live at Bear's Place"

On his breakthrough release, "Patriot Acts," New Jersey singer-songwriter Geoff Baker brought a razor-sharp wit and good-natured humor as well as a touching empathy to the folk protest song arena, elevating his songs above the standard rhetoric. These qualities permeate Geoff's latest collection of songs, "Know the Rain Here," which applies this same flawless songwriting to a wide range of areas of the human experience. -

"Geoff Baker"

As the song ends, Geoff Baker lifts his eyes from the ground and apologizes. “Sorry, I completely messed that one up.” Maybe it was because he was looking at the floor; maybe it’s because the Spook Handy Show, the quiet and mellow Jersey spot for catching talented and underappreciated acts, happens to take place in a dark and mildly dingy basement (namely, The Corner Tavern in New Brunswick); maybe it’s just because he’s nervous. Whatever the reason, Geoff doesn’t seem to realize that his disclaimer is bordering on ridiculous. Jaws have dropped and eyes have focused on his lanky and clearly uncomfortable form, unable to reconcile this image with the being that just executed a deftly beautiful rendition of his latest tune, without a trace of self-consciousness. Every time I’ve seen Geoff perform I would have been thoroughly amused by this phenomenon were my faculties not already being monopolized by awe. He displays a rare combination of effortless fingerpicking, mesmerizing vocals, deep lyrics and beautiful melodies. Combined with his talent for maintaining a perspective on the overall structure and function of his songs, Geoff’s performances become nothing short of unforgettable, recalling timeless characters like Nick Drake and current innovators such as LA’s Gary Jules. His recordings are particularly impressive for their ability to capture his live energy and elaborate on it with delicately balanced and expansive orchestrations.

Geoff’s wry wit comes through in his description of his musical history as much as it does in his lyrics and web content ( He began singing with his church-going family who “always tried to harmonize and sometimes got it right.” He first tasted the frustration of coming into his musicianship when he realized the finger positions he had worked out “string by string” on a borrowed battered guitar were actually chords that had already been discovered and widely accepted. Later, he attributes a fair portion of his musical heritage to collaborations and encouragement from a friend who died tragically in a 2001 plane crash. It was Doug who had pushed Geoff to record all of his songs, so he would remember them. He honored this suggestion in a Berlin recording studio months later. Though he did not find much value in the material itself, it gave Geoff his first opportunity to develop a sense for constructing songs, layering harmonies and balancing instruments. Until late in the summer of 2002, however, his act still consisted predominantly of cover songs. It wasn’t until the fall of that year that he began consistently performing his original material.

Flash forward to late 2004: we are currently amidst a period of furious development within Geoff’s career. He is currently wrapping up a German tour to return to the US for the release of his third album since August (yes, of this year). That was when he put forth his first offering, "Songs in the Key of Loooop," recorded in association with the Dutch band, De Loooop. This album weaves Geoff’s distinctive songwriting style into a clever blend of acousticality, distortion and drum loops. Despite its length (or six song lack thereof) it is a solid first offering.

It’s easy to see why September’s "Patriot Acts" (though only five songs short), had no room on the De Loooop album: this work explores country style strumming and hootenanny distinct from the delicate fingerpicking and transcendent melodic lines that I’ve come to associate with Geoff’s music. It took me some time to get past the album’s unpronouncable opening lines, “Adnan Khashoggi,” but once I did, I found much of value in the ideas this album put forth. Some of the later tracks settle into the delicate balladry that distinguishes Geoff’s sound. This album requires time and attention to be fully appreciated. While the aesthetics of the lyrics are uncomfortable at times, their meanings are incredibly insightful and courageous. Another strength of this radically political album is its reclamation of the concept album, an idea that has suffered a gradual dilution throughout the decades since "Sergeant Pepper’s."

While the first two albums would be the envy of any young sonwriter, the taste I’ve gotten of "Know the Rain Here," (slated for December release) is what leaves me drooling for the final cut. Not only does this album take all Geoff’s previous qualities to the next level, in it he finally allows himself to execute his material with the respect and gravity it deserves. The second track, “Jackhammer,” tempers the usual delicacy of his vocals and guitarwork with a plowing bass line and lightly strained singing voice. He manages to infuse this strong and rhythmic piece with his characteristic beauty, however, adding broad and perfectly balanced backing vocals that build throughout the song. Lines like “Felt the wind lick like a whisper over hands and hair” have such a kinesthetic element that they seem to bypass the c - Jeff Lisciandrello (Upstage Magazine, NJ)

"sound bites from all over"

"A rare combination of effortless fingerpicking, mesmerizing vocals, deep lyrics and beautiful melodies."
--J Lisciandrello, Upstage Magazine (New Jersey)

"Great young US singer-songwriter with a fine line in protest song."
--Time Out, London

"...likened to Nick Drake..."
--The Guardian (UK)

Praise for Know the Rain Here:

"Every song on this album delivers a strong emotional punch."
--J Lisciandrello, Upstage Magazine (New Jersey)

"...a keeper..."
--Pete Harris, HarrisRadio, NYC

"The second great album of 2005..."
--Bill Realman Stella, Host and Producer, & 88.7 FM in NJ

"We get a tribute to Dylan's song with "Just like 'Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues'". Baker invites the most daunting comparison any songwriter can face with open arms. But no, he's not the new Dylan. He's himself and that's more than enough."
--Anna Maria Stjarnell, Luna Kafe (

Praise for Patriot Acts:

"...a contribution to the good fight...a bright spark in a naughty world..."
--David Constantine, poet

" important record, and should be experienced by everyone. It is more important than anything you hear on the radio, and should be respected in the same way that other great records of our culture are celebrated. It's THAT good."
--Thomas Florek, host of Cafe Improv, TV-30 Princeton, NJ

"'What Our Children Is Learning' [is] a bloody masterpiece."
--Darren Beech,

"Keep the songs coming; there's no shortage of outrageous material...We'll be waiting for Patriot Acts II."
--Wayne Sandholtz, former director, Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies

"I'm enamored of this CD."
--Bill Realman Stella, WRSU radio, host and producer, "Highest Common Denominator" and "Are You Entertained?"

- various


"Know the Rain Here" (LP, 2004, Feedbag Records; European re-release 2007, Cannery Row Records)
"Patriot Acts" (EP, 2004, self-released)
"Songs in the Key of Loooop" (EP, 2004, self-released)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Geoff Baker was born in Inglewood, California, and raised all over hell's half acre. At the age of 14, he borrowed a guitar and never gave it back.

He learned to play by trying to imitate the bands he loved in high school: The Jesus and Mary Chain, the Pixies, Joy Division, Wire. When he later immersed himself in more traditional folk music by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie, Christy Moore, Nick Drake, and Bob Dylan, Geoff developed a musical style that blends the urgency of folk, the energy of punk, the elegance of ballads, the pure sugar of pop, and the lyricality of poetry.

In 2002, Geoff hauled a couple dozen original songs out of his closet and played them to friends in a small bar in Berlin, Germany. They liked them, so he played for four hours straight. Since then, he has performed all over Europe and the USA, with an energetic and emotional stage presence.

In 2004, years of pent-up creativity poured out in the release of three CDs remarkable in their versatility, ranging from acoustic-based electronica to outright bluegrass jams, but always with an ear for infectious melodies and penetrating, memorable lyrics. They have gone on to national radio play, landed in the top 10 at independent radio stations, and marked Geoff out as an artist of uncompromising vision with a knack for classic songwriting. Reviewers have called Geoff's songs "a bright spark in a naughty world" and praised their "emotional punch."

Geoff is currently based in California, near the northern forests, playing occasional gigs in San Francisco and the surrounding areas. In July of 2005, he was a featured artist on, and recorded 6 songs and an interview for them. More recently, he was invited to play at the San Diego Indie Music Fest. He is hard at work on his next album, "What I Did When I Was Out in California," slated for release in early 2007. The end of the year will see Cannery Row Records re-release "Know the Rain Here" in Europe, and there will be tours and mayhem to follow.