Geoff Baker

Geoff Baker

BandPopSinger/Songwriter

the urgency of folk, the energy of punk, the emotion of the blues, virtuoso fingerpicking and bittersweet lyrics

Biography

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 SunsetStrip.com, 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.

Lyrics

Just Like 'Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues'

Written By: Geoff Baker

When by day the sun’s choking on a sky of gray
And I’m lucky if I see him melt at evening into Mission Bay
And every face that hears me speak wants to turn away
I get to thinking about you and I wonder if I should have stayed

At a roadside jewelry stand off the beaten track
I saw the cross you’d had tatooed into the small of your back
I wanted to laugh but it stopped me dead in my tracks
I started thinking about you and it almost made me want you back

I hope you got the card I sent, the one in ball-point red
I scrawled it out that week in Kansas I was laid-up in bed
And it may not be true but I meant every word that I said
I get to thinking about you and it almost makes me lose my head

I crawled through Missouri saddled heavy with your memory
Crying on the hood of the car just like a banshee scream
And in St. Louis, where the air was thick with you, I couldn’t breathe
I started thinking about you and wondering if you think about me

When I pulled into Jersey it’s like nothing really stayed behind
And whatever I was after is the only thing I didn’t find
And baby I’m not saying we should hook up and try to make up for lost time
But I get to thinking about you and it almost makes me change my mind

Gaslight

Written By: Geoff Baker

You’re the one who lights every candle in the place
Under the sign they couldn’t keep in 68
With voices from the corner knocking down heaven’s door
Tomorrow is getting off the floor

I’ll be sitting over there by last week’s magazines
Waiting all night for your minutes in between
But when I step to stretch and catch your eye I hedge my bets
Tomorrow is all I’ve got left

I only wanted to come here for the dark
And cause Dylan on the wall
Is still wearing his question mark

If you get this call I’ve gone back to Los Angeles
I used to live for hope but now I know I can’t handle it
When streets are only named for the men who make the earth move
Tomorrow is all I’ve got to lose

Black and Blues

Written By: Geoff Baker

Can’t sleep on a whiskey pillow
And heaven knows I tried
Can’t wake on a coffee dawn
And pray it takes the death out of your eyes
Can’t sail that bourbon street
And heaven knows I tried

The heat down deep divinest
For thinning out your blues
Those dreams, they look the finest
But none of them come true

Can’t sweat inside side-walking sheets
And heaven knows I tried
To go back to someone sweet
Who’ll love me for the thorn that’s in my side

My better angels need it
To keep me high and dry
I’m ankle-deep in gin and secrets
And never knowing why

Can’t sleep on a whiskey pillow
And heaven knows I tried
Can’t wake on a coffee dawn
And rub away the night and all the nights

My better angels grieving
From being black and blue
So I just quit believing in the

Discography

"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)

Set List

Original material: sets usually last 60-90 minutes, but Geoff has 3 hours of original material that he plays regularly, depending on the audience and the space. It ranges from down-tempo ballads to all-ahead, harmonica rockers, and from the intensely political to the intensely personal.

Typical set list (originals):
Karma
Jackhammer
Where Are You Now?
The Tracks Are Singing
Black and Blues
What Our Children Is Learning
Gaslight
Come Back to Brooklyn
On Barbwire Fences in Kansas
The Middle of Nebraska
Out of the Frame
How I Remember You Now
A Slap in the Face
Worth Waiting Around For
Stumble Down
Six-string Whispers
Locket
etc.

Covers Geoff does, when he does covers:
Elliott Smith
Bob Dylan
Jeff Buckley
Nick Drake
Christy Moore
Natalie Merchant
Nick Cave
Van Morrison
Leonard Cohen
Mississippi John Hurt
Sublime
Bob Marley
Neil Young
The Strokes
Ryan Adams
Wilco