Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions
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Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions

Bay City, Michigan, United States | SELF

Bay City, Michigan, United States | SELF
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"Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions To Release Newest CD Local Musicians Show What 'Northern Hospitality' Is All About"

Local musical hot spot, BeMo's on Madison Ave. in Bay City, MI, is set to welcome Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions for their CD release party Friday, April 12th.

Founded in just 2005, they have become known as an eclectic mix of acoustic, rock, jazz and electric melodies and refuse to be pegged into one musical category.
Drawing on influences from the likes of Black Crowes, as well as many, many others, the band has managed to produce a soulful, hip and fresh CD, which is sure to please musical tastes of all kinds.

"It is a varied platter of music from our generation that takes you on a journey," said band leader Scott Baker. "We have nothing like that up here in the North Mid-West that tells that kind of story or weaves threads so harmoniously and paints our picture with such assurance."

Their goal to compile this story for its listeners was not only met, but exceeded. As it turns out, it was enough material to be two volumes long.

Baker remarks, "The band is hoping for a fall release for Vol. 2 and plans on getting the word out about the organic style of music we have conjured up after eight years of performing."

To check out some of their tunes go to:
www.reverbnation.com/scottbakermusic

Also, be sure to follow them on Facebook at:
Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions - mybaycity.com


"Bay City Folk and Acoustic Festival to feature Scott Baker on his 40th"

BAY CITY, MI – Loren Kranz is back in the studio again, plugging away, says one of the region’s most versatile musicians, at a solo showcase of his original work.

So what does Kranz sound like when he’s not playing drums with the Ann Arbor-based Ragbirds or dropping by to sit in with friends at the local watering holes?

“We’re trying to find out,” he said with a laugh. “I just knew I had to get the music out of my head. It’s soul with a string band, guitars and a gospel-style piano playing on my soulful acoustic roots.”

But before his fans hear that, Kranz and friends will anchor Scott Baker’s sixth annual free Bay City Folk and Acoustic Music Festival, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Bemo’s, 701 S. Madison.

The group Barbarossa Brothers, also featuring popular bassist Ryan Fitzgerald and wunderkind guitarist Drew Pentkowski, join Jamie-Sue Seal, Levi and Hooker Man and Scott Baker and the Universal Expressions in a night of acoustic fare.

“It’s actually on my birthday this year, the big 4-0,” Baker said, and his band, including Timmy Scott, Eric Janetsky and Matt Nyquist, come into it with a new two-volume album in the wings.

“We’ve been working on it for a while, trying to fit recordings around family time and other commitments, but we’re ready to give people a sample of what’s coming.”

Baker is excited, too, about this year’s talent. Seal played his first festival, he said, “and she was set to come back a few years ago but she came down with the flu.”

“I didn’t have a voice at all,” Seal remembered. “It was my husband who wouldn’t let me go.”

Baker, as a musician himself, has a great ear for performers, Seal said, and that translates to good music at the festival.

“He doesn’t just follow the crowd and go for the ‘IT’ thing of the moment,” she said. “People respect and trust him.”

Performers enjoy the intimate setting at Bemo’s, where you look your audience in the eye, Seal said. “And I really think I’ve found my niche,” she added.

Seal is putting the final touches on her first album in eight years, the first she is producing, and she’ll perform some of the new material. Guitarist Elden Kelly, drummer Ty Forquer and bassist Chris Hamilton will round out the ensemble.

“They are all so great, and so young,” she said, laughing. “We’re going to tap into my love of musical theater, and throw in some of what I call vintage cabaret.

“It’s good to come back.”

Levi and Hooker Man are new to the festival, Baker said, but familiar to music fans.

“People are going to be pleasantly surprised,” Levi Rose said of the set that will feature Hooker Man on slide guitar and herself on acoustic guitar and percussion. “We began as a duo doing acoustic music and after 16 years together, it’s as we’ve melded. Our vocals sound like one voice.”

Based in the Sanford-Coleman area, “we don’t get the chance to play Bay City very often,” she added. “It’s going to be fun to play to a new audience. We’ll do some blues, some folk, something lively.

As for the Barbarossa Brothers, “we shared a show with them late last year and it was like ‘Wow!’” Baker said. “I asked Loren if they would be interested in playing the festival and he said yeah, in a heartbeat. “

Pentkowski will play acoustic guitar that night; Fitzgerald, the upright bass, and Kranz the Cajon box drum. Keyboardist Chris Jolley, who rounds out the band, has the night off.

“Everything is flying by so quickly,” Kranz said. “We really got this started in the spring of 2012, just a bunch of old friends playing with some original music. I spent the summer in Grand Rapids, living in the same house as Drew, and we did a lot of writing in the backyard garden.

“By the time we really buckled down as a band, it was still pretty raw but we had that chemistry, that intangible connection that makes the music anything but random.”

It fits right into his plan of branching out and doing more of his own thing around the Ragbirds in the coming year.

“My goal is to play 200 dates in 2013,” he said. “I’m at the point now where music is my full-time job and I can’t take that for granted. It’s been my dream since I was in eighth grade and now I’m living it.” - Saginaw News/Bay City Times/MLive


"Scott Baker and Universal Expressions capture northern vibe in new album"

BAY CITY, MI – Going into his latest recording project, Scott Baker had a few goals.

He wanted to involve everyone in his band, the Universal Expressions. Along with drummer Timmy Scott, his bandmate for nearly 13 years, he wanted to bring back the rock ‘n’ roll.

But a fishing trip in the Upper Peninsula with guitarist Eric Janetsky firmly hooked the framework of what on Friday, April 12, comes out as “Northern Hospitality Vol. 1 …And Other Celestial Threads.”

Baker, Scott, Janetsky, bassist Matthew Nyquist and guest artists will celebrate the release at 9 p.m. April 12 at Bemo’s Bar, 701 S. Madison in Bay City. Go to scottbakermusic.com for more upcoming shows.

“We didn’t have some theme written in stone,” Baker said. “But the roots and branches, the heart and soul, came from what it’s like to be up there and remembering where we’re from.”

The Black Crowes took a similar route in “Southern Hospitality” and Baker liked the way it made you feel as if you were right there with the band.

“We wrote ours from the north, and we have enough left over for Vol. 2,” he said. “But the recording was really a journey. We all went through different tribulations, and making music was therapeutic. In our home studio, we’d rehearse and record immediately, keeping it fresh.”
“Northern Hospitality” didn’t begin with a concept, Janetsky said, “but it did capture the essence of northern Michigan. We brought home the main ideas and we crafted it as a band from there.”

Take, for example, Janetsky’s song “Frail,” a song that was nailed by the bass line Nyquist brought to the mix.

“I wrote that song several years ago, along with ‘Heart and Soul,’ and I never thought they’d go beyond something I played acoustically for myself,” said Janetsky, a veteran of Blind Addiction, Gone Daddy Gone and Jimmy and the Growlers. “It was satisfying to hear the final recording and realize they weren’t lost songs. Matt Nyquist really made the song.”

Eddie Garcia, Dan “Swivel” Sliwinski, Andrew Rogers and Jeff Yantz joined in, and even producer Andy Reed added his voice on occasion.

“The album became greater than the sum of its parts,” Baker said, with the song “Back Pocket” already drawing attention. “Everyone brought their best to the table and put it all in the pot.”

It helps to work with someone as passionate about music as Baker, Janetsky said.

“I’m proud and humbled by the talent we have right here,” he said.

“Eric and I are like yin and yang,” said Baker, who first hit the scene with the band Muddy Gumbo. “We all pumped everything we had into the music. It’s fun to play.” - Saginaw News/Bay City Times/MLive


"Bay City Folk and Acoustic Festival"

BAY CITY, MI – Loren Kranz is back in the studio again, plugging away, says one of the region’s most versatile musicians, at a solo showcase of his original work.

So what does Kranz sound like when he’s not playing drums with the Ann Arbor-based Ragbirds or dropping by to sit in with friends at the local watering holes?

“We’re trying to find out,” he said with a laugh. “I just knew I had to get the music out of my head. It’s soul with a string band, guitars and a gospel-style piano playing on my soulful acoustic roots.”

But before his fans hear that, Kranz and friends will anchor Scott Baker’s sixth annual free Bay City Folk and Acoustic Music Festival, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Bemo’s, 701 S. Madison.

The group Barbarossa Brothers, also featuring popular bassist Ryan Fitzgerald and wunderkind guitarist Drew Pentkowski, join Jamie-Sue Seal, Levi and Hooker Man and Scott Baker and the Universal Expressions in a night of acoustic fare.

“It’s actually on my birthday this year, the big 4-0,” Baker said, and his band, including Timmy Scott, Eric Janetsky and Matt Nyquist, come into it with a new two-volume album in the wings.

“We’ve been working on it for a while, trying to fit recordings around family time and other commitments, but we’re ready to give people a sample of what’s coming.”

Baker is excited, too, about this year’s talent. Seal played his first festival, he said, “and she was set to come back a few years ago but she came down with the flu.”

“I didn’t have a voice at all,” Seal remembered. “It was my husband who wouldn’t let me go.”

Baker, as a musician himself, has a great ear for performers, Seal said, and that translates to good music at the festival.

“He doesn’t just follow the crowd and go for the ‘IT’ thing of the moment,” she said. “People respect and trust him.”

Performers enjoy the intimate setting at Bemo’s, where you look your audience in the eye, Seal said. “And I really think I’ve found my niche,” she added.

Seal is putting the final touches on her first album in eight years, the first she is producing, and she’ll perform some of the new material. Guitarist Elden Kelly, drummer Ty Forquer and bassist Chris Hamilton will round out the ensemble.

“They are all so great, and so young,” she said, laughing. “We’re going to tap into my love of musical theater, and throw in some of what I call vintage cabaret.

“It’s good to come back.”

Levi and Hooker Man are new to the festival, Baker said, but familiar to music fans.

“People are going to be pleasantly surprised,” Levi Rose said of the set that will feature Hooker Man on slide guitar and herself on acoustic guitar and percussion. “We began as a duo doing acoustic music and after 16 years together, it’s as we’ve melded. Our vocals sound like one voice.”

Based in the Sanford-Coleman area, “we don’t get the chance to play Bay City very often,” she added. “It’s going to be fun to play to a new audience. We’ll do some blues, some folk, something lively.

As for the Barbarossa Brothers, “we shared a show with them late last year and it was like ‘Wow!’” Baker said. “I asked Loren if they would be interested in playing the festival and he said yeah, in a heartbeat. “

Pentkowski will play acoustic guitar that night; Fitzgerald, the upright bass, and Kranz the Cajon box drum. Keyboardist Chris Jolley, who rounds out the band, has the night off.

“Everything is flying by so quickly,” Kranz said. “We really got this started in the spring of 2012, just a bunch of old friends playing with some original music. I spent the summer in Grand Rapids, living in the same house as Drew, and we did a lot of writing in the backyard garden.

“By the time we really buckled down as a band, it was still pretty raw but we had that chemistry, that intangible connection that makes the music anything but random.”

It fits right into his plan of branching out and doing more of his own thing around the Ragbirds in the coming year.

“My goal is to play 200 dates in 2013,” he said. “I’m at the point now where music is my full-time job and I can’t take that for granted. It’s been my dream since I was in eighth grade and now I’m living it.” - Bay City Times/Saginaw News/Flint Journal


"Folk, acoustic music will take over Bay City's Bemo's"

At first glance, you notice something missing from Scott Baker’s fourth annual Bay City Folk and Acoustic Music Fest’s lineup.

Again, the Bay City musician assembled a great mix of musicians, from what he calls the traditional Irish-meets-Crosby, Stills and Nash sound of Duality to the power-pop of Washback Raven performing Saturday at Bemo’s.

There’s the familiar — Donny Brown, John Krogman and Andy Reed, to name a few — and Bob Hausler, a songwriting guitarist who has probably played with just about everyone in the Great Lakes Bay Region at one time or another.

Baker even included Jeff Yantz and Pete Socha, bandmates from Scott Baker and the Universal Expressions.

But where is he?

Baker, humoring his hungry 8-month-old twins, laughed out loud.

“I try to bring a different lineup every year,” he said, “and that’s worked out really well. We have Andy Reed again this year — it’s the first back-to-back one I’ve had — but he’s performing with Donny Brown and that’s something new for us.

“And yes, this all started out as a way to celebrate my birthday with friends, but this was a good year to feature other people. It’s a community thing, a way of giving something back.”

But Hausler, who started out doing his own thing, Baker said, turned his closing set into a jam, and so you’ll see Baker in action after all.

“I couldn’t resist playing with Bob,” Baker said. “He knows so much; every time, it’s a different experience. He turns it into an event, for himself and the crowd.”

Hausler, who in April will head to the studio with an international array of experimental jazz musicians in the H2Oh! project, does bring a wealth of experience to the night.

“This has been real interesting, a real learning tool for me,” he said of the jazz venture. “We’re coming from so many different places, but we’re all pretty excited about this, and it’s getting some major label attention.

“But really, everything I’ve done is no different from any musician — we just want to make music. It’s an honor to be part of this; we have so much talent around here, people with a passion for songwriting, and there’s not much opportunity for them to play their originals. This is a great chance to hear what they have to say.

“I get a bigger kick out of that, watching these young musicians develop over time, than anything else I do.”

Brown, on the road with his girlfriend, was playing with a song that came to mind as they drove home when he took a break to talk about the upcoming show. Like “Clear Day,” the emerging tune’s tentative title, his set with Reed will be a work in progress, he warned.

“I’m not really a guitarist, but we’ve done this before and Andy is great at making me look good,” Brown said. “He’s musical beyond his years.”

They’ll include some of the music they’ve written together, some solo work and a dash from The Verve Pipe’s repertoire. And that’s rather appropriate, given that Reed has officially joined Brown and his bandmates in the group.

“He’s sharp,” Brown said of Reed. “He did two little runs with us when our bass player had to leave the tour, and he was there when we were about to start the third run. It’s always good to have friends, but it’s even better when they’re good musicians on top of it all.”

Baker says the same of his musical friends. He’s especially eager to hear Liam McKay, who developed a reputation in Mount Pleasant performing with the Sinners before moving to Bay City and forming Washback Raven.

“He’s a wonderful songwriter, very prolific, and you’re going to hear everything from power-pop to rock to straight-up singer/songwriter,” Baker said. “I can’t wait to hear him playing acoustic.

“It’s really a great show.” - Bay City Times/Saginaw News/Flint Journal


"Details & Desire: It’s All in the DNA: Going Deeper With Scott Baker & the Universal Expressions"

Scott Baker is one of those guys that doesn’t take no for an answer. He’s been a musical Sisyphus for years, rock and rolling that boulder to the top of the mountain, only to see it roll down the other side. He’s been as stubborn as he is generous. He will doggedly create music for himself daring the listener to like it or hate it but really only hoping they listen to it. He has forged an identity as a multi-purpose jam rockin’ sonovabitch who believes in peace and love and the honor of hard work.

At heart he’s working class minstrel immersed in a labor of love, building his career brick by brick and never imagining the mansion on a hill. He knows it’s just an illusion but he simply cannot help himself. Baker is in it for the long run because he is the music he creates. He built it and he will be it.

Scott Baker & the Universal Expressions have been around for several years and along the way garnered some well-deserved attention and several Review Magazine Awards (15 and counting). They have opened for Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Larry McCray and Sharrie Williams. Baker has worked alongside our favorite son rock & roll icon Dick Wagner at Downtown Digital Studio Saginaw and helped compile Wagner’s recordings for WMG Records.

Currently Baker is busy in the studio putting the finishing touches on his new CD, Details & Desire with bandmates Jeff Yantz harp/guitar/vocals, Timmy Scott on drums, and Pete Socha on bass.

A quick listen reveals that Baker has been honing his skills as a lyricist and songwriter as well as advancing his craft as a guitarist. Baker rocks solid and the addition of Yantz gives the band a folk/roots sensibility that adds a melodic layer to Baker’s tasty rock & roll stew. Below is an excerpt of conversation I had with Scott Baker about his career, musical vision and the new CD.

Review: Tell me about your new CD Details and Desire. First of all – who is the girl on the cover and is there a reason she is looking back and then away, eyes averted?

Baker: That would be my neighbor Taylor Rupp. She’s a senior at Central High and a highly intelligent, beautiful, and musically talented (5 plus instruments!) young woman. While mulling over ideas for a layout poster or CD cover, I thought up this idea that in this new generation there are a few modern day hippies—so driven for peace coming from a whole other angle in time. It became a centerpiece for the record and Taylor was willing to help me try to depict an image that would convey my thoughts on it. While she’s far from a hippie, I took a few photos and that one spooked me enough to use it. Luckily, I get asked often how I found that ‘cool cover.’ It was just Taylor dancing and me in the right spot snapping pics. The black and white of the entire album art goes with some of the lyric to the tune. Taylor is going to help me with some more poster art for the year ahead promoting Details & Desire.

Review: This disc is really an amalgam of styles from raucous rock & roll to folk and pop. Were you intentionally eclectic?

Baker: Yes—eclectic was one of the words I wanted to convey. I was going for a ‘songwriting’ album. I wanted different sides of the coin and many textures featured. It seems independent CD’s over the past decade (that cross my desk anyway!) seem to be same-sounding, run-of-the-mill crafted, and have no heart to them. I wanted to make sure there were peaks and valleys, different styles, and a vibe that tied it all together—which is VERY important, like great pieces of vinyl from the ‘60s or ‘70s. There are so many avenues, it’s amazing that in the world of home recording and local studios, it doesn’t seem to be appropriate to experiment a little anymore with the songwriting. Everyone has a style and sometimes that particular style is all you get when you push play, even some good records. There is more to music than that.

Review: Gettin’ There is an old time folk blues feel with harp accents that help drive home the perspective of the singer…someone who has experienced and accepted all the joy and sorrow life can bring. Does your personal experience inform the universal message?

Baker: Yes, I drew from my surroundings lyrically. It was actually the first song on the path to writing an album’s worth of material that would be ‘song’ oriented. Having had Jon Portykus in my band for a short period in 2009, his fiddle was meant to be on the track. Jeff Yantz joined after Potrykus departed and he brought the harp and a strong drive to be part of that song as well—Jeff was instrumental in helping my vision of pinning down ‘quality songwriting’ for the project. He and Andy Reed co-produced D & D with me. Our last CD Between Seasons had a nice mix of music that I still am proud of, but it kept with a rocking/jammy vein I usually like to veer towards. Gettin’ There was penned in 2008 and it was an eye opener to play—I was almost embarrassed to play it for Timmy and Pete since I usually do - Review Magazine


"Scott Baker and Universal Expressions releasing sophmore album"

By Andy Beaudoin for the Daily News Midland Daily News

Scott Baker and the Universal Expressions are nearing the release of their sophomore CD, "Details & Desires."

The detail put into this album is what makes it stand out from the band's previous release.

"I really love my first CD, but there is a growth in songwriting and in the sound itself as well," Baker said regarding the direction of the new album. Baker, who plays lead guitar and vocals, and the rest of the band, consisting of Timmy Scott (drums), Pete Socha (bass), and Jeff Yantz (harmonica/vocals/guitars), hopes to show their fans the diversity of music on the new CD.

"It's a very collective album, a lot of rock, acoustic, and blues," he said along with genres ranging from Americana to Ppsychedelic. "We want people to listen to the whole album, not just a few individual tracks." Popular songs off the album, Baker says, are "Friends" and "Tangerine Moon." The band, however, has released the song "Statues" as single and it has been played on Delta College Public Radio.

A particular song on the album is especially sentimental to the band.

"'Son of Jack' was written for a friend that passed away," Baker said. "He really enjoyed our music, so I thought I would give him something he would enjoy."

The band hopes to encompass a range of emotions and ideas for fans and new time listeners. The initial tracks for the CD were recorded in Baker's basement, but recording eventually moved into Yantz's studio. Finally, it was wrapped up at Reed Recording Studio in Bay City.

Baker, who has been involved with the area music scene for over 10 years, has gone through many different musical experiences. He first posed as Muddy Gumbo from 1999 to 2005. After this he went solo for a while.

"I called my first band Scott Baker and the Roux for about three or four months, then the Scott Baker band which didn't last long either," he said. In 2006, Timmy Scott, joined up with Baker to discuss possibilities for a new band. They wanted a name that would involves multiple types of music. This idea resulted in the name Scott Baker and the Universal Expressions.

The Universal Expressions try to play around the rest of the state as much as they can, but mostly stick to playing in the area -- especially Bay City and Saginaw.

There will be a 21-and-up show starting at 9 p.m. March 18 at Bemo's in Bay City. Andy Reed will open.

Fans of all ages are invited to attend an acoustic release party from 7 to 10 p.m. March 29 at Brewtopia in Bay City. Both shows are free of charge.

CDs will cost $10. Fans can also download it on iTunes, Amazon, or Emusic (prices vary). The album is also streaming for free at scottbakermusic.com. - Midland Daily News


"Scott Baker celebrates new album with release party in Bay City"

BAY CITY — Scott Baker has plenty of reason to celebrate the release of his band's new album, "Details & Desire."

"Finally" is the way he put it, announcing this weekend's pair of CD release parties in Bay City. At Bemo's, a home-base of sorts for Scott Baker and the Universal Expressions, Andy Reed will open an electric show Friday, March 18, for Baker and bandmates Pete Socha, Timmy Scott and Jeff Yantz.

And Saturday, March 19, the band heads for Brewtopia Coffee for an acoustic show.

The band teased fans with a few numbers at last year's Review Magazine Music Awards, and had every intention of finishing production before Baker's twins and Scott's son were born last spring. And if it weren't for Reed stepping in and helping Baker and Yantz with the production, Baker said, "I'd still be working on it.
"It's the best recording we've made. You hope, as a band, that you play better and sing better the longer you're together, but production-wise, Jeff and Andy really fleshed it out. Andy could tell us what we needed, and what we didn't need, and he has a great studio."

As a musician himself, Baker added, Reed brought a new element to the project, and it's only fitting that he opens the show at Bemo's.

"We were focusing on good songwriting this time around, not just a jam," Baker said of the new effort, the band's second album. "The first got a little loose; we had a little left over from Muddy Gumbo and a lot of rocking and jamming.

"Here, the focus was on the songs, and not in any specific genre. Just like trying to be a good writer, we were trying to be good songwriters, trying to be better."

The album actually came out in December, he said, sold to immediate fans and at a handful of shows. And while he thought "Gettin' There" and "Statues" would carry the CD, "Friends" is the hands-down fan favorite.

Then there's "Son of Jack," a song written about a friend of the band who moved to Florida and was killed in a car crash there.

"That's the one people ask about the most, wondering about the story behind it," Baker said. "And I'm glad they do. He called us about a month before he passed away, just to tell us he loved us and missed us. It really hit us hard and it just seemed right to put it in a song.

"Now we're doing what we most want to do, throwing a killer release party. When 'Between Seasons' came out, we had the party at the Masonic Temple here in Bay City, and about 300 people showed up. I saw people I hadn't seen since I was a little kid.

"This time, we had a lot of ideas, but in this economy, you don't see as many people coming out. It made sense to play Bemo's, where people know us, and Brewtopia, where we go four or five times a year to hone our acoustic set. We're hitting all the bases."

No one else is doing anything like this, he said, and fans can catch one or the other, or both. And true to the band's style, both nights could well end with a jam as fellow musicians drop by to join the fun.

"We're not going straight through the album like we did the first time," Baker said. "There's always room from someone like Bob Hausler to sit in and play a few cover songs. We'll have a good ol' time with everyone who shows up."

The pleasure, he said, is all theirs.

"When you go into music with all your hopes and dreams, you want to play with your buddies, but life happens," Baker said. "Not everyone is as driven or serious about what they're doing. We're really lucky to have the people we do - Timmy and I have been together for almost 10 years, Pete came on in 2006, and Jeff joined us two years ago.

"I can tell you it wasn't for the money. You don't do this if you want to make money; it has to come from the heart. Especially now, it's hard to find a place where you can play original music. The bars want '80s covers or tribute bands.

"And now we have to schedule around our babies. If it wasn't for the Internet, it would be hard to be heard at all. We just want to go out this weekend and play our music." - Bay City Times/Saginaw News/Flint Journal


"Scott Baker and the Universal Expressions"

Interacting as a well-tuned musical group, Scott Baker and the Universal Expressions gears up to release its new CD, Details and Desire. Baker took a few minutes to talk about the group's creative journey, enthusiasm, and, of course, the new CD and release parties in Bay City at Bemo's and Brewtopia Coffee on March 18th and 19th.

Scott Baker & the Universal Expressions has been active in Mid-Michigan for a handful of years. How did the group come together?

When I went solo in 2005 coming out of the group Muddy Gumbo, I played a number of solo acoustic shows. When the time came come to go back out electric with a new band, I originally just called it Scott Baker & The Roux, then the Scott Baker Band—which I thought was a boring name. My drum bandmate from Gumbo Timmy Scott came back to play in late 2005/early 2006 and from that point on I renamed the band The Universal Expressions because I wanted to cover more than just one style of music. We were known as a jam band and a blues rock band up until then. By the time bassist Pete Socha joined the fold, we have had a revolving door of great musicians come in and out on second guitar, vocals, or keyboards or a combination. Jeff Yantz has been on harmonica/guitar/vocals with us for a year and a half now and did Details & Desire with the three of us.

In an age of creative differences and disbanding groups, what keeps the group together?

There is a drive we have to perform music—especially the original music, that keeps the heart of the band beating. The combination of the core of the band, Timmy, Pete and myself—I couldn’t be a luckier songwriter to have two such dedicated players wanting to reach out and do something different. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Timmy and I playing together over the years. We know when we hit a note, exactly what the other is thinking. And Pete is like the glue that holds it together—you couldn’t get three more different characters, which I think keeps it fresh for all of us. But like I said, I am one lucky songwriter. I don’t plan on eclipsing a good thing. Performing original music is what I do. With some tasty covers, of course!

As well as covers, you perform original songs. Tell me about your songwriting and composing process.

Songwriting for me was the reason I started playing. Releasing albums is like a family portrait for the time being. For me, songs come in every form, from batches to ideas that I keep to be used with the right other ideas. When the time comes to either get something new out or when I have a stockpile of tunes written that we like to play, I know it is time to get into the studio—as long as there seems to be a theme that ties the tunes together. In Muddy Gumbo, we spent a few years writing songs and putting an album together (Continuous Rotation, 2001), just to do it. Then we had enough material remaining for an EP (Capture The Moment, 2003). In 2007, I cut my first solo album with the Universal Expressions, Between Seasons.

Since then, songs have started to trickle out as soon as 2008 when many of the songs on Details & Desire were crafted. A song or two will emerge in our set, and we’ll have a little while to whittle it before we go in the studio and pair it with other material. We worked on Details & Desire from January to September of 2010, and in that time I was able to begin writing more songs for yet another release.

I like to go up north and write. It frees my mind from the daily grind. My wife’s family has a beautiful spot in Sugar Springs north of Gladwin that I will sometimes go up and create at—a large portion of Details & Desire was written up there. I also have a cabin in the Upper Peninsula that I like to get away and just see what I can do—a lot of times by myself just to focus on the songs.

On the other side of the coin, at home here in Bay City, many songs pour out too, between working and daily life. It’s a great feeling to get a root of an idea out of the blue and to be able to flesh it out into a full-fledged song. I look forward to bringing the guys something new for them to put their own rhythm section stamp on. Sometimes they spark me to take the piece of music into a different territory. That’s where having a core band is so special.

For the launch of Details and Desire, you'll be performing separate acoustic and electric events. What made you decided on this unplugged/plugged approach?

I was tossing around ideas about how to do a great record release party and make it memorable. We had a few original ideas and offers, but at the end of the day, I wasn’t hearing anything that seemed to make sense to do one night. When we did Between Seasons’ release party in November of 2007, we tied it with a fundraiser to get people to come out to the beautiful Masonic Temple in Bay City. We just sold CD’s and the room was provided and over 300 people came out.

This time, I wanted to make sure the band was compensated, as well as selling the new CD. S - 360 Main Street


"Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions: New CD Release 'Between Seasons' Showcases The Divergence & Spacious Depth of Material"

Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions:
Showcases
The Divergence & Spacious Depth of Material

By Robert E. Martin

Any artist capable of moving an audience or listener is usually informed by the past & present musical heritage that surrounds him as equally as he is impassioned about the texture of his vision and desire to render his own singular contributions into the creative lexicon.

Scott Baker is a man of many disciplines. A fixture on the mid-Michigan music scene for many years now, first as a journalist for The Bay City Times and in recent years as a regular contributor to The Review, Scott shares an equal passion for aural expression as he does the written word, having fashioned both a solo and group musical career with outfits such as Muddy Gumbo and most recently, Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions, which earned 11 nominations and several top awards at this past year's 21st Music Awards Ceremony.

With the new release of a dozen original compositions on the stunning and beautifully crafted CD, Between Seasons, Scott has found a collaborative environment affording him the depth to properly showcase his spacious music.

Consisting of drummer Timmy Scott, bassist vocalist Pete Socha, guitarist/harp/vocalist Eric Janetsky (ex-Gone Daddy Gone member), and multi-talented instrumentalist John Grundner (formerly of Billy & the Beertones), The Universal Expressions forge the perfect foil for Scott's complex fondness for myriad of styles that run the gamut of roots-rock music from the '60s & '70s, woven together beautifully with shimmering bits of electric Blues and Improv Jazz.

Together for nearly two years now, according to Baker, Universal Expressions "Came about as a result of me shuffling my first solo group, The Roux, and landing on two feel with Timmy Scott on drums, who has been with me since the Muddy Gumbo days. We've played over five years together."

Eventually, John Grundner joined the group as keyboardist/guitarist & vocalist after a long-running stint with Billy & the Beertones.

"While we were in search of a bassist and coming out of The Roux, we were known as The Scott Baker Band for a bit," notes Scott. "Then John ran into Pete Socha and suggested him to me. Pete is new to the scene, but plays like he's been around forever. The rest is history, so far."

What are some of the goals & objectives Scott was seeking in terms of sound & approach on this latest outing?

"Mainly my eyes and ears were set on a focus for quality songs and songwriting with acoustic as well as electric overtones," he explains.

"I've been in the jam realm around here since Muddy Gumbo, where we took our cue with a Traffic/Santana/Allman Brothers/Gov't Mule sound. But having done a bunch of solo acoustic work wince we put Gumbo on hold in early 2005, I've been enjoying just doing great songs, as well as great, known, yet forgotten covers. I like writing something I can play acoustic that comes across well, all the while turning it up a notch electric with or without a jam involved."
"With the new CD I also got a chance to clean house with songs reaching as far back as Gumbo, up to my most recent, the title track Between Seasons."

Recording for Scott & Universal Expressions started in mid-January of 2007 with producer Tim O'Brien at the helm and wrapped sessions, mixing and mastering this past September.
"Tim has Diversified Media, essentially a house studio in Mt. Pleasant," explains Scott. "I met Tim years ago through the Northwoods Improvisers, which are an avant-garde acoustic jazz act known in their tight scene pretty much world wide. They're also based out of Mt. Pleasant."
"Tim has recorded & produced a few albums for them and I really enjoyed the sense of space in his work."

"Tim set us up in his studio house living room to cut basic tracks in January, with vocals, solos, keys, acoustic, and flourish instruments all coming later throughout the year."
"I also was lucky in the time period to cut Starve My Eyes with the Northwoods Improvisers' Mike Johnston (upright bass) and Mike Gilmore (vibraphones) at Johnston's Northwoods Studio in West Mt. Pleasant as well."

"Tim engineered the whole CD outside of that one session, but he and I mixed the entire disc together. We spent nearly one day, every weekend from January to September, maybe taking a total of five or six of them off. But we put all we could into those afternoons and nights," reflects Scott.

Were there particular standout highlights from those sessions that stick in Scott's memory?

"Both of our highlights in recording came in May when Adam Levy flew into MBS to cut tracks for me. He is Norah Jones' longtime guitarist and a good friend of mine. Adam set up shop the day before Norah played Ann Arbor and we ran through two cuts of Chance Meeting, an old Gumbo song that I always wanted a definitive version of - one acoustic and one electric."

"The electric full-band version is - Review Magazine


"Baker & The Universal Expressions Take Home Best Blues Band Honors"

Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions Take Home Best Blues Band Honors
By Lauren Davis

They are an amalgamation of former the former Muddy Gumbo, Gone Daddy Gone, and the Beertones, and they have just received voter's choice as Best Blues Band in the 21st Annual Review Music Awards.

Singer/guitarist Scott Baker, Drummer Timmy Scott, bassist/backing vocalist Pete Socha, guitarist/harp/vocalist Eric Janetsky and keyboardist/vocalist John Grundner (ex-Beertones), make the band known as Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions.

Local music fans may be familiar with front man Scott Baker in his other role as a long time area entertainment reporter (Review Magazine, Bay City Times) and music enthusiast. Scott's music has been featured on Review This Radio Dot Com (www.reviewthisradio.com), and his various projects have opened for many national acts, most recently appearing with national folk artist Jen Cass in 2006.


He is a member of the Mid-Michigan Song Writer's Guild, and has been a board member of the Saginaw-Bay Area Blues Society for over four years. He took a moment to answer some questions about the band, and some of his solo endeavors:

Review: Tell me about the young Scott Baker, ala gangly kid years, vs. the adult player of today.

Baker: I was a music kid, listening to everything I could grasp. From Neil Young to Genesis, Allman Brothers to Iron Maiden, you know what I mean? It was the beginning. As for now, I think as you get older you develop whatever it is your passion is and hone in on it. For me, it's a very rootsy, organic style of music. I am a huge fan of jazz and blues, on top of singer/songwriter music. I love artists that tend to blend those elements with rock and world focus.

Review: What things have changed?

Baker: The older you get the better listener you are and the better player you can become. And my voice developed pretty well over the past decade, which is always another instrument to work at and develop. Sometimes a regular listener doesn't hear that.

Review: Who or what has influenced you?

Baker: Locally, I have found an incredible source to thrive on over the past 10 years as a musician. From Bob Hausler, John Krogman, Bryan Rombalski, John Grundner, Larry McCray, Eric Janetsky, Dan 'Swival' Sliwinski, Dick Wagner, Matt Besey, Bruce Crawley, Mike Brush, Mick Brown, Mike Johnston, Mark Prosser, and the list could go on and on. New artists like Barbarossa really inspire as well...
Nationally I am influenced by guitarist/songwriters like Adam Levy, Warren Haynes, Jose Neto, Harry Manx, Steve Winwood, Neil Young, John Scofield, John Coltrane or groups like Black Crowes, Yes, Genesis, Miles Davis line-ups, Weather Report, Derek Trucks Band, Phish, Wayne Shorter, etc....

Review: What drives you to perform, and how to you feel that drive has affected you as a person?

Baker: I always enjoyed playing my tenor sax at school and in performance and it seemed like a bit of a rush...no matter how young I was. Somehow, writing my own material seems to make me want to share it with everyone else. I guess having that outlet drives me to perform, since songwriting is my main thing, is getting my songs heard. As a person it opens your ears and eyes up to others experiences and gives you a very unique perspective that only a few can share.

Review: Who are some of the most compelling people you have met in your tenure as an entertainment writer and performer?

Baker: I have been very blessed in the fact that I have met or talked with a lot of my musical heroes, either as a music journalist or as a musician. Getting to know what makes them tick or quickly getting to know your boundaries with them, allowed me to read people pretty quick. Some of my 'I can't believe moments' includes meeting Dr. John, Warren Haynes, Mikey Hart, Paul Rodgers, Faruq Z. Bey, Steve Winwood, Jon Anderson, (and so many more I forget).

Review: Tell me about the high points and low points in Scott Baker's life, and what effect have they had on you on a personal level?

Baker: There are many high points and very few lows, but as a person, everyone equals out in one way or another. It's how you continue to strive toward those high points or goals, (to) be the best you can be on the way there; That makes the difference.

Review: Tell me your feelings about the band, and how the relationship works:

Baker: The guys--John Grundner-- he has been playing around since the late '60s in this area. He also can drum, bass, whatever you can dream up. And (he's) one hell of a songwriter. John brings depth and knowledge--the "been there does that "type of the thing to the band. ŠHis experience can quickly smooth the music out.
Pete Socha--he is the new guy on the scene, the bassist from the basement that is blown away by everything we do, as we are blown away by why he hasn't been playing out regularly before this. His energy is a huge push.
Timmy Scott--he's the guy tha - Review Magazine


"Folk & Acoustic Music Festival unwinds Saturday"

By PATI LALONDE
plalonde@bc-times.com | 894-9666

Scott Baker is planning one big birthday bash.

The local musician is bringing together folk and acoustic acts from around the state for the Bay City Folk & Acoustic Music Festival, beginning at

8 p.m. Saturday at Bemo's, 701 S. Madison Ave. It just happens to be his 35th birthday as well.

''The timing is perfect,'' he said. ''The Ann Arbor Folk Festival is the last weekend in January every year. This just happens to be the week before, and it happens to be my birthday.''

The idea for the festival came about when Baker and Bemo's owners Rob and Luann Ervin were brainstorming entertainment ideas.

Baker thought an acoustic night would work, since he had done it before with the SNAP (Savvy Northern Acoustic Players) Review. The couple thought it would fit perfectly with their plan to offer different types of music and perhaps bring in some new faces.

''We're just trying to incorporate new stuff to the bar to try to draw different crowds of people,'' Luann Ervin said.

Besides Baker, performers include Jen Cass of Bay City, who performs locally and nationally; Jeff Yantz of Bay City, a member of One Trick Pony; and Saginaw residents Cary Ewing, formerly of the Happy Bastids, and Eric Janetsky, formerly of Gone Daddy Gone. Jamie-Sue Seal of Lansing and Cindy McElroy of De Witt also will be performing.

Baker will perform songs off his latest album, ''Between Seasons,'' and perhaps a choice cover song or two, such as ''The Weight'' by The Band, Bob Dylan's former back-up group.

''We all might be doing a Dylan song, you never know, someone is always doing a Dylan song,'' he said. ''We pick from the greatest singer-songwriters and the occasional band throughout the night. Mainly the focus is on your own original music. Everyone has original in this group.''

Luann Ervin says the couple hosted a similar music event on a Sunday afternoon and it was well-received.

''We're hoping now this is going to be even more talent on a little bigger basis,'' she said. ''With more talent we'll try to reach more people.''

The Ervins purchased the bar eight months ago from Rob Beaudoen.

''The bar is based on music,'' Luann Ervin said. ''This is just another type of music. It started out as rock bands and we're just basically following his (Beaudoen's) lead and adding a few new twists to something he's already established.''

Those new twists include a rock-a-billy band that comes in on a regular basis, blues with Matt Besey and country band 25 Cent Beer. There also is an upcoming polka night with Steve Drzewicki.

The new owners are doing some renovating as well to the bathrooms and other areas, and expanding the stage. - The Bay City Times (1-17-08)


"Party In The Blue Room"

Bay City musician Scott Baker was searching for a place to celebrate the release of his album “Between Seasons.”

When played for the opening and closing of Bay City’s Hell’s Half Mile film and music festival this year, he knew he found the right place.

“This year they had me do their fundraiser a week before and I played in the blue room at the Masonic Temple,” Baker said. “They said I was the first person to play on that blue room stage in years.”

So Nov. 30 he’ll play the blue room at the temple (corner of Sixth and Madison in Bay City) for his CD release party with funds going toward the Masonic Temple Project for restoration and basically putting it back into the venue he fell in love with.

“Having it in such a cool building we had to make sure we did something to make sure they got taken care of,” he said.

The style of the room stands out to Baker. It features a balcony and older-style architecture. Plus, it’s the right size to have a good show no matter what the crowd size is and he can have an all-ages show.

“This would be the right amount of room for about 100 people or even if I had 200 people,” he said. “But even if 50 - 80 people were there, they’d have a good time. It’s just a cool place.”

Baker has been around the area music sceen for a few years. He put out an album with the band Muddy Gumbo in 2001 and an EP after that. With the band on indefinite hiatus, he started playing with an acoustic band and jammed around with the usual suspects in the jam realm.

Somewhere in there, he got the bug to put a a new album, this time backed by the band The Universal Expressions.

“’Between Seasons’ is based on tunes I’ve written since 2002-2003 ... up until now,” he said. As with many artists producing solo albums, it’s basically a back catalog of songs he’s always wanted to get good versions of recorded, including one 14-minute epic. For example, one song he wrote from the Muddy Gumbo days, “Chance Meeting,” was revisited for this CD.

“I wanted to get a more finite version of it,” he said. “Everything gets better. Our playing gets better and even the recording equipment gets better.

“It’s my best batch of tunes since my last album.”

That song features a solo recorded with friend Adam Levy, guitarist for Norah Jones. He came up for a visit and show during a Michigan tour.

“He cut his track for the electric version and really put his stamp of approval on that track for us,” Baker said.

His philosophy on songwriting goes like this: “Make sure it’s a great song so I can play it acoustic live, but also I can stretch it out electrically.”

The show is Nov. 30 and features a series of acts. Doors open at 7 p.m. and Sprout plays at 7:30 p.m. At 9, Cary Ewing will play an acoustic show and Baker and The Universal Expressions will play starting at 9:45 p.m. They will perform the new album in its entirety and also play a set of covers and jams with Sprout.

There is a $5 suggested donation and a cash bar to support the temple project.

“I hope that more people can play here,” he said. “If they start doing concerts there, that’d be awesome.”

For more: www.myspace.com/scottbakermusic (Features sound clips of the new album)
www.scottbakermusic.com
www.myspace.com/scottbakeracoustic
www.bayartscouncil.org - Midland Daily News (11-23-07)


"Musicians CD Release Party To Rasie Funds for Masonic Temple Work"

By SHARON M. PENNELL
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Scott Baker sees his upcoming CD release party as a way to not only promote his venture into solo music but as a way to help the restoration of a local historic landmark.

Baker and his band, The Universal Expressions, will perform music from their CD ''Between Seasons'' on Friday during a fundraiser for the Masonic Temple restoration, a project of the Bay Arts Council.

The performance, open to all ages, begins at 7 p.m. and includes a cash bar.

''I wanted to hold the release party in a venue that was smaller than a theater, bigger than a bar, where all ages could attend and that would offer the option of (serving) alcohol, so I approached the Bay Arts Council with this idea and they thought it was a win-win situation,'' Baker said. ''I want people to see an awesome show and a beautiful place ... it all kind of works out.''

The event features a night of music by Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions, who will be joined by the band's former vocalist and guitarist, Eric Janetsky (formerly of Gone Daddy Gone), and back-up singers Gary and Eric Asel. Also performing are special guests Cary Ewing and Sprout.

''I hope that we have a wonderful crowd of people who are there to enjoy the music ... it's an amazing site for a concert - with great acoustics - and Scott's music is wonderful,'' said Joy Butler, executive director of the Bay Arts Council. ''We want more and more people to see the Masonic Temple as it is now and ... once it's renovated.''

Several local foundations and businesses pledged financial support for the purchase of the temple, built in 1892, but $40,000 still needs to be raised, council sources say.

Baker, a songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, saxophonist and lap steel and mandolin player, is joined by drummer Timmy Scott (formerly of Muddy Gumbo); bassist and back-up vocalist Pete Socha; and keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist John Grundner (formerly of Beertones). Baker describes the group's music as ''equal parts of roots rock music from the '60s and '70s rubbed together with shimmering bits of electric blues and improv jazz.''

The first half of the band's set is usually dedicated to their own original music while the second half features cover tunes by bands such as the Black Crowes; Tom Petty; Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac); The Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Norah Jones, Eddie Money and others.

Since its creation, the band has received numerous awards, including three in this year's Review Music Awards: Best Blues Band, Band Deserving Wider Recognition in the blues rock category and one that went out to the band's former guitarist, Janetsky, for Blues Guitarist of the Year.

Baker has had the opportunity to share the stage with a variety of his musical heroes but his most memorable performance was with Adam Levy, guitarist for singer-songwriter Norah Jones, in May. Not only did Levy record the new CD's track ''Chance Meeting,'' but Baker and Levy performed together at the Arlington Bar in Bay City.

''Levy's a personal friend who has gone out of his way to help me,'' said Baker. He also notes the assistance of local musicians Dick Wagner and Larry McCray in getting his career off the ground.

Prior to forming his current band in March of 2006, Baker played solo acoustic shows in Bay City. For six years - from 1999 to 2005 - he performed with the band Muddy Gumbo.

When not on stage or writing songs, Baker works as a freelance music writer and a cook at Pat & Jerry's in Auburn. His fellow band members all have day jobs as well: Scott, the youngest of the group, works for a restaurant; Socha, who has performed with Baker the longest, works in a hardware store; and Grundner, who has been playing music in Michigan since the 1970s, is a truck driver.

The band's new CD will be available online at www.scottbakermusic.com and for $10 during the record release party on Friday. Future shows will be listed on Baker's Web site.

''I am just really hoping that people will come out to the show and experience what a local record release show is all about. It's going to be for a great cause and a it's a beautiful building to visit ... you can't beat three top local acts giving everything they've got in a beautiful location.''

There are several ways to pledge a donation to the Masonic Temple restoration fund: visit the Bay Arts Council's Web site at www.bayartscouncil.org and download a pledge card to mail in, pledge through the Web site using the PayPal payment system or visit the Bay Arts Council office at

915 Washington Ave. - The Bay City Times (11-29-07)


Discography

Details & Desire (released Jan. 2011)

Between Seasons (released Nov. 2007)

Singles include:
Statues
Slap Back (heard on Z93.3 WKQZ FM)
Exit (Oasis Rock & Roots Voulme VIII #2 Radio Sampler)

Past Discography:
Scott Baker with Muddy Gumbo:
Continuous Rotation 2001
"Capture The Moment" EP 2003

Photos

Bio

Scott Baker & the Universal Expressions
Biography

2012 marks the seven year stretch for SBUE who are coming off their biggest year yet. Following 2011’s release of Details & Desire, the band has already returned back in the studio here in the spring of 2012. The group’s remarkable year of highlights included SBUE sharing the stage, opening for the likes of Bettye LaVette, Styx, Popa Chubby, Steepwater Band, and Shane Dwight. The vast showcases of blues, rock, and soul allowed SBUE the chance to showcase in front of many different audiences, winning new fans every step of the way.
With its fanbase constantly growing, SBUE was nominated for ten Review Awards in 2012, the group’s most nominations ever including Album of the Year, Best Songwriter, and Most Innovative Artist. Scott won for Best Solo Artist, bringing home one of the many prestigious nominations amongst many deserving peers.
With the band blending a sound that captures the best moments of twin-guitar classic interplay, along side of modern day blues-rock groove, the Universal Expressions live up to their name with a mix and vibe that cross many musical cultures. Mixing influences as vast as Albert King along side of Tom Petty or the Grateful Dead, or even Van Morrison up against the Black Crowes or Traffic, the soul-blues and classic rock vibe gets countered by rich acoustics and heavenly psychedelic jams. Allman Brothers and Pink Floyd in Wilco’s back yard, or George Harrison or Ryan Adams jamming with Phish or The Band, SBUE mixes up a unique sound that has brought them continued success.
Comprised by vocalist/guitarist Scott Baker, drummer/backing vocalist Timmy Scott, guitarist/vocalist Eric Janetsky and bassist/vocalist Matt Nyquist, the quartet have put in the time and determination to maintain a band that defies a pigeon-holed industry. A working man’s own force of nature. Both Baker and Scott have been playing for 11 years together now.
Having also found live radio airplay with their Mid-Michigan friends at the WHNN 96.1 FM and album cuts on WUCX 90.1 FM, SBUE have squeezed in original airplay in a market that rarely features new artists.
Album releases include 2011—Details & Desire and 2007—Between Seasons.
Other acts the band has shared the stage with over the years includes CCR, Larry McCray, Frank Bang, Blackberry Smoke, Dick Wagner, and Too Slim and the Taildraggers.

### 5-12

Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
Review Awards:
Scott has received numerous nominations since 2001 for Mid-Michigan’s Review Magazine Awards (biggest music award show North of Detroit). The Universal Expressions as a whole were nominated for 11 Review Awards in 2007, five times in 2008 and twice in 2009, seven times in 2010, three times in 2011, and ten times in 2012. All members have won Review Awards over the years.

Scott’s Review Awards Wins:

• 2012 WINNER—Best Solo Artist
• 2009 WINNER—Best Duo of the Year—Scott Baker & Pete Socha
• 2007 WINNER—Band of the Year (Blues)—SBUE
• 2007 WINNER—Band Deserving Wider Recognition (Blues)—SBUE
• 2005 WINNER—Musician Deserving Wider Recognition (Blues)
• 2004 WINNER---Band Deserving Wider Recognition (Blues)—Muddy Gumbo
• 2003 WINNER—Musician Deserving Wider Recognition (Blues)

National & Local Highlights:

• Opened for Styx (over 9,000 ppl) in 2011
• Opened for Bettye LaVette in 2011
• Opened for Popa Chubby in 2011
• Performs live on WHNN 96.1 FM (Saginaw MI) morning show often since 2011
• Opened for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Group Creedence Clearwater in 2003
• Opened and performed with Blues Legend Larry McCray since 1999
• Performed, worked in the studio, assisted at WMG Records with Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed/The Frost) from 2001-2003
• Hosted his own monthly evening of music in Saginaw, in 2003
• Performing with Blues Princess Sharrie Williams in 2003
• Performed for Mark Farner (Grand Funk) in 2005 in the Mid-Michigan Songwriters Guild
• Opening & performing wi