Sam Baker grew up in a prairie town, Itasca, TX, where he was exposed to a wide array of music as a child by his mother, a local church organist, and his father, who shared a hefty collection of country blues artists. Sam is a man of few words. Always beautifully chosen, and fully wrought. Words placed like plants and objects in a Zen Garden. Sam turned inward, to relearn the use of his body and brain after a Peruvian train bombing almost killed him in 1986. It’s taken years to heal. Time to reconnect. The road back was arduous, but it opened up new vistas in art, poetry, and music. ‘Mercy’ released in 2004, was the first in a trilogy of compelling albums with sparse instrumentation and a poetic delivery. It was followed by ‘Pretty World’ in 2007 and ‘Cotton’ in 2009. Each piece is imprinted with a theme:
Everyone is at the mercy of another one’s dreams, how beautiful are these days, and talk about forgiveness, a reflection on gratitude, and now a reflection on doubt.Without dark, there is no light . Without doubt, there is no place for gratitude.
Comparisons have included Townes Van Zandt, Randy Newman, and even Lou Reed. But a better comparison might be that of Raymond Carver. Baker’s pen is precise, cunning and original, often weaving humor with human suffering and tender beauty.
His new release, Land Of Doubt, will be released June 21, 2017. Baker’s musical storytelling in Land of Doubt gives voice to emotions tender and bitter, personal and universal. Some songs seem to come from deep inside the well of his own experience, while others reflect empathy with and insight into the suffering of those outside it. Perhaps Baker describes the record best, “I wanted a cinematic feel, a mixture of sparsity and tension and beauty…I always come back to beauty on my records. That’s shorthand for something that’s bigger than me.”
Friday October 13, 2017
The Folly Theater
300 West 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105
Ticket Office 816.474.4444