As of late, it’s been a bit difficult keeping up with the review portion of the blog, and while I am looking to get back on the horse, I am going to try a number of new features. Starting with today, ‘Poetic Thought Thursdays’…yeah, I know the name could use some work. But the basic idea is around the fact that I listen to a lot of music. Much of this is good to listen to on a long drive, or while at work, but every once in a while I get to listening to an artist who’s writing just hits me in a way that I feel needs to be shared with as many folks as possible. I am pretty sure most folks could write a few rhyming lines down, hum out a melody and create what would commonly be referred to as a “song”, but there are really a choice few who can craft something more. Those are the true artists of the songwriting trade
Dan Baker is a musician I ran into a few years back at a gig. Seemed like a rather unassuming guy, I had heard his name around songwriter circles and such as a rather talented songwriter and guitar player. Boy, was that an understatement. These are the kind of songs that I sit back and just say to myself “I really wish that I wrote this before he did”, but regretfully, I don’t think I am on the same level as this guy. Self deprecating, dry humor that isn’t afraid to be honest and candid. A perfect example is the tune “Saturday Night”.
I run out of beer so I head down the street / and I get a 12 pack of Miller genuine draft
And then I get home, and I drink all twelve / Then I puke in the toilet, all by myself
I mean, does it really get much realer than that. I have a problem, “I feel so fucking pathetic” (as the song states), but I am going to put that emotion into this song and share it with the world. Just pure brilliance.
The arrangements of upright bass, fiddle, and a nice finger picked acoustic style spread across the backing of just fucking awesome songwriting (I really can’t think of anything better to describe it, it’s just plain fucking awesome) are flawless and the harmonies complement each other perfectly. At the same time Baker’s voice somehow manages to be smooth but rugged all in the same breath. It’s like a cigarette smoke tinged, whiskey drowned rasp with a sense of deep soul and warmth.
A little Tom Waits, a little John Prine, and perhaps a sprinkle of Dylan…but still managing to be completely original. Whispers tell that Baker has been working on a new record due out in the not so distant future. I do tell that you should keep and ear to the ground and an eye out for it in the future. You won’t be disappointed.Check out Dan online at www.danbakertunes.com