CD Review – Sam Baker

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CD REVIEW

SAM BAKER – LAND OF DOUBT

Independent Release

 Central Texas music artist, Sam Baker has released his fifth album, Land of Doubt, produced by Neilson Hubbard.

What you’ll hear on Land of Doubt is stunning, beautifully arranged strains of chords and melodies with lyrics deeper than the roots of an old oak tree. Baker is well-known for surviving a violent terrorist attack in Peru in 1986. He suffered some hearing loss in the explosion but has defeated all obstacles to emerge as a respected songwriter and performer.

Land of Doubt opens with simplistic yet complex guitar chords from Will Kimbrough on “Summer Wind.” I am immediately reminded of Willie Nelson’s style of intermingling guitar licks with meaningful lyrics.

“Same Kind of Blue” pays tribute to a shy young soldier named Charlie, who was sent to Viet Nam to fight the Viet Cong also known as Charlie. “It was a long way to go for a boy named Charlie/There was snakes, there was jungle, there was all kinds of gnarly/Fighting somebody everybody called Charlie/Was a mean kind of joke/Charlie fighting Charlie…”

“The Silvered Moon” is a forty-eight second instrumental that begs for candlelight and a glass of wine. A tender love song, “Margaret” is a treasure. “Love Is Patient,” says so much on such a deep level. “She said, ‘Please come home’/It’s so late/I worry/I wait/Love is Patient/Love is Kind/Love is hard/Love is blind…” I was drawn by the sad refrains of “Leave,” as it tells Faith to leave because it’s squandered a man’s trust.

More instrumentals, “Pastures Fit for Thoroughbreds” and “Song of Sunrise Birds” are incomparable music arrangements with Dan Mitchell on Trumpet.

Only clever songwriters like Sam Baker and Mary Gauthier could compose lyrics about a girl with a drug addiction, and bring “Moses in the Reeds” into it.

Another tune that grabbed my attention was “Peace Out,” a break-up tune woven so implicitly that you almost miss the message. “She’s a very nice girl/Going with the flow…Peace out/Letting me go.”

“Where Fallen Angels Go” is another exquisite instrumental that moves with an ebb and flow blending keys and strings that feature David Henry and Eamon McLoughlin.

“Land of Doubt” ends this album with a culmination of every aspect of each song rolled into one. If you’re a fan of incredibly beautiful music and deep lyrics, you are sure to love this new album from Sam Baker. Visit http://www.sambakermusic.com for more!

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Land of Doubt is also available on Amazon

True Fan! Dolly Shine

Anyone who reads my blog knows how much music is a huge part of my life. And if you don’t know, you will soon figure it out. Music is more than a Universal language to me. It represents family – a music family that I have come to love, admire and respect.

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Writing for Buddy Magazine, the original Texas music magazine, I have the opportunity to discover new artists, their music, and what makes them tick.

I love doing the CD reviews as much as I love doing book reviews for books I read and enjoy, because I get to tell potential listeners/readers my thoughts.

That being said, I was asked to review a new CD by the Texas-based group, Dolly Shine.

Wow!! That word isn’t strong enough, but it’s all I’ve got.

Walkabout

 

If the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Ray Wylie Hubbard had a love child, it would be called Dolly Shine!

High energy, raw, brilliantly delivered lyrics and musical arrangement is what you will find on Dolly Shine’s new Indie CD, Walkabout. From the first song, “Blackbird” to the last, “Old Flame,” I enjoyed this musical journey.

What a talented group of young men who all contribute to the writing and playing of their music, telling of self-discovery, heartbreak and hard truths. Wes Hall, plays the fiddle with intensity and precision. Zack McGinn is lead vocalist and writer of a large percentage of their songs. Ben Hussey plays bass and is also writer and co-writer on two songs. Jerrod Flusche (also a writer) and Josh Serrato take credit for the outstanding electric guitar work and Johnny Goodson keeps the back beat going on the drums.

I couldn’t help but hear a touch of Ray Wiley Hubbard’s rockin’ style on “Blackbird.” “Come Out Swingin’” is a song most anyone can relate to; when the old girlfriend shows up at a club and she still has a death grip on your heart. “Closing Time” delivers engaging lyrics, “I love you woman but I hate you/I can’t live with your new way of life.” “Rattlesnake” is making a splash on the music charts and with good reason. It is a toe-tapper with haunting lyrics; “Train whistle blowing, can’t you hear that lonesome sound?” Ben Hussey is co-writer on “Twist the Knife,” a lament to breaking up. Hussey’s “Anywhere Close to Fine” is a delivery of hard truth to a country rocking beat. Jerrod Flusche wrote “Snakeskin Boots” and I have to admit the lyrics and song delivery gave me goosebumps. Isaac Hoskins wrote “Hitchhikin” and holds true to its title. Randy Radicke joins Zack on an evocative “Old Flame.”

These talented writers and musicians obviously contribute equally to Dolly Shine. I give this album a big 5 Star review!!

For more on this talented group, visit: Website