Sam Baker is a man of few words. Always beautifully chosen, and fully wrought. Words placed like plants and objects in a Zen Garden. His website is stark: white, black, sepia, and shades of gray. Baker 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 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.
Baker approaches life with a positive attitude – “Life is a gift. I went through a lot of bitterness- a lot of anger. But those things are toxic. Gratitude for what remains is more helpful than resentment for what was lost. Ultimately, I came to understand that these days are wicked short and terribly beautiful. All I’ve got—no matter what I hold in my hands, drive around in, or put in the bank,- all I’ve got is this one breath, and if I’m lucky, I get another.”
With her Red House Records debut release, Call It My Garden, Carrie Elkin has emerged as one of the defining new voices in the world of Texas singer-songwriters, being celebrated by Texas Music Magazine as one of their artists of the year. The voice, the stories, the images, the grace and infectious enthusiasm, it’s a complete package. But it’s the power of her live performances that really have been creating an incredible buzz around this young artist. Maverick Magazine said it best, after a recent festival performance: “I have never seen a performer so in love with the act of singing. That’s the gospel truth. Onstage Elkin was simply a force of nature.”
When & Where
Common Ground Community Concerts
Common Ground Community Concerts is a grassroots music production and event planning organization based in Westchester County NY. For the past 13 years, Common Ground has produced its flagship Common Ground Coffeehouse series, sponsored by (and hosted by) The First Unitarian Society of Westchester, in Hastings-on-Hudson NY.