This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 1/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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The Beatles had their White Album. Well. T.S. Baker has produced her Blue Album. However, while this release most certainly depicts those relationships highlighted with a do-not-resuscitate order, it also delves a time or two into those bountifully flourishing. Baker's meditations focus on connections between others, with oneself and with the physical world.
Known for her previous collaborations with Stan Moeller, this is the first solo offering from the Maine-based singer-songwriter. Her easy-to-enjoy vocals, intimate and challenging lyrics and pleasing melodies make this a winner.
The second cut, "The Lucky One," muses on the serendipitous nature of life's blessings and lack thereof.
"Nothing's Wrong" opens with this howdy-do:
"...A broken promise between fair weather friends"Private War" depicts an unraveling between a couple that results in one of the fallen pair determined to focus within for change and healing. It opens with: "I fell out of grace and it made no sound..." Later, Baker adds:
You can't hide behind your smoking gun
We're like a test-ban that's been lifted off again
So bombs away and we'll have our fun..."
"...'Cause this isn't about you nowIn "After The Before," she sings of one lost in the logistics of love:
it's my private war
Tripping through the endless mine fields buried deep inside
Finding only smoke and mirrors
Only self-doubt and pride..."
"...I'm a bird that flew into your glass door"Both "Remnant City" and "Welcome Home" shift to the physical world. Departing a dying town before it is too late is the motif of "Remnant City."
You're a darkened room, a hidden corner
That I can't explore
I'm just learning well after the before..."
"Welcome Home" appears to be borne of a first visit to the Kerrville Folk Festival. Opening the song with a fear-of-the-unknown sense-of- trepidation, Baker succumbs:
"...I joined with voices singing deep into the nightWith the Maine state slogan being "The Way Life Should Be," don't bet on the state powers-that-be to be plying Baker with the offer of riches for an official state song anytime soon.
My passion burning 'round another campfire light
A sense of belonging unlike I have never known
Inside this circle you are not in this alone..."
Baker, on vocals, acoustic guitar, reed organ and piano, is backed by Steve Scully on drums and percussion; John Troy on electric bass; Brett Hartenbach on electric lead guitar; Kristen Miller on cello; Joyce Andersen on violin; Bruce Derr on dobro; Rick Watson on B3; Stan Moeller on 2nd acoustic guitar; Mary Ballou on acoustic bass; Kent Allyn on piano; Woody Allen on acoustic lead guitar; Craig Werth on harmony vocals; Rachael Davis on harmony vocals.
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