"Simultaneously beautiful and broken…Sam Baker is an artist worth waiting for" - NPR All Things Considered
"The Bard of the Workaday World" - Wall Street Journal
"Maybe the most captivating songwriter in America." - Lone Star Music
"Sam Baker is an island of warmth and hope in dangerous times." - Neon Filler
Go in Peace - A Message for our Times
An excerpt from a magic night in Hood River, Oregon January 4, 2020 with Mark Steighner and The Gorge Sinfonietta.
Praise for the new release Horses and Stars:
Sam isn't a singer, so much as a storyteller; that is his charm and his magic. - Helen Mitchell, FATEA
The Texas troubadour delivers a storytelling masterclass
Coming 15 years after his debut album, ‘Mercy’, Sam Baker has released his first live album and ‘Horses and Stars’ is a corker of a record that captures everything that is great about his live performances.
- Jim Finnie, Americana - UK
If you like your music with grit in its belly and a cast of characters to match any backstreet boozer, this might be the introduction you’ve been looking for.
Give Sam Baker a listen. - T. Bebedor, Dancing About Architecture
one of the greatest Texan storytellers - Remo Ricaldone, Lonestar Time
This is one of the most remarkable albums we’ve had in some time. Baker half sings and half talks and plays gentle electric guitar, but his songs tell a powerful story of normal folk and it has a real power.
- The Chronicle Series
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All photos by T. Yancer
Sam Baker makes people happy. The characters in his songs face many challenges—alcoholism, car wrecks, racism, drug addiction, a mother’s abandonment—but they persevere. Much like Sam himself.
In 1986 Sam got in the middle of someone else’s war. When a terrorist bomb exploded in his train compartment, he went from being a young, healthy, tourist enjoying Peru with friends to a broken man surrounded by death and dying. Given his injuries, he too should have died. But through a series of miracles and coincidences he survived.
There were lots of surgeries, and the requisite pain pills. His leg was saved by a successful femoral arterial graft. When the cranial bleed in his brain healed, he had to relearn nouns, and after his right eardrum was replaced, he regained some hearing. With the top of his left hand gone, it seemed that his formerly skillful hands had been transformed into blocks of wood, but eventually those hands learned how to play an upside-down guitar.
Physically, Sam was recovering, but his life was filled with pills, booze, and rage. Then came the voices and messengers that helped him see that the greatest gift is life itself. He learned about forgiveness. He needed to tell his story. Songs started to come from that upside-down guitar. Before he knew it, there were CDs, tours around the world, an interview with Terry Gross, and awards in Rolling Stone.
Sam feels compelled to tell his story—through his music, art, or any means possible—to one person at a time, or to thousands from a festival stage.
A Sam Baker show is a celebration. Some songs tell of everyday people who survive life’s daily challenges; others are stories of growing up in a small Texas prairie town. All his shows are an acknowledgment and appreciation of the pure joy that comes with people gathering to listen to live music. Sam’s fans travel to see him, often driving hours to experience the powerful performance. After the show, they tell Sam their stories.
Go in peace. Go in kindness. Go in love.