Read our review of Texan Sam Baker‘s potent new release Land of Doubt.
Sam Baker’s Hushed Power Pierces Through
‘Land Of Doubt’
By Rob Dickens
Sam Baker hails from the small prairie town of Itasca, Texas, and now lives in Austin.
His new album Land of Doubt is his first in four years. It is a compelling testimony from a songwriter who has plenty to say.
A cornerstone event in his life has been how he survived a 1986 terrorist bombing in Cuzco, Peru. In that horrible moment of chance, he suffered the loss of hearing in one ear and limited hearing in the other.
Says Baker: “After my event in Peru, I lived in doubt. I lived in uncertainty. The days, the nights. Life. Death. Everything that I had known was cast in shadows. Laden with doubt. My eardrums were blown in. I used a Walkman and turned the volume up full so it rattled the bones of the inner ear. Somewhere in there, I knew there was beauty. I felt it. I felt hope. I began to believe that doubt – just as darkness – lifts, and there is joy in the morning.”
The triumph of achievements for this accomplished singer-songwriter since those dark days is remarkable as he has amassed a body of work to which we can doff our hats in admiration.
Land Of Doubt is an atmospheric, beautiful and edgy collection which serves as a companion piece to his acclaimed 2013 album Say Grace. In the new release, there is a pervasive theme of uncertainty, of honesty that irrevocably has captured this listener. Baker worked for the first time in Nashville (with producer Neilson Hubbard) and the structure here is cleverly fashioned. Ten songs are mingled with five graphic interludes. The jazz trumpet of Don Mitchell is achingly good and the highly talented and omnipresent Will Kimborough adds delicate guitar patterns that adorn the lyrics, which were all penned by Baker (‘Moses In The Reeds’ was a co-write with Mary Gauthier).
“This record is a meditation, a reflection on day-to-day life,” Baker says. “The goodness, the struggle, the uncertainty. It gives me strength to share doubt. It gives me strength to hear others share doubt. With doubt comes clarity. With doubt comes hope.”
‘Leave’ is worth the admission price alone. So direct, so impassioned in its delivery and expressing such disappointment that trust has been broken, seemingly for eternity:
“no more chances
no more tries
too much guilt
but no more lies
you may not stay
you may not stay
Five albums into his musical career, Baker is now expanding into live theatre (writer and producer), documentary making and staging a visual art exhibition. He is a gifted artist and Land of Doubt is a masterwork.
Via Richlyn Marketing