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TS Baker - Through the Shadows

Through the Shadows

T.S. Baker

GF 70992

Go Figure Records
40 Harvest Lane
York, ME 03909

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz
(rschwartz@oeb.harvard.edu)

T.S. Baker has been part of the northern New England acoustic music scene for some time: as half of a musical duo with husband Stan Moeller, as a producer and now as a talented solo singer/songwriter. With Moeller pursuing a successful art career full-time, Baker steps out into the spotlight.

Through the Shadows is a collection of smartly written acoustic folk/pop songs, tightly produced and featuring Baker's appealing midrange vocals that frequently climb into a higher, lovely soprano range. Both the songs and the voice reach in and grab you with their subtle sophistication.

Baker knows how to pull together a perfect pop sound - all of the songs are engagingly radio friendly. And she surrounds herself with a group of outstanding backing musicians including Kristen Miller on cello, Joyce Anderson on violin, Steve Scully on drums and percussion, John Troy on electric bass, Kent Allyn on piano and Brett Hartenbach on electric lead guitar. This is not your mother's folk music!

The recording opens with the up-tempo I Can See the Rain. I love its bouncy melody and upbeat feel, with a "we'll take whatever life delivers" attitude. Hearing lyrics like these is always a joy:
I can see the rain as it hits the ground
I am driving through it on a merry-go-round
And the wind it blows and the leaves they swirl
Blowin' up the skirt of an untamed girl

Save for the Moon is a paean to the moon and a lovely celebration of romantic love. Just Baker's vocals and acoustic guitar - this one shines and glows.

Baker describes the complicated feelings of having to let go of a love that no longer works in After the Before. Kristen Miller's melancholy cello provides the perfect accompaniment.

It is difficult to say "I love you" in new and different ways in song, but Baker does just that in the album's most moving track, You Save Me. It features Baker's voice moving up and down and across her entire vocal range, with accompanying piano.

Heaven is one of the prettiest lullabies I have ever heard. It sounds like a chorus of angels care of the clever use of several tracks of Baker's vocals on the harmony parts. If there is a heaven, surely this is the tune we will hear playing as the pearly gates open before us.

Baker has developed a richly deserved reputation as an innovative producer and half of a musical duo, but with Through the Shadows she has emerged as one of the best solo performers of the year. Through this recording T. S. Baker has created an original sound and voice, traveling alone through the territory of the heart. You will be humming these songs to yourself long after the CD has ended. Baker provides us with a rich tapestry of sounds and images, beautifully produced and executed. Put Through the Shadows on your Christmas list, your birthday list - just get yourself a copy. It's for lovers of good music everywhere.

Track List:

  • I Can See the Rain (T. Baker/S. Moeller)
  • The Lucky One (T. Baker/J. Curtis)
  • Nothing's Wrong
  • Save for the Moon (T. Baker/J. Curtis)
  • Private War
  • After the Before
  • You Save Me (C. Werth/T. Baker)
  • Remnant City
  • Into Your Hands
  • Heaven
  • Welcome Home (T. Baker/P. Albrecht)

All songs by T.S. Baker except where noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2003, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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