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Sam Baker - Pretty World

Pretty World

Sam Baker

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This Texas songwriter is not a singer with a pretty voice, he more thrusts the words out of his mouth in his husky gravelly voice than sings, but it is those words that are important here; the way he puts those words together and they stories they form.. This is a spare but beautiful disc in many ways; Walt Wilkins and Tim Lorsch produce it and they fully utilize the talents of the musicians of Nashville and Austin to showoff these story songs in the best light. They enlisted the gifts of people such as Joel Guzman, accordion, Lloyd Maines, resophonic guitar and pedal steel, Gurf Morlix, voice and electric guitar and Marcia Ramirez's voice, among many others.

Baker's stories have the minute details that display that he knows what he is writing of. It is this combination of detail and knowledge that give his stories the ring of truth of experience. For example, in Psychic, he sings:
He uses whips on his horses
He is that kind of man
You pretend he whispers so you don't take a stand
But there are scares on the flanks
They look like fans
The horses are scared
Their eyes roll white

Not sure his voice or delivery are for everyone, but the songs sure are worth the listening. The musicians, both in his band and the guests, leave plenty of room for his songs to make their statement, and their inner beauty to shine through. There is much to be gained from his outlook for all who will take the time to listen.

Track List:

  • Juarez
  • Orphan
  • Slots
  • Pretty World
  • Odessa
  • Sweetly Undone
  • Psychic
  • Boxes
  • Prelude to Pretty World
  • Broken Fingers
  • Days
  • Recessional Pretty World

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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