Dan Baker – Pistol in my Pocket
Dylan, Waits, Cohen, Prine…Baker. Dan Baker is a songwriter from the Boston area who has been kicking around for a bit. A man who writes about the environment around him and transforms every day observations into brilliant works of poetry and song, sung out with an inspired guitar picking style and a gruff, grained voice weaving tales of loss, heartache, tenacity, and triumph…but it’s really the sad ones that get me every time. His first two albums have become staples in my collection. Beauty through despair seems to be a common thread in his writing, and in my eyes, are the type of songs that strike the deepest chord with me. The type that really digs deep into my heart, tears it out, and then puts it back gently, you know, just so I feel a thing or two. But, Baker creates beauty through his craft regardless of the sentiment he uses to conceive it. This is truly just the pinnacle of great songwriting.
I hear a radio in the courtyard, let the music move your body, your body, your body…
I could go on all day about what is right about this music, but I’ll spare you that. What this record really boils down to it Dan Baker just keeps getting better and f***ing better at songwriting. He writes with a neat and graceful simplicity that is purely captivating. Its emotionally driven, illusion provoking and thoughtful music. He isn’t sitting on his couch with a guitar and a thesaurus and I think that is why much of his writing is so relatable and enthralling. You literally hang on every word he writes. He annunciates in such a way (with those sporadic “woooo’s” and voicings) that is just so interesting and unique you can’t, and don’t want, to turn a deaf ear at. Raw emotion, mood, and energy just pour out of this artist and it’s displayed firmly both in his recorded and live performances alike. “Pistol in my Pocket” is absolute and pure genius. A stunning success and a work of art. Pick this record up immediately if you have not already because I have a feeling that even 25 years from now people will be listening to the stuff Dan is releasing today and be saying “man, why don’t songwriters create songs like this anymore?”