As a classically trained musician, singer and songwriter James Lee Baker has an electrifying sound that truly captures the essence of Folk/Americana music. The Texas-native is as much a student of his craft as he is an artist and performer. Baker even trained briefly with renowned fingerstyle guitarist Richard Gilewitz. Baker’s call to melody and organic presentation shines throughout his debut effort titled Home Again.
Comprised of ten invigorating tracks that handsomely reflect Baker’s genius, Home Again is an amazing album with a brilliant landscape. Listeners will find Baker’s fingerstyle guitar playing, verbal prose, and an array of acoustic instrumentation very impressive. Home Again opens with The Canadian River, a very groovy melody that explores the bright adventures of romance. Although Home Again is built around themes of prosperity and love, Baker’s lyricism makes this delightful ride an equally reflective look at life. Two Cageless Birds and Cowtown Blues perfectly demonstrate Baker’s inventive style of prose.
In Two Cageless Birds, Baker paints a stirring visual of the good times shared between two lovers as he sings “I love the way you make believe I rescued you from far away.” Baker uses a more metaphoric approach in Cowtown Blues. In one line he sings about a churchgoing woman, who ‘loves Jesus and rather save herself than save us”. Baker makes every song on this album a testimony of imaginative verse.
Home Again also reflects Baker’s knack of creating tunes that are musically warm and inspiring. In this regard, we find that many of the songs on Home Again have outgrown the premise of genre. Baker infuses elements of blues, pop, and rock into his folk music schematic, as seen in tracks like The First Time and the concluding Stand Alone (remix). Home Again is a memorable creation that transports the listener into a world where life has meaning and the things we experience with those that we love have value, and for that, I would like to say thank to James Lee Baker.
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