Archive for the artists Category

Sherman Baker new CD Review

Posted in artists with tags , , , , , on November 23, 2013 by damngoodtunes

Not John Lennon

Sherman Baker CD

When I first heard this record by Sherman Baker it struck me as warm and familiar, bringing me in yet something was strange enough to keep me listening. We’ve all been told that less is more but I believe there are other times when more is right. Such is the case with the deep tank reverb used on the album’s opening track The Knave which contributed a bit of a wash-out like the way some of the old Columbia recordings of Simon and Garfunkel’s voices were produced and of which I always loved. To accompany his voice Baker uses a steady rhythm on the low strings of the guitar to carry all the beat of the song’s intro while he weaves his melody in and out of the empty spaces and then, much to my joy the guitar tracks start to build with the drums and Bass coming in at the precise moment of perfection and I think I’m hearing a song that Al Stewart (Year Of The Cat) could have written back in the late nineteen-seventies. Not a bad way to start off a good record and I’m not implying that the song lacks originality at all. In fact most everything we hear today has pretty much been done before but the genius plays out by how we use the colors in the crayon box of music doesn’t it? There are only a few notes in our musical scale yet there are millions of ways to sequence them, and Sherman Baker does a fine job arranging them his own way.

I found myself engaged in his song “ Highway Prayer “ with its arpeggiated acoustic guitar moving at a rapid pace against an ethereal sea of guitar-effect pads in the far background. It is soothing but not to the point of becoming a new-age meditation track by any means. The words of the poem are beautiful but sung softly so as to not be in your face unless you chose for them to be. Then I start getting into Baker’s head and his thought process as a producer; why he chose this, why that was left out – and realize the sheer artistry of the man.

Producer, songwriter

Sherman Baker – recording artist

There are several tracks on this CD that I really like for different reasons but most of all I favor the consistency that has Sherman Baker’s own brand in every melody, poem, arrangement and production. If I were to pick a personal favorite it would have to be We Grow Old because this song is sparse and quirky with it’s up-stoke rhythm and just a single voice setting the stage and slowly building the story. It then blooms like a sunflower of brightness and color with the drums and other instruments, criss-cross harmonies cascading and of course, that killer little slightly de-tuned upright piano that gives it a little Abbey Road charm. I don’t know that Mr. Baker is consciously channeling some Mr. Lennon or not, but it’s a very pleasant, touching and subliminal tribute to the man, or at least a style that the Fab One brought to the world so long ago with his Liverpool mates. So whatever the reason or motivation this is a great song!

Sherman Baker has proved in this self-titled release that he is a songwriter of substance and a very capable musician that I don’t always find combined in the music of today. See, I kind of think there are singers, songwriters, singer-songwriters and then a few of us other weirdo’s who not only want to paint the picture, we want to go to the store and mix the paint ourselves, maybe even make the canvas so that when the song is completed it’s our baby. There’s no one else to consult or to blame. When a record turns out this good though, we deserve to take a longer bow !

Bruce J Maier



Making Money with Music

Posted in artists, Bands, facebook, Money, Rock Stars with tags , , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by damngoodtunes

Show Me What Money?

When I was a young teen Rocker back in the day I never thought about money or making much of it through music. Sure, my buddies and I considered being on huge stages and what it would mean to be famous, but the money wasn’t part of the quest. It was just assumed that end of the game would take care of itself. We didn’t think about transportation fuel costs, clothes or costumes. We only thought about having good amps, guitars and drums…sorry, no Tuba players were in the band!

Money At The Door

We did a lot of assuming back in those days and often there would be some trusted school mate who would as they say ” run the door “. The band would charge a cover, maybe a buck or two and the patrons would get some goofy looking stamp on their hands. Lots of times the  dance club floors were packed but at the end of the night for some reason there was only about thirty-five dollars in the shoe-box. How could this be? Well ” we had to let so-and-so in because she was hot, this other guy had no money but had to impress his girlfriend , the drummer’s cousin “. And so it was that nothing ever got written down. The band was going in the hole with every gig we played. Still, we unpacked the gear in the studio and rehearsed again and again like nothing concerned us about the money, or the lack thereof.

Make some real  money  or get a real job!

While you’re still living at home and borrowing from your relatives, as an artist or musician sooner or later something will have to give. Dreams sometimes get interrupted by reality and one finds him or herself filling out application for either a job or financial assistance, and it ain’t pretty! Money is one of those things that sooner or later we have to come to grips with and we need to start earning it fast!  Nothing like the news that a baby is coming soon to make some of us wake up!

The Band Is Breaking Up!

Jimmy quit, Jody got married….Hmmm, where did I hear that? Oh yeah, thank you Brian Adams! It’s true. So many really talented bands and groups break up because of financial problems  but you know what? These bands  had the best of intentions to get it together, write world-changing songs and be famous. They just didn’t have any money! They didn’t have a plan. Heck, they didn’t  even have a dedicated spiral notebook and a marking pen to write down how many patrons came in the door at the gig! They just ” assumed ” that everything would be alright, but it wouldn’t be without a plan.

Now back in those days we didn’t have Internet or social networking or a WordPress blog, websites or anything. It was all done by meeting in person or talking on a telephone. There were record companies in Los Angeles and  Nashville, That’s where the studios were and if you were going to get into the action you had to be there or New York City, maybe Toronto or London. That’s where the money was and you had to have a record deal. The mp3 and the iTunes hadn’t come about yet and it would be decades before they did.  But when it happened, money came trickling in from all kinds of new and exciting streams. Oh yes there are many ways for musicians and bands to make money today. Some that we’ve never even thought of but it’s right here under our noses! In the next part of my story, we will delve into new ways that money is being made in the music industry and that virtually anyone, any young new band in the world can make tons of  it!

Bruce J Maier / publisher


Posted in animation, artists, cartoon, cartoonist, Fabulous Friends, Guitar Nation, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 16, 2013 by damngoodtunes