Songwriter Sam Baker Earns Raves For New Album, Land of Doubt
“Land of Doubt is a staggering work of art that will leave you breathless.” – Acoustic Magazine
NASHVILLE, TN (June 21, 2017) – Songwriter Sam Baker will launch a seven-city tour of the United Kingdom this week following brilliant reviews in the European press for his new album, Land of Doubt.
The Texas musician’s first new album in four years entered the Euro Americana airplay chart at No. 2 in June. The acclaimed project is being released in the United States today, with domestic tour dates to follow in July.
In a four-star review, The Irish Times stated, “By now, we should know what to expect, but five albums in Sam Baker can still surprise. Bent but not broken by a terrorist bomb in Peru some time ago, the Texan songwriter’s work distills his experiences, both observed and imagined, old and new, into an elegiac array of taut, minimalist word pictures set to subtle and ornate arrangements.”
This remarkable collection serves as a companion piece to his acclaimed 2013 project, Say Grace, and sets the stage for a number of creative projects coming later in the year, including a documentary, an original play, and a gallery exhibit of his visual art.
Working in Nashville for the first time with producer Neilson Hubbard, Baker uses the ‘50s jazz trumpet of Don Mitchell and the sustained guitar textures of Will Kimbrough to frame the lyrics. He breaks up the ten vocal numbers with five cinematic instrumental interludes. Setting aside his acoustic guitar, Baker plays electric for this project using atmospheric tones that linger in the sonic landscape.
“This record is a meditation, a reflection on day-to-day life,” Baker says. “The goodness, the struggle, the uncertainty. It gives me strength to share doubt. It gives me strength to hear others share doubt. With doubt comes clarity. With doubt comes hope.”
Land of Doubt gives Baker an opportunity to explore the universal themes of disappointment, trust and compassion. His recordings have garnered critical acclaim from NPR's Fresh Air withTerry Gross and All Things Considered, American Songwriter, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Paste and Rolling Stone. Say Grace was cited in the Houston Chronicle’s feature of the 50 Great Texas Singer-Songwriter Albums.
When Baker first emerged 13 years ago, the dominant story was how he survived a 1986 terrorist bombing in Cuzco, Peru. In spite of the loss of hearing in one ear and limited hearing in the other, he steadily established a reputation as a first-rank singer-songwriter.
“After my event in Peru, I lived in doubt. I lived in uncertainty. The days, the nights. Life. Death. Everything that I had known was cast in shadows. Laden with doubt,” he says. “My eardrums were blown in. I used a Walkman and turned the volume up full so it rattled the bones of the inner ear. Somewhere in there, I knew there was beauty. I felt it. I felt hope. I began to believe that doubt – just as darkness – lifts, and there is joy in the morning.”
Five albums since launching his music career, Baker is now expanding his artistic reach by writing and producing a play (Broken Fingers), filming a documentary and staging an art exhibition in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Dream of the Snow Geese).