Sam Baker makes people happy. The characters in his songs face many challenges—alcoholism, car wrecks, racism, drug addiction, a mother’s abandonment—but they persevere. Much like Sam himself.
In 1986 Sam got in the middle of someone else’s war. When a terrorist bomb exploded in his train compartment, he went from being a young, healthy, tourist enjoying Peru with friends to a broken man surrounded by death and dying. Given his injuries, he too should have died. But through a series of miracles and coincidences he survived.
There were lots of surgeries, and the requisite pain pills. His leg was saved by a successful femoral arterial graft. When the cranial bleed in his brain healed, he had to relearn nouns, and after his right eardrum was replaced, he regained some hearing. With the top of his left hand gone, it seemed that his formerly skillful hands had been transformed into blocks of wood, but eventually those hands learned how to play an upside-down guitar.
Physically, Sam was recovering, but his life was filled with pills, booze, and rage. Then came the voices and messengers that helped him see that the greatest gift is life itself. He learned about forgiveness. He needed to tell his story. Songs started to come from that upside-down guitar. Before he knew it, there were CDs, tours around the world, an interview with Terry Gross, and awards in Rolling Stone.
Sam feels compelled to tell his story—through his music, art, or any means possible—to one person at a time, or to thousands from a festival stage.
A Sam Baker show is a celebration. Some songs tell of everyday people who survive life’s daily challenges; others are stories of growing up in a small Texas prairie town. All his shows are an acknowledgment and appreciation of the pure joy that comes with people gathering to listen to live music. Sam’s fans travel to see him, often driving hours to experience the powerful performance. After the show, they tell Sam their stories. At the end of the day, we all go in peace.
Learn more at https://www.sambakermusic.com
Singer/songwriter Lyn Koonce, engages audiences with her warmth and authenticity often turning heads from the first song. From ballads to blues, Lyn’s music is skillful, unique, yet universal. It creates traction and stays with you long after the performance.
Her themes reach in and stir your soul just enough that while singing and revealing her own story, you realize she just might be telling yours. From the desire to experience the depths of sorrow, joy, and love in “10 Feet Tall” to the simple love song, “These Days,” Lyn invites you to feel your way through her music.
You’ll keep coming back because you love the journey. Her songs and stories create a centering against the backdrop of community where her heart lies and where she builds strong connection with her audience. Lyn is relatable, approachable, fun, and true. Her songs follow suit.
Learn more at https://lynkooncemusic.com
Born in Winston-Salem, NC and raised on a family farm near Sauratown Mountain, Rex McGee had early formal training on the piano and fiddle. He learned to play from his father Will, a left-handed fiddler who learned from his father on a fiddle made out of a gourd. Rex performs across several musical genres: rock with Celtic stars Brynmor, traditional and original folk tunes with contra dance group Footloose, and jazz/folk with vocalist Martha Bassett. He is known by 3-finger style banjo players all over the world as a vanguard innovator on an instrument of humble origins.
Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/musicalrex