(EAST MEREDITH) On Saturday, June 23, highly acclaimed Texas troubadour Sam Baker performs at the West Kortright Centre at 8PM. One of the most captivating songwriters in America, Baker’s sparse, literary ballads give voice to emotions both tender and bitter, personal and universal, drawn from the details of everyday life.
In 1986, Baker survived a terrorist bombing in Cuzco, Peru. During his long recovery, songs started coming to him; 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. Looking back, I believe it was this land of doubt where I lived for so long that brought me hope. It brought me the power and gift of music. It was the seedbed for my early records…It was the seedbed for life that made me want to offer goodness and service to others, and want to oppose our worst instincts as a people.”
In 2014, Terry Gross devoted an episode of her “Fresh Air” radio program to Sam Baker and his music. Over the past 13 years, Baker’s five recordings have garnered critical acclaim from NPR’s All Things Considered, The New Yorker, Huffington Post, Paste, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, and Rolling Stone, among others.
Tickets are $20 ($23 day of); $17 WKC Member ($20 day of); $11 under 19. Tickets are available online until 24 hours before the event. The ticket booth opens at 7PM on June 23; doors open at 7:30. This is an indoor event; however, participants are encouraged to come early to purchase food on-site and enjoy a picnic in the bucolic West Kortright Centre valley before the show.
The West Kortright Centre is located midway between Oneonta, Delhi, and Stamford. Follow signs from state Route 23 in Davenport Center or state Route 10 east of Delhi. For advance tickets and exact travel directions, visit www.westkc.org.