From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Sam Baker to play Winter Wind show Sunday in Norman
The Texas native’s show will be at the Norman Depot.
NORMAN — Sam Baker’s powerful lyrics punch through the noise of the contemporary music scene with the skill of a master storyteller
Baker will take the Winter Wind stage in the Norman Depot, 200 S Jones, on Sunday. Tickets are $20 for the 7 p.m. performance. Refreshments will served.
With his raspy, almost spoken-word vocal style and his literate, poignant, and carefully observed songs that grapple with the beauties, complexities, and little tragedies of this world, Baker specializes in songs that will touch listeners, if not shake them to the core of their beings.
Baker grew up in Itasca, Texas, a prairie town southwest of Dallas. He was exposed to a wide array of music as a child, not the least of which was his father’s collection of country blues artists. His mother was a church organist who loved Broadway albums.
The defining moment in Baker’s life came in 1986 when he was traveling on a train to visit Machu Picchu in Peru. A terrorist bomb exploded on the train, and Baker was gravely injured, losing most of his hearing and suffering serious injuries to his left arm and hand. He had 18 corrective surgeries over the next decade and the consequent physical, emotional, and spiritual journey Baker experienced helped him form his quiet and passionate view of the world.
Baker has self-released several critically acclaimed albums reflecting that view, including a trilogy that included “Mercy (everyone is at the mercy of another one’s dream),” “Cotton (talk about forgiveness)” and “Pretty World (how beautiful are these days).”
For somebody who’s gone through the pain and trauma he’s gone through, Baker has an amazingly positive outlook on life. “Everything is a gift at this point,” he declares. “All we’ve got is this one breath. And then, if we’re lucky, we have the next breath.”
For more information about Baker’s show and other Performing Arts Studio programs, call 307-9320 or go to www.pasnorman.org. Gallery and office hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Winter Wind Concerts are made possible, in part, by grants from the Norman Arts Council and the Oklahoma Arts Council and by sponsors Tom McAuliffe of Don Cies Real Estate; Cindy Merrick of Therapy in Motion; and Nancy McClellan. Additional support comes from contributors Glen Brown; Skye Diers, Gingerbread Nursery School; Hugh and Keri Young; Dale Wares, Wares Properties; and Danna Primm. Friends include Marie Soliel, Tom & Mary Cay Woodfin; and The Grider Family. In-kind support comes from Cafe Plaid, The Montford Inn and Norman Music Institute.