Following a European tour behind his new album, Land Of Doubt, Sam Baker is turning his attention to creative projects in 2017: Opening his first-ever exhibition as a visual artist, staging an original play and filming a documentary. As you may know, Sam has limited hearing after being on a bus that exploded during a 1986 terrorist attack in Peru, but he’s from Texas, now living in Austin.
The CD comes with 15 tracks that begin with “Summer Wind” and it’s off to a rocky start, but it’s nothing the next track doesn’t make up for. It’s not a thing to complain about, it’s just less my cup of tea than “Some Kind Of Blue” with its playfullycharming look at the blues and what it brings to the world. It’s pretty-deep with great lyrics to back it. The disc only gets this lyrically prolific a few times, so it’s a stand out track for that reason alone. The Bolero part at the end makes it all it can be, and a sure contender for the best track the album has-to offer. “Margaret” showcases some good songwriting skills for a sad one. This is followed by “Love Is Patient” which does more of the same but shows an improvement. It’s just better and gets you to the next level of his mission, which is to take you to the last chord. But you’ll have to take it all in to get there with “Leave” being the next step. It’s one of the more lyrically potent numbers even though it only contains one line. But it is a powerful line, and all it seems to take to get the point across. “Song Of Sunrise Birds” has a trumpet sound that just fantastic, but it’s just an intro to “The Feast Of Saint Valentine” which is one of the more interesting storylines found on the album. It’s a moody track with highs and lows to take in with all they have-to offer. Things do get better, as they say, and this is a point where he proves himself as a songwriting force. After that I like “Moses In The Reeds” for the way it draws you in and keeps you interested the whole way. This tells what is obviously a sad story about a lady that doesn’t do so well for a living. The lyrics go through some clever scenery to describe the ruckus, and it comes with a tune that contains a catchiness you can’t deny. “Say The Right Words” is lyrically ironic to follow such a song, but it does without skipping a beat. The message gets across either way. I mostly like the way he carries a “la lala” to accompany his lyrics and then let a sax smooth it all over. This is very moving. “Peace Out” is one of the recommended tracks, therefore most likely a chosen single. It’s about tales from the beach, giving a report on life at the coast. He describes her as a nice girl who does things so slow it gets her everywhere she needs to go, as she goes with the flow. It makes a less is more statement as a song, while it passes a goodbye message along. “Where Fallen Angels Dwell” and “Land Of Doubt” take the album out with more good songwriting and extraordinary piano and strings that manage to do everything they intend, which is to sooth and relax. This album meets all the above standards. And even exceeds a few.