IMPRESSIVE ARRAY OF GUESTS ON BAKER’S NEW ALBUM
The new album by Irish singer, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player Don Baker features guest appearances by an impressive array of Irish performers singing Baker’s own songs.
The album, entitled My Songs, My Friends, will be released on October 18th, 2013, on Baker’s own label. The star-studded line-up includes Liam O Maonlai, Brian Kennedy, Gemma Hayes, Finbar Furey, Sinead O’Connor, Eleanor McEvoy, John Spillane, Mick Pyro, Clara Rose, Rob Strong, Pat Collins, Martin Furey, Paddy Casey and Declan O’Rourke. There are also three live bonus tracks recorded by Baker at The Olympia. The album’s release will be followed by a single of a stunning version of Baker’s ‘Woe To The Holy Vow’ sung by Damien Dempsey and Sinead O’Connor and in aid of the One In Four organisation and the Magdalene Laundries campaign.
As Baker himself explains about the genesis of his album, “Normally I put a lot of thought into planning my albums, but My Songs, My Friends took on a life of its own, as if some spiritual force was guiding me through it. It actually started after I accidentally met the superb singer Clara Rose in a music shop. Having been much taken by her solo album I invited her to record one of my songs with me. Studio engineer Stuart Gray was so impressed with the result that he suggested I invite others in to sing my songs. One by one they all agreed, and it became a tremendously uplifting experience for me. That such talented people would give so generously of their time was an experience I’ll never forget”.
While Baker is already acknowledged as one of the top blues harmonica players in the world, another key feature of My Songs, My Friends is the quality of his guitar playing and the range and depth of his songwriting. ‘Politician’, featuring John Spillane, castigates our politicians, while there’s a suave gospel elegance to ‘Lord Have Mercy’, a duet by Eleanor McEvoy and Brian Kennedy. Sinead O’Connor is in vintage form on Baker’s ‘Cinderella’, while ‘Maureen’, sung by Baker himself, is a touching love song a la Mark Knopfler.
At the close of the upbeat ‘Little Rock’n’Roll Band’, Finbar Furey sings, “Come on, Don, write me one more song.” That sentiment superbly encapsulates the esteem in which Baker is held in by fans and musicians alike.
My Songs, My Friends will be released on Don’s own label.