BELLOWSFALLS >> "Life is a gift," says Sam Baker. "Gratitude for what remains is more helpful than resentment for what was lost. Ultimately, I came to understand that these days are wicked short and terribly beautiful. All I've got is this one breath, and if I'm lucky, I get another."
Four albums into a career that was ignited by a tragic event in a foreign land, it is life and its precious value that carries Mr. Baker's songs and art. His story includes surviving a terrorist bomb on a bus bound for Machu Picchu, Peru, in 1986. Most of the passengers were killed, including the German family that he had befriended. His injuries required him to relearn how to walk, move, and speak. Many years and over 15 operations later, the new Sam Baker sees beauty in everything around him and expresses his new found life every day, sometimes with paint and canvas, a camera, or a guitar and a song. Baker released his first record, Mercy, in 2004, the first in a trilogy of song paintings with sparse instrumentation and poetic delivery.
He told the Wall Street Journal, which called him the 'Bard of the Workaday World,' "I'm the dullest source of material there is. The world is fascinating, charming; it's an endless sea of goodness and terror and evil. All I've got to do as a writer is walk around and not look at my shoes."
He's traveling with fellow Texan Carrie Elkin who helps out with vocals and rays of sunlight and is often called a force of nature. This is Mr. Baker's and Ms. Elkin's second trip to Bellows Falls. In 2015 he offered a riveting performance at Roots on the River.
Available at popolomeanspeople. com and at Popolo Restaurant, tickets are $22 in advance and $26 at the door at Windham Ballroom, 40 The Square, Bellows Falls. Doors open at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.
For more information go to popolomeanspeople.com