My heart is broken…

Literally. I had a heart attack last week.

I don’t normally talk about the details of my personal life much on here, but as you can see if you look, I have been absent from here a while. I felt too busy to take time to write, with a variety of things happening that were already pretty challenging.

So, now, I am feeling that if I don’t make time to do the things I know I want to, like communicate to the world about my journey as a songwriter here, well I might just run out of time.

Before we get too dramatic, here are the details:

  • I awoke early Monday morning with severe aching pain in both my arms, shoulders and back, and felt dizzy. I suspected heart trouble and took aspirin, but when the symptoms did not subside after an hour and a half, I ended up in the emergency room.
  • I did not have a blockage, as would be likely in these situations. Instead, I have a dissection, a tear in an artery, and that it not something you can quite repair. It will take genetic testing to try to figure out the cause.
  • The treatment is to keep my blood pressure low, and so far that is it, just taking the medications and getting used to them (they can make you dizzy). I will be living a “heart-healthy” lifestyle from now on.

So, what does this mean for my music schedule?

  • No gigs were impacted by this, although I missed Songsters night at Lamp Club Light Shop that night.
  • I am still scheduled for two hour gigs at Gusto’s Bar in Barre on August 30th, September 27th and October 26th. Radio Bean is October 3rd.
  • I was invited back to The Open Door in Hillsborough, New Hampshire for a 15 minute spot. I ended up signing up for April 2020, as I saw my friends Dan & Faith will be headlining.
  • I am more determined than ever to complete the recording of the final songs selected for my next release, Common Man Blues. More on this in my next posts.
  • I will be doing as many open mics as possible.

Keep trying, before we are dying…

I am also trying, once again, to re-commit to this blog and try to make it relevant to what’s happening for me musically. I hope you feel free to comment on any post new or old, write me with feedback or suggestions, link and repost anything here.

Note: I did write a song since facing death, and it’s about the fear of death of course! Not sure it’s all that great a song… 😉

Talk to you again soon,

Jason Baker

Gig report: Radio Bean November 14th 2018

It was a dark and snowy night.

No, seriously. Back in February, on the 7th, the was a big-ass snowstorm. I was in a duo who had a gig that evening, but the heavy snow meant the roads were too much for my duo partner.

Not wanting to ruin our reputation with the venue, I asked them if I could do the gig solo. They were happy to not have an empty stage.

I showed up, and no one from the venue said anything as I set up the P.A. and tested it. Got a complimentary beverage from the busy bartender and started promptly. An hour later, I finished up by thanking the people there, noting “This was fun! I haven’t done this in… whoa, 25 years!”.

It was then I realized I should give being a solo performing artist a shot.

The venue was Radio Bean.

10th show at Radio Bean 

I have played monthly at Radio Bean since, and it has been a good way to gain some performance experience.

On November 14th, I played an 8:30 set. I was delighted to have some esteemed musician friends play an earlier set: Dan & Faith, a harmony folk duo from New Hampshire. They are the couple playing and singing in the featured picture for this post.

Their music is heartfelt, honest and musically satisfying, and seeing a whole set was a treat.

Fun and friends

Two other friends of mine from a local songwriters group came as well, and with Dan and Faith there, plus the usual gang at the bar, it was fun! Faith had said Dan would jump in on harmonica if I wanted, so I asked if he could play cross-harp in E. He came right up and we did my song “Rising Devil” with extra turns around. Dan did a great job and it sounded awesome!