Clara Baker

National Release Date: Sept. 10th 2015


Clara Baker’s formative years were spent immersed in the family’s music business, buy traveling to Pacific Northwest festivals & workshops, order helping her father, see Greg, sell his instructional fiddle and flat-pick guitar books. The “Fiddle America Workshop Series” was a family affair, with the elder Baker including Clara and her brother Marshall in all aspects of the enterprise; from hand binding the books, to appearing in photographs demonstrating how to hold a fiddle, to singing verses on old time fiddle tunes on the companion CD. Raised in this environ, folk and roots music seeped into Clara’s very soul, blanketed by the sound of her dad playing fiddle in the living room, the fine singing voice of her mother Rebecca, and summer times brimming with hundreds of bluegrass musicians jamming till the wee hours of the morning.

Temporary Things, Clara Baker’s debut album, is a collection of 12 original songs that tell a story – a progression of love, loss, connection, self-discovery and reflection. The songs also relate a young woman’s musical genesis that began with picking up a fiddle and making the rounds of competitive fiddle contests, to family jam sessions, choir performances, classical voice lessons and eventual transition to guitar and finding her own voice as an accomplished singer-songwriter.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Dale (Kate MacKenzie, Dan Crary) and Suzanne Adkins at Big Owl Studio in Salem Oregon, Temporary Things features a troupe of polished Northwest bluegrass & Americana players. Stand out contributions from singer-songwriter Kelly Bosworth (harmony vocals), Dale Adkins (lead guitar, octave mandolin, banjo), Washington state fiddle champion Martin Stevens (fiddle, mandolin, octave mandolin, harmony vocals) and Josh Adkins (bass, octave mandolin, harmony vocals) provide the perfect compliment to Baker’s compositions.

All the varied nuances of love and stepping out on one’s own are explored on Temporary Things. The lead off track “Big Spoon” is the quintessential “happy song” of the album with its buoyant bluegrassy instrumentation underpinning the inviting gentle ease and smooth timbre of Baker’s vocals. Hearts circle, entwine, and eventually, reluctantly wander with the changing of the seasons in “January,” while the confident resolve of leaving a love behind is contained on the foot-tapping fiddle driven “Don’t Wait For Goodbye.” Some beautiful flat-picking graces the track “Lay Right Here,” as Baker contemplates taking ownership of one’s own fears. Yearning for and harnessing one’s independence is explored on the tune “Let Me Drive” with Baker singing,  “show me the road, show me the sky, let me drive.” 

Clara Baker’s, honest, poetic, heartfelt observations draw you close and reveal a reflective young burgeoning artist exploring her personal journey along the way. As Baker related: “This quote from a Rainer Rilke poem sums up the feeling of the album to me”: “Go to the limits of your longing… Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” 

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