"The Sean Baker Orchestra" (Self-produced; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

As a failed practicing guitarist I do take a certain joy in hearing other guitarists follow their dreams and muses to create music (make that good music) on their own terms. Writing for Rough Edge has afforded me the opportunity to hear many of these guitarists shredding to their heart's delight critics be damned. I don't think there were many critics in mind when Sean Baker and his merry bunch of fellow musicians created the twelve tracks that make up the debut "The Sean Baker Orchestra."

The disc is comprised mostly of up-tempo rockers with loads and loads of crunchy guitars, spacious bass, and creative drumming. Multi-tracking of guitars seems to be the modus operandi of the day as the sound of the guitars is beyond thick. There are a few respites of mellower material, but even these tracks have a well-thought out and 'orchestral' feel to them. The variety in the songs is a definite plus as no song seems to be an obvious kissing cousin that's a pretty big accomplishment in my book. Sound-wise, Sean Baker is unafraid to be rough and tumble, slick, mean and dirty, soft and beautiful, as well as downright grimy. Not all on the same track, mind you, but throughout his wild and crazy six-string journey.

Gimmicks are all too common in music: Kiss have their make-up, Slipknot have their masks, Rick Nielsen has his expansive array of funky looking guitars, and Angus Young has his schoolboy outfit. Well, the gimmick employed by Sean Baker is that he only plays guitars previously owned by Paul Gilbert (Racer X). And the guitars, some of which are pictured on the album's artwork, are bright and funky. Bright and funky almost describes Sean Baker's energetic approach to his music the music is full of life and joy and undoubtedly Sean Baker has surrounded himself with fellow musicians that can take a hint and inject their own joie de vie into his songs.

"The Sean Baker Orchestra" has some pretty neat stuff and I highly recommend guitar aficionados check out this disc.

"The Sean Baker Orchestra" was produced by Sean Baker. The overall production from track to track is appropriate, but it sounds great at all times. The disc was mixed by Bruce Bouillet of Racer X fame.

The Sean Baker Orchestra is Sean Baker on guitars, Terry Martin on bass, and Kevin Graczyk on drums. Bruce Bouillet plays bass and occasional guitar, Alfredo Riojas contributes guitar, Mike Concepcion contributes guitar, Chris Lucas contributes bass, and Lil Sean Baker contributes guitar.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:20 -0400.