Meet Sam Baker

December 11, 2013

Photo by: Chrislyn Lawrence

Photo by: Chrislyn Lawrence

Meet Sam Baker

This man inspired me to keep going after my wreck. At the age of 31 he survived a Peruvian terrorist bombing that resulted damages to his left hand and brain. He plays left-handed guitar, sings with a rhythm that keeps his mind moving through his writing, and it’s my dream to open for him one day. His album “Say Grace” is Rolling Stone’s 5th best Country Album of the Year

Meet Ruby

October 2, 2013

Earlier this year I was doing research for work on local non-profits and found The Jordan Thomas Foundation. I was clicking through their website and quickly discovered it was an incredible organization that provides prosthetics to kids in need. Having lost two fingers, I have an enormous passion for amputees. I clicked through the website and stumbled upon Ruby. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I never thought I would ever find another left hand like mine; and sure enough, a beautiful little girl was holding a fishing pole with hers. I wrote the foundation and was able to send Ruby a letter. Ruby is Honduran, so my letter reached her this summer, and she wrote me back! Her pediatrician mentioned that The Jordan Thomas Foundation’s annual event was coming up September 29th and Ruby would be there! A drive to Chattanooga is way easier than a flight to Honduras, so I jumped at the opportunity. 

So Sunday, twelve days after my wreck’s fourth anniversary, I met this sweet girl. She is very spunky, and it was such a joy to meet her! My hope is to instill more confidence into women and young women about their bodies. I hope this is the beginning of a long awaited friendship! Ruby, if you’re out there, it was an absolute joy to meet you and until next time! 

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If you would like to learn more about supporting in Ruby in Honduras, click here.

If you would like to help amazing kids run, dance, and play through the help of prosthetics, click here.

If you would like to learn more about my new friend, Jordan Thomas, and his amazing work, click here.  

I student at MTSU interviewed me for his project!

I’ve only written a few new songs this year. One poured out of me in one big emotional purge, but the other two took weeks. It was as if each week I had to mature into the next verse. I had to come around to being able to handle where the song was going next. If I had forced myself to write the song in one sitting, I would have missed the progression, and the story wouldn’t have been right.

The ending for this latest one has sat me down and shaken its finger at me. It snuck up on me and I fought it aggressively — mostly because I wanted the aggressive ‘I’m right!’ kind of ending, and instead I got the ‘let it go’ kind of response. 

It turns out I can be prideful with my inner writer as well as with everything else in my life! 

Fortunately, this inner-self wrestling always yields something better than what I would have come up with without the fight. It just sucks! Especially when both versions of you are little weaklings. 

Speaking of weakling — it turns out one does not just develop guitar skills without touching one’s instrument. I’ve gotten comfortable. I have my set of tunings and chords that I can use on right handed guitar and I use them a lot. I had this big plan to reinvent myself as an artist, become my own guitar hero, and have this big unveiling of my skills. I did practice more for a while, but I eventually got frustrated and wasn’t feeling very creative at all. 

I got so caught up in reinventing myself that I forgot who I was. My latest song utilizes some really familiar chords in a really familiar progression, (I also can’t seem to stop writing about plants, heights, and girl power — forgive me) but it feels good to be back to my old self again. 

I hope that as I progress, my writing and abilities will grow with me. I’m really excited about these latest songs. Please stick it out with me! 

life update!

June 11, 2013

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Hello Everyone! I’m still alive and well! I graduated from Belmont this past December and I’m currently working full time for a concert series in Nashville. I love my job, and I’m actively working on new songs and left-handed guitar. I have high hopes for lots of exciting music in the future. Stay tuned!

In November I wrote a post about the beginning of things changing for my life and the reason why you haven’t heard from me since is because my life has been a whirlwind of dreams coming true. 

Two months ago today, I released my first recording project entitled “In the Year of Letting Go.” I played all of the guitar parts on this record and I am unhealthfully proud of it.

I don’t know if anyone still follows this blog — originally my wreck recovery blog, this blog currently stands as a place to document my progress with guitar and the ups and downs of it all. Fortunately, my accident no longer plagues my life, and my impairment is not the spotlight of my existence, but I intend to continue posting here — tunings I’ve found and love, techniques I’m struggling with (here’s a brand new one…slide), how much I need to practice more often…Oh my.

Anyway, the EP! I’m going to be writing it’s story here

And if you’re still here and reading, thank you. What an amazing journey we’ve had together. 

the beginning.

November 6, 2011

This past week has been pretty overwhelming. On the 29th I had the honor of performing two of my originals at Belmont’s Fall Follies (A comedy show very similar to SNL with featured musical guests.) I’ve dreamt of playing Follies for the past four years when I first saw the Delta Saints play the event. I auditioned last year but didn’t make it through the large sea of qualified musicians. This year I upped my game with a new song, “Quitter.”

This post isn’t really about playing Follies. And although it was an absolute dream come true, it really represents something else: the beginning. The night before Follies, I prayed to God that this would be the day I dare to hope for my musical career. I had no idea how much He would respond with that prayer.

I’ve been working on my guitar and reinventing myself as an artists like crazy lately. I don’t think I was ready before. I needed a season to be at war with the changes of the wreck and decide if this is what I really wanted. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me a few times, one specific instance inspired “Quitter,” but I’ve been in a season of trying to obey God. I’m not sure how well I’ve been doing, but I know that for every inch I’m willing to give, He’s ready with miles.

“Quitter” has gone over really well with my peers. I must say, I love singing it. God is so mysterious, because I wrote the song in a lot of pride and anger over someone who hurt me, and God has taken that song and has used it to move others and draw them to Him (including me). I think people relate to recovery stories. They want to recover. They want to grow. They resonate with the truth that in the mess, there is one resounding truth, we’re all human beings created by the Savior and Creator of the universe.

I’m still learning what it means to be a forgiver, and I think the greatest lesson I have to learn is fully giving my life to God. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by how quickly God is moving my career forward. I almost forgot. God is the Author of Time. He will give me more songs to write in His timing. He will open up the opportunities and help me meet them in His timing. And my greatest priority should not be my music but making Him Lord over my life, which is no small task for a control freak.

So stick around. Things are really moving forward, fast. And I can’t think you enough for sticking it out with me this far. Lord knows it’s been a journey. Here’s to the beginning.

two years ago today.

September 17, 2011

there are so many things i want to tell you.

first, is that i intentionally did not want to anticipate this day with dread.
there are so many people who are chained to a day. or a season. or a feeling.
and so i had options. i could dread the anniversary of my wreck. i could put it out of my mind. or i could try to live a life of joy and come upon the day hoping not to find shackles on my heart.
i chose the latter.

so i came upon the week leading up to the anniversary without any consequence. aware of how much had changed this year and how much i remember from the past two years when fall comes. fall had always been my favorite of the seasons, and now, it is easy to let my mood change with the weather. it’s easier to occupy oneself with other thoughts when it is warm outside.

but i’ve been determined to bring about a new season with the fall, to redefine a time. and please don’t misunderstand, i’ve been doing really well. in fact, i’m very happy. i’ve been really working on my guitar, even left handed; and i’m getting so much better. i’m coming to realize how much God has in mind for me by relearning guitar. (more on this in the next post.) but God has taught me joy and i live and breathe in the challenge of it.

so i came upon the anniversary this week busy with my life. two days before i went on a walk with a good friend and we crossed the street to where the wreck took place. i’ve been back once before, but never by crossing the street. i could stand there and remember and i was fine. i’ve moved on. but yesterday was hard for a few hours.

i’m doing well today. and i am trying to understand why i was upset yesterday. it wasn’t the memories. it was remembering the journey and being on the journey.

i sometimes get overwhelmed by how much i want to do. how much i want to write, read, think, sing, dance, laugh. i want to learn, grow, work for my achievements, know people, explore new things, and love. i think one of the most important things that i’ve learned and i am still learning is to rejoice in sufferings.

how do we know joy on days like these?

if you find yourself dreading a day, i pray that you come to find joy. joy doesn’t always look like happiness, but i think the best way to describe it is trust. trust that there is something bigger than you. a God who is bigger than the moment you are in. trust requires letting go. i think it looks like acceptance. i think it feels like breathing. i think it moves in freedom. i pray for joy.

and i rejoice knowing that God knows my tomorrows.

finally.

November 14, 2010

it was incredible playing for an audience tonight. it has been far too long and it was really good for me.

Playing left-handed at my first show since the wreck.

my performance was far from perfect, but i’m pretty sure i played in tune and i bared a little bit of my soul. that’s what matters right? and i learned so much from the performance…but really. i’m performing again. one word: bliss!

i alternated between playing left-handed and right-handed. one song is right-handed because my finger picking is much stronger coming from five fingers and honestly, playing right-handed is far more familiar and sounds better. i don’t think i’ve mentioned this yet on the blog, but i’ve been playing right-handed with a cut-capo system. it’s basically instant open tuning, which allows me to fret most chords with two fingers.

the show went really well. stay tuned for the video project! it is finished! i’m just waiting to get the finalized product online and it will be yours!! here’s a picture from tonight to tide you over.

great news.

i’m playing my first public show since the wreck this saturday, november 13th, at ugly mugs in east nashville. it’s mosaic’s writer’s in the round show. (fun fact: my first nashville show was this exact same setting back in april of 2009…and i haven’t played a show here in town since.) i couldn’t be more thrilled to share the night with artists, jenny ray and duo, handsome and gretel. so if you’re interested the show will be at 7:00 at ugly mugs.

how do i feel about my first public show since the wreck? victorious! and a little scared. haha! i will be playing all originals, and there is sure to be a little soul bearing. i love performing and it has been far too long since i’ve been able to sit behind a guitar and play my work. i suppose the most intimidating aspect about next saturday is my ability to play…but i know that audiences are forgiving and if i drop my pick or play some muted strings, the show will go on. i’ve learned that the best way to get better at playing for others is to play for others and learn from experience. see you saturday?

more big news!

after the show next weekend, i will be premiering a really exciting project online. i’m applying for a scholarship for musicians with disabilities and i needed to submit recordings of live representations of my music. soon after the show next weekend, a video will be online youtube/here/everywhere of me playing a new song. look for the big premiere post here!! stay tuned!