Red Jacket Road
Meg Baker began her musical journey in front of a second-hand upright with the classic red primer "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" propped on it's stand but it wasn't until her college senior recital that she recognized the potential at her fingertips. While nerves compromised much of that performance, when she sat down to play Kabalevsky's "Toccata," she connected so well with her audience she left them positively enthralled-some moved to tears. This profound three-minute experience would spur Meg to take her musical understanding to deeper levels. Drawing from an ever-expanding palette of colorful influences - from Wolfgang Mozart and Franz Schubert to Pat Metheny and George Winston - she set out to create her own melodies and develop the music within. The harvest was well worth the wait - Meg Baker's CD of original compositions "Red Jacket Road" proves to be a satiating compilation of her most brilliant piano works. With input from Washington area musical luminaries Joe Cunliffe, Jeff Gruber, Seth Kibel, Alexander Mitchell, Frank Russo and Amy Shook, the new CD sparkles with infectious synergy. The title cut, "Red Jacket Road," takes the listener on a free-wheeling musical expedition, traveling through both the familiar and the unexpected alike. The imagery in "Ocean" is so thick it is almost tangible. Setting sail from the gentle waves at the shoreline, the theme grows to produce majestic panoramic views from the bow. Meg describes her tune "No Idea" as a spontaneous gift: "It's as if it already existed - I just had to unwrap it." While the piano is her first love, Meg also plays the harp and the flute, and has explored other musical avenues from songwriting to children's musicals. Having been frequently commissioned to write for special occasions and events, she has become an accomplished wordsmith, always striving to achieve effective prosody when setting text to music. "Mary's Song," a contemporary Magnificat which appears on her "Once Upon A Christmas" CD, was a finalist in the 2006 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. She also authored "Rush Hour Rag," a spoof on the perils of the daily commute, and "Butterscotch Rag," musical mischief Joplin-style, both winners of past Mid-Atlantic Song Contest awards. She performs regularly for Strathmore Mansion Afternoon Teas as well as private functions. Meg\'s ability to captivate listeners, inviting them simply to enjoy the journey with her, remains a refreshing attraction for all of her audiences.