Bruce Rits Gilbert

Song 11 - - Sam Baker

I stumbled upon Sam Baker 10 years or so ago when, naturally, I was searching for songs about baseball. He wrote a song called Baseball on his first album, called Mercy, which he self released in 2004. Twelve songs, each with a one word title.  If there can be a melancholy song about baseball, Sam Baker wrote it. And I highly recommend it. 

But today's "One Song at a Time" is not Baseball or from Sam's first album. Rather, it's a newer song. A song from Sam's most recent album, called Say Grace, which Sam self released in 2013. 

First, though, a little about Sam Baker. He didn't start writing music until he had nearly died when a terrorist's bomb exploded in the luggage rack above him on the train that he was riding in Peru in 1986. Over a dozen surgeries later, with a cut artery, a brain injury, a mangled left hand, hearing loss, among other issues, Sam somehow figured out how to hold a guitar pick with left hand, taught himself to play guitar left handed and started writing amazingly thoughtful and insightful songs. (If you want to learn more about Sam Baker, Terri Gross did an in-depth interview of him for "Fresh Air" on NPR about two years ago. You can listen to it here.) 

Born in 1954 (which makes me my age) in Itasca, Texas, he now has released a total of four albums, each one which is worth your time to listen to from front to back. 

Among the many great songs on Say Grace, there's a tune called Ditch, which is pretty much about a ditch digger who has a "crazy ass wife." It's pretty awesome. 

So here it is: Sam Baker doing Ditch

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