18 Feb 2020
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Louis Baker - Gig Review: Louis Baker @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 9/08/2019

09 Aug 2019 // A review by Ben Ruegg

Tight. That would be one of the simplest and most effective ways to describe Louis Baker's sound. Tight.

Louis Baker and his 4-piece band performed like a fine-tuned, well-oiled machine. With a soulful sound laden with funky bass and keyboard, the crowd at the Tuning Fork were quickly vibing and moving along to the tight sound. His voice has an incredible amount of depth and versatility to it, each song showcasing different elements. But overall, as a group, the chemistry between the members created some sparks that the audience could see. There were many unforgettable moments where solos were shared like a conversation, back and forth in dialogue. Nowadays, a lot of bands run on clicks and backing tracks. But not here. That freedom to explore a song live is what makes live performances so exciting. And all the while, this band was....tight.

Halfway through the set, Louis takes the stage by himself to play a few songs from his debut album but also throwing in the famous Lovely Day by Bill Withers. With his own take on it and a lot of interaction with the crowd, Louis and the audience shared moments together singing.

Stand out songs were Get It Back and Figure 8, the latter being a song about history repeating itself, which had some incredible guitar work demonstrated by Louis. I could have sworn that John Mayer himself had shown Louis a thing or tasty. Just such tasty phrasing, the tone of the guitar woven beautifully into the mix of the live band. Stellar.

Get It Back was the one for me. While a lot of the music was slower throughout the set, it was this song that took things to a new level. Again, with incredible guitar work, the organ solo just added that edge I had been wanting to see all night. Brilliant.

Ending the set with an acoustic track called Rainbow, Louis was able to show why he is an artist that is getting noticed a lot. He even came back out to do one more performance as an encore.
With songs and performances like this, Louis has an incredible future waiting for him. This was an international quality gig, right here in New Zealand.

Opening for Louis was Lou'ana, whose velvety smooth vocal delivery had the crowd mesmerised.  Standing there with her Fender Telecaster and her keyboardist to the other side handling bass and keys all at the same time, it was the perfect warm-up act for the evening. Lou'ana is certainly someone you should be paying attention too. It was great to see her return to provide backing vocals during Louis' set.

So, when you add it all up, the band, the playing, the performances, and the songs, what you get is exceptionally tight.


Photos by Chris Zwaagdyk/Zed Pics

 

About Louis Baker

Soulful singer-songwriter Louis Baker possesses a voice that can register as an intimate croon or soar to dizzying heights. And when twinned with his prodigious fretwork that he’s cultivated over many years as both a student and a teacher of the guitar, his voice is a tool that he’s able to wield to jaw-dropping effect.

Emerging from the rich musical landscape of Wellington – a city that’s given the world singular musical voices like Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Black Seeds and TrinityRoots – Baker has been announced down under as one of the leading voices of a new school of Kiwi soul music.

Crafting his work with a deep artistic integrity, Louis has gathered a loyal following that spans the world over. Everyone from India Arie (“Louis Baker, you sing my soul,”) to the international music community (BBC 6 Music, Clash Magazine, The Line of Best Fit, Earmilk) have shown love for what he is, and has become.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Louis Baker

Releases

Open
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Louis Baker
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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