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Etta Baker

Guitarist Etta Baker quietly enjoyed one of the blues' most enduring careers, working in almost total obscurity and recording only on the rarest of occasions while honing her craft throughout the greater part of the 20th century. Born in Caldwell County, NC, on March 31, 1913, she was the product of a musical family, taking up the guitar as a child and learning from her father and other relatives traditional blues and folk songs. Over time, Baker emerged among the foremost practitioners of acoustic Piedmont guitar fingerpicking, an open-tuned style not far removed from bluegrass banjo picking; however, for decades only relatives and friends ever heard her play, as she confined her performances solely to family gatherings and parties. She finally made her initial recordings in 1956, joining her father and other family members on a field recording titled Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians; she again faded into willful obscurity, however, raising her nine children and toiling in a textile mill. Finally, while in her sixties -- at an age at which most performers consider retirement -- Baker finally began pursuing music professionally, hitting the folk and blues festival circuit. In 1991 -- 35 years after her debut recording -- she issued the album One-Dime Blues and continued performing live throughout the decade to follow, returning in 1999 with Railroad Bill. Baker died on September 23, 2006, at the age of 93 just months before her final album was to be released. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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This music makes me feel better when I'm down. Thanks
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byounggtr
beautiful, smontydavis! How blessed you are!
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I am one of the lucky ones to have seen & heard her every day of my childhood no cares about being famous just loving to play her music. Etta Baker ~ my Grandmother had music you could relate to. Love you Muddy!
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I am so glad some of her music was preserved. What a talent!
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totally agree, what a great find
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booth_sylvia
So soulful!!
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WOW.... Who knew?
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Hats off to an awesome lady!!!
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Great with a few cocktails...
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she is really good!
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Jaw Dropping good. Never had an idea she existed. Thanks Pandora!
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Good music.
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xtimu
Just love 5-string banjo music
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jkmackey
Ditto to all the previous comments. What a find Miss Etta is!
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what a great find. Thanks Pandora for bringing Etta to me!
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We were so blessed to have her here in western NC. One of my most cherished 'listening to live blues' memories was seeing Miss Etta in concert on her 90th birthday. I've never heard a guitar sound so sweet!
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Etta is new personal hero. Thanks for keeping her alive Pandora.
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tdok1941
I have been using Pandora for a few months now and consider myself fairly knowledgeabl e about music but am amazed of the artists such as Etta Baker (she is sooo good) that I never knew about until they popped up on Pandora.
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mcraejp4
I never heard of her either. I'm knocked over. WOW!
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Oh my! What a national treasure. Even that just doesn't quite do her life justice. Regardless, she made beautiful music, and I'm thankful at least a little was preserved. A good example of how Pandora comes through when others just don't quite provide the length, breadth, and height. Thanks. I'll want to hear more of Etta.
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walking on this earth all these years and only today discovered her beautiful soul. what a treasure. thank you etta. and thank you pandora for the introduction .
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What a treasure! Thanks Pandora for introducing this fantastic artist! RIP Etta! You are an inspiration to many of us seniors to never quit on life.
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fabulous, never heard of her!
go pandora

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