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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Etta Baker With Taj Majal

1. John Henry

2. Crow Jane

3. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad

4. Madison Street Blues

5. Railroad Bill

6. Cripple Creek

7. Johnson Boys

8. Going to the Race Track

9. Lost John

10. Dew Drop

11. Poem

12. Comb Blues

13. One Dime Blues

14. Sourwood Mountain

15. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad

16. Railroad Bill

17. Johnson Boys

18. John Henry

19. Bully Of The Town

x

Track List: Railroad Bill

1. Carolina Breakdown

2. Railroad Bill

3. I Get The Blues When It Rains

4. Careless Love

5. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down

6. Sunny Tennessee

7. Mint Julep

8. Browns Boogie

9. Lonesome Road Blues

10. Goodbye Booze

11. Nobody's Business

12. One-Dime Blues

13. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad

14. Candyman

15. Miss A Little Miss

16. Baby Let Me Lay It On You

17. Chilly Winds

18. John Henry

19. Cripple Creek

x

Track List: One Dime Blues

1. Never Let Your Deal Go Down

2. One Dime Blues

3. Knoxville Rag

4. Broken Hearted Blues

5. Lost John

6. Dew Drop

7. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad

8. Near The Cross I Watch And Pray

9. Spanish Fandango

10. Round My Back Door Selling Coal

11. But On The Other Hand Baby

12. Crow Jane

13. John Henry

14. Alabama Wagonwheel

15. Bully Of The Town

16. Going To The Racetrack

17. Police Dog Blues

18. Marching Jaybird

19. Railroad Bill

20. Carolina Breakdown

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Miss Etta's music is so soothing, and beautiful. I met this brilliant and very talented lady, and she was so wonderful to talk to. I miss you greatly, but your music is played daily in my home. I'll always love you Etta. See you in Heaven someday, making music with the angels.
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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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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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slatedsue
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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