About Duck Baker
While it's a sure sign of virtuosity, having a long back catalog of Mel Bay instructional videos isn't always reflective of a distinct musical identity. Duck Baker is an exception. An authority on fingerstyle guitar, Baker brings a distinct, if understated, personality to his playing, with unorthodox chord voicings and subtle counterpoint maneuvers taking the place of dry technical displays. His style is a hard-to-classify hybrid that draws on Ragtime, country, Appalachian, blues, and Celtic Folk traditions. He's also a master of the not-so-common practice of adapting jazz pieces to solo acoustic guitar, having done arrangements of tunes by everyone from Jelly Roll Morton and Duke Ellington to Thelonious Monk and his near-forgotten Bop-era contemporary Herbie Nichols (the latter is covered exclusively on Baker's 1996 release Spinning Song). Not afraid to bend the rules in order to keep things fresh, he has consistently lived up to his assertion that "tradition implies passing along music that has been handed down from player to player over the years, but not in sealed packages."