Nate Baker - 'Captain Caution'
Nate Baker is an established Americana artist from Indianapolis, IN. Baker released his first full length LP called 'One Day In May' in late 2015 followed by a multitude of live performances opening for artists including AA Bondy, Ron Sexsmith, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Liza Anne, Daniel Bachman, Shearwater and more. His upcoming project is titled ‘4 on 10.’ '4 on 10' refers to four songs that were recorded at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco, a ten-inch record that will include a gate-fold sleeve featuring Baker's photography and lyrics and the forty ( 4 × 10) years that Baker has been alive. Off of '4 on 10' comes the single, "Captain Caution" which is a great introduction to the sophisticated artistry of Baker.
“Captain Caution” begins with a brief intro that kicks off the song with energy. The drums lead us in - on a snare roll - bringing the full arrangement of the band together. The recording features four musicians: Nate Baker on guitars and vocals, Nate Cavalieri on piano, Jamie Riotto on bass, and Jason Slota (from Thao & the Get Down Say Down) on drums. The arrangement of "Captain Caution" is engaging with crisp execution from all members which is highlighted by the placement of beautifully done ritardandos, showing the advanced proficiency of the band's use of tempo. In addition, both the verses and the chorus show that Baker has a strong sense of melody.
Baker's vocals are warm, filled with a raw character that suits this genre well. He is a natural story-teller and lyricist who uses colorful and poetic imagery to tell his story and draw listeners in. This is shown in the first verse when he sings, “The milling men of evening turn about the block. Their dreary days together combine and their lean bones ache and pop. Each dawn humiliates anew the bastard bums as they step through the joyless town, the frost's radiant thaw.” In this verse, the descriptive nature of Baker's writing comes to life with phrasing like lean bones, bastard bums and radiant thaw. The chorus of "Captain Caution" offers plenty to think about, "All he sees are mountains endlessly. All he knows is where he goes. He believes a man will never be ruined. If anyone can be anyone can be." Looking at another turn of phrase, "It pulled and it sunk and it tore and it drunk and it sobered his heart," it is apparent that Baker isn't afraid of emotional content and this effect has grit and guts.
The art of Nate Baker's music is that, like any great story, all the pieces come together to keep you turning the pages: poignant lyrics encompassed by engaging storytelling and meaningful content delivered by sophisticated musicianship and a soulful singer.