Baywood's very own psychedelic neo prog folk jazz act Zen Mountain Poets recently released two new singles, "Emily's Song" and "Mysterious," and they want you to hear them at their ReverbNation page (@zenmountainpoets).
- Photo Courtesy Of The Zen Mountain Poets
- PSYCHEDELIC POETS Baywood's Zen Mountain Poets recently released two new singles that are charting on ReverbNation.
"Emily's Song" opens with multi-instrumentalist Robyn Saxer's French horn solo before moving on to some of her sparkling keyboard work. The vocals are a lush wall of sound chorus: "Life will never be the same/ My world changed when you came/ Ooo Ooo yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah."
This is straight out of Laurel Canyon circa 1970s, with an undeniable old-school California vibe. This revolving group of musicians features core members Saxer, guitarist Billy Clayton, multi-instrumentalist Anthony Roselli, and conga and bass player Mike Flactiff.
"Mysterious" starts with a mysterious flute solo before a mysterious chorus "woo-woos" itself out of a psychedelic ether as a bluesy guitar weaves in and out of the swirly mélange of keys and percussion. It's triptastic! Lights out, headphones on, please! Just when you think it's over, it keeps on spinning into light fantastic weirdness. You'll know it's over when you hear laughter followed by, "I'm stoned! I'm ready for a hug."
"We've been on ReverbNation's chart-topping artists of the Santa Barbara area playlist, and in the top 10 nationally and globally for the last two weeks!" the band explained via email.
The music's also available on Spotify, Deezer, and YouTube, with other platforms to follow.
"We've still been holding online performances during the pandemic and look forward to when we can play live concerts again!" Saxer wrote.
Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, It's a Beautiful Day, Grateful Dead, Pink Martini, Traffic, Allman Brothers, The Eagles, The Beatles, Fairport Convention, The Who—these are the Zen Mountain Poets' inspiration. They also cover some classic blues and jazz tunes, songs by Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Donovan, Marshall Tucker Band, and more. Check out their new stuff!
The man from Ojai
Singer-songwriter Charlie Baker hails from Ojai, which is typically a bit out of my coverage area, but Baker has a significant following in SLO County and a really solid five-song EP that those familiar with Baker will no doubt want to pick up.
- Photo Courtesy Of Charlie Baker
- OJAI TUNESMITH Local favorite Charlie Baker hasn't been able to tour in SLO County since the pandemic, but the Ojai singer-songwriter released a new EP for his fans.
Titled Ojai, the album opens with "That's You," an inspiring song that reminds me a little of Christopher Cross' work. It's got positive lyrics and soaring guitar solos. "I smile when I think about/ someone I can't live without/ She's my dream come true/ That's you/ You're so full of life/ That's you/ You're easy to be kind/ That's you/ You open up my heart/ That's you/ I love the way you are."
Perhaps the cleverest song of the five is "The Bob Seger Song," which uses familiar phrases from Seger's iconic songs: "The hopes of rock and roll stood front and center/ He stood there like a rock against the wind/ A ramblin' gamblin' man down on Main Street/ Turn the page let the night moves begin."
The title track is definitely a standout with its strong Neil Young vibe: "Let me pour us both some wine/ Watch the sun go down in Ojai/ Looking at the purple sky/ to be in love feels so right in Ojai// It took us a lifetime to get here/ I'm going to love you forever."
"I have a solid following in SLO County," Baker said via email, "where I was doing 15 to 20 shows a year pre-COVID."
You can find various links to listen to partial tracks and buy individual songs or the entire EP on Baker's website, charliebakermusic.com. You can also follow him on Facebook @chariebakerhome and Instagram @bakersongs.
He's been at the music thing for more than 30 years and has played venues across the USA, opening for the likes of Warren Zevon, REO-Speedwagon, Damn Yankees (featuring Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw), The Lovin' Spoonful, Venice Band, Rosemary Butler, Laurence Juber, Kiki Ebsen, and the Rob Morrow Band. Check him out!
- Photo Courtesy Of The SLO Country Jazz Federation
- YOUNG LIONS The last concert the SLO County Jazz Fed hosted before COVID-19 shut everything down, their annual Young Jazz concert of upcoming players, is now available on YouTube.
The SLO County Jazz Federation has just made available online the very last live concert they were able to hold, their Young Jazz show that highlights up and coming performers in the area. The concert took place on March 15, 2020, at Unity Concert Hall. Honorees included David Venturini, Daniel Gomez, Joel Surfleet, Blake Roguenant, Jonah Shin, and Tarek Hariri, backed by a rhythm section featuring Gary Drysdale, Travis Harms, and Darrell Voss. You can link to their YouTube channel via their website, slojazz.org. Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at email@example.com.