George Baker

Mojo Lady

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"Guitar" George Baker may be one of the best-kept secrets in the mainstream blues world. Despite playing guitar as part of the Apollo Theater's house band in the '60s, serving as the music director for Marvin Gaye's band for three years, and also appearing on the BET/Jazz TV network, few have heard about Baker. Spending most of his time as a session player and playing weekly sets at a Connecticut restaurant, Baker finally got around to issuing his first-ever release, Mojo Lady, in 2005. The two-disc set features a ten-track CD, as well as a five-track DVD, which mixes originals along with covers. Baker's best originals include the tasty Albert King-like guitar work of "Something Must Be Wrong," and while blues is his forte, Baker also has funk chops, as evidenced by "Just Can't Lose the Blues." In addition to his solid guitar skills, Baker also posses a smooth singing voice, especially on tracks like "Black Night." Also included are two barely recognizable covers as well, which Baker almost completely overhauls (except for the lyrics) -- a horn-driven reading of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," and a rendition of the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun." The DVD portion proves not to be your standard live performance, as it comes off more like a collection of music videos -- Baker is often seen performing against backdrops of various images, while young dancers dance the night away. Extra features on the DVD include an "Audio Atmosphere" option (which shows animated light rays in time to the music), as well as an interview with Baker.

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