American Fingerstyle Guitarist

Roots & Branches program

The Roots and Branches of American Music

Performed on solo guitar by Duck Baker

There aren’t many solo performers whose background includes almost every aspect of American music. One is fingerstyle guitarist Duck Baker. Baker’s musical odyssey began as a teenager in Richmond, Virginia, where he played in electric rock and blues bands before getting interested in fingerpicking acoustic blues and ragtime. After moving to San Francisco in 1973, Baker gained valuable experience playing in bluegrass and swing jazz bands, and launched his recording career with There’s Something for Everyone in America, which featured an eclectic mix of styles and placed him immediately in the vanguard of his generation of acoustic guitarists. While he has worked primarily as a soloist in the years since then, Baker has also performed and/or recorded with an first-class musicians of many kinds; Irish musicians, like Kieran Fahy and Maggie Boyle, bluegrassers Tim O’Brien and Dan Crary, such bluesman as Charlie Musselwhite and Jerry Ricks, and, in the world of modern jazz, the likes of Roswell Rudd, Derek Bailey, and John Zorn.

For this program, Duck Baker draws on this widely varied experience and enlivens the presentation with stories and anecdotes that will entertain and interest specialists as well as the general public. In fact reviewers mention his engaging manner, tuneful vocals and wry sense of humor almost as often as his instrumental prowess.


“Quite simply, Duck Baker is the premier American fingerstyle guitarist”
– Sing Out
“He can go from the Mississippi Delta to the rings of Saturn”
– The Village Voice