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Baker cooks up album, Spotlight visit

Featured on ALT as he puts polish on 'Winter Funk'

While Adam Baker completes his second solo album, you can catch him in the ALT Homegrown Spotlight.

Published February 22, 2023

Adam Baker is shining a spotlight on the release of his second solo album.

While he puts the finishing touches on Winter Funk, due out on streaming services March 10, Baker is in the ALT 99.5FM/102.3FM Homegrown Spotlight.

“There are some songs on there that are pretty funky, but there are also some with those winter blah feelings,” Baker said of Winter Funk. “I’d say it’s kind of a dark album as far as context goes.”

Going his own way

Baker has been on the Fort Wayne music scene since the late ’90s, driving down from Fremont shortly after graduating high school to play at coffeehouses, then at bars once he was old enough. 

Over time, he’s found himself no longer the new kid on the block, but that’s OK with him.

“I think it’s really inspiring to go out and play something then see people who are half my age getting up there,” he said. “It’s nice being able to see what they have to say. I just love live music a lot.”

Baker might be best known for his band Adam Baker & The Heartache, and he’s also been picking up gigs with Minivan Hot Tub in recent months. 

The Heartache have released a full album and some EPs over the years, but took a bit of a hiatus before coming back together to perform at Wooden Nickel’s 40th anniversary party in July.

Although Baker enjoys being in a band, the freedom of solo projects is also appealing.

“When you listen to a Heartache album, they changed over time, but there was generally a specific sound defined by each of the players,” Baker said. “Doing stuff by myself, it’s kind of my chance to release my creative side and not be constrained in any way.”

Help from friends

Free to record whatever strikes his fancy, Baker went beyond his stellar guitar playing on 2021’s Junk Drawer, making for a unique listening experience.

“There might be a folk song, there might be kind of something along the lines of Cake or Beck … whatever fits,” he said. “There’s a lot of actual instrumentation, but I’m also a guy who enjoys sampling sounds around me and figuring out ways to bend those and force those into musical constructs.”

Baker played most of the instruments on Winter Funk but also called on some friends when needed.

“I do have guest drummer on a few songs, because drums aren’t my strong suit,” Baker said. “So, Chris Hambrick came in and played on a few. My friend Topher (Beyer) ended up playing bass on a song, just because I wanted to get him involved. Then, my partner Leah (Fey) did harmonies on a couple songs and is playing clarinet on one we’re still working on.”

Heartache drummer Victor Zapari also appears on the single “Bare Feet.”

Expanding reach

With just a few weeks before its release, Baker was continuing to fine-tune Winter Funk. Until then, you can catch “Quit This Job” and “Roam” on the radio.

This is not the first time Baker has been in the ALT Spotlight, and also not his first go-round with hearing himself on the airwaves. 

“I would love it to continue to some other cities,” he said about hearing himself on the radio. “In Fort Wayne, we’re fortunately blessed with multiple local stations that will support music.”

He does not have any plans for an album release show, but you can catch him at the YLNI Farmers Market on April 8 and on the acoustic stage at Solfest on June 10 at Metea County Park.


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