Kellen Baker, 19, was introduced to music by his parents who provided a fully immersive experience.
“My dad was always big into old delta blues. My mom was really into the Grateful Dead, followed them around in a van for a bit, so naturally their middle ground was bluegrass.”
But Baker also had a bit of the contrarian in him.
“Being what my parents were into, I thought bluegrass was very uncool and tried to distance myself from it,” Baker said. “While they played music in our living room I’d go off to my room and listen to Gym Class Heroes or Bruno Mars or something. My dad was a guitar player, but I never had any interest in it until I was 10 and a kid down the street played guitar, and I thought he looked real cool.”
Baker eventually found a formal teacher in Jason Davis at Weisser Park Elementary.
More recently, Baker performed with his band the B45s in Down the Line playing the songs of Tom Petty. When the Brass Rail looked to do a tribute show after Petty’s passing, the B45s were included.
“There had to be over 100 people packed like tuna in the Rail just going nuts for it, and once we ran out of Petty they wanted more, so we played an original. The screams following that song were so loud they were bouncing off the back wall and into our mics, coming through totally cranked monitors, and feeding back into themselves. It was the loudest noise I’ve ever experienced. I just closed my eyes up there and felt like I was floating on it.”