We Are All Baker
WeAreBaker, a duo project of Mishal Moore and Richard Cortez, delivered one of the most emotional music experiences I have ever had. I believe everyone in the audience at the Extended Play Sessions felt the same.
This is going to be a difficult review to write because I doubt my words will adequately convey the intensity of this performance.
As Mishal (pronounced like Michelle) and Richard took the stage, appearing relaxed yet anxious, I immediately sensed their power and their vulnerability.
Their music style is quite difficult to categorize. There’s a folk influence, but there’s also rock, blues, and soul. What truly shines is their songwriting as well as their voices.
They write from their hearts and souls. They spoke of the emotional places they have been and how they have used their music as a form of therapy. I believe that many artists – regardless of the medium – would say the same (I know I would as it relates to my writing, photography, and pottery).
Mishal and Richard are not life partners, but their love and respect for each other is palpable. Richard wrote one song, ‘Only You’, specifically for Mishal to sing. As they were about to start that song, Richard shyly glanced at Mishal and said, “I love you, Mishal.” I understood how deeply he feels.
Mishal spoke about her background in musical theatre, telling us one of her music idols is Julie Andrews and how she sang ‘Feed the Birds’ from Mary Poppins for her conservatory audition. After the Q&A, she sang it a cappella; there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
They led a sing-along with their song ‘Hard Road, Good Living’, complete with “sexy break”. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, them or us!
Richard was a music therapist in a psychiatric hospital (before quitting to become a full-time musician) and spoke of the power that music has to heal. I could not agree with that more. Their music certainly has that power.
Mishal used Richard’s guitar case as a percussion instrument; I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before and she played it well!
When asked how they came up with the name of the band, they explained that they were each listening to Chet Baker, the famous but troubled jazz trumpeter, and it simply fit.
I apologize to Richard for not having more good photos of him; this was one of those shows where, because of the intensity, I did not want to move around the room finding better angles.
I hope and expect we will see much more of WeAreBaker in the future.
Posted on January 25, 2015, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged American roots music, boston, concert review, Extended Play Session, Mishal Moore, music, Richard Cortez, WeAreBaker. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.