Category Archives: Photo

Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker

Who’s Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker? After this blog post you’ll be asking the greater question. Why have I never heard of him? If you’re ahead of the game and know all about Baker, then you’re either really into history, Indiana, or motorcycles.

I got my first taste of Baker from an IndyStar article published a couple weeks ago. I was blown away my this man, and even more so that he slipped under my radar for so long. Here are some facts I found interesting about Baker.

  • He lived in Garfield Park just a stone’s throw away from where I used to live when I first got married, and since moving, now only about a mile and a half away.
  • He won the first motorized race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909, which was a 10-mile motorcycle race. Side note: the first race ever at the IMS was a balloon race.
  • He also raced in the Indianapolis 500 in 1922 and finished 11th.
  • He made more than 143 attempts at a variety of timed, long-distance records. One of his most noteworthy transcontinental rides was in 1914 when he rode from San Diego to New York City in 11 days, 12 hours, and 10 minutes.
  • He rode and drove roughly 5.5 million miles from 1908 to 1933.
  • He is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

These are just a few facts that sparked my attention. It just so happens that we are in the midst of the 103rd anniversary of his record-setting 1914 ride. He began on May 3, 1914 (today is May 4) and finished May 14, 1914.

I found a website that has Baker’s journal notes from his 1914 trip. It was such a wondrous story, I had to write a song about it. I just finished it today, so I thought I would  share the lyrics with you. I typically don’t like to share the lyrics right after finishing a song, but it seemed fitting.

Verse 1:
Headed East from San Diego
to the City of New York.
For a record-setting ride,
I filled my canteen to the cork.
The sand pushed me to the limit
as I pushed my two-speed horse.
With only a few paved miles laid out,
I would have to set the course.

Verse 2:
Spent the morning in the desert
at triple-digit degrees.
By the time I called it quits,
I rode a mile above the sea.
I worked my way toward the valley
full of bleached-white cattle bones.
Would this machine keep me alive,
or would it become my tombstone?

Verse 3:
Took all day to cross the river
that was swollen on all sides.
I looked for a shallow answer,
but learned the depth of my pride.
I had thousands of miles ahead
with no easy route in sight.
I worried about tomorrow
before I made it to tonight.

Verse 4:
Tried to not let the storm catch me,
so I mounted my machine.
With no time to stop for breakfast,
the thought of mud was my caffeine.
I rode atop the railroad ties
to escape the tough terrain.
“Clear the road: I am a-coming”
was the native-spread refrain.

Verse 5:
Made up my mind I would not stop
till I touched the city streets.
As my journey came to a close,
it all felt so bittersweet.
I came in strong though late at night
upon my seven-horse steed.
Little did I know that I’d be called
the pioneer of speed.

 

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EP Cover Art

One year ago today I released Blinds. Today I released the cover art

for my upcoming EP. It’s set to release sometime this summer but the

specific date is too be determined. Don’t fret, I’ll keep you posted as

things develop.

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#Wordpainting

On January 1st, I posted about something new I was

going to try in 2015, which I titled “word painting.”

In the past, I primarily used journals to house my ideas,

chord progressions, lyrics, and sketches, but I thought

it would be fun to spice things up a bit. I found a brand

of paint swatches that were about the same size as the

pages in my journal.

Down the road, I would like to find a way to display

these in more of an artistic fashion. If anyone has an

idea, I would love to know.

#wordpainting

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Radio Show. House Show

Greetings. About a week and a half ago, I appeared on Indy In-Tune

Radio. It’s an internet, Indy-based, Independent music radio show.

I did an hour-long interview with Darrin (the host with the most), which

entailed 4 live tracks, lightning-round questioning, and some general

get-to-know-the-artist questions. It was a great time, and I hope to

connect more with Indy In-Tune. A link of the interview will be posted

shortly.

The same day, I had a house gig in Fountain Square, which is an up-and-

coming neighborhood in Indianapolis. The house gig was titled 3×5 House

Gig, because it contained three artists playing five new/ never-heard songs.

We probably had 50-60 people spread throughout three rooms of the house.

It was a lovely evening with local beer, wine from I don’t know where, fun

people, and sweet music.

I played three songs from my upcoming “LA” EP, and two from a potential

new album 🙂 Here are some photos from the day.

Post-show silhouette. Photo credit: Cara Zimmerman.

Post-show silhouette. Photo credit: Cara Zimmerman.

The Yellow Kites sound check.

The Yellow Kites sound check.

Live sangin'. Photo credit: Darrin of Indy In-Tune.

Live sangin’. Photo credit: Darrin of Indy In-Tune.

Indy In-Tune Radio. Photo credit: Darrin of Indy In-Tune.

Indy In-Tune Radio. Photo credit: Darrin of Indy In-Tune.

Sound check for the house show. Photo credit: Adrian Pumphrey.

Sound check for the house show. Photo credit: Adrian Pumphrey.

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Instafun with Instagram

I don’t post much on social media compared to other 26 year olds,

but lately I’ve posted a few things on Instagram that I’ve enjoyed.

First was the Salvador Dali inspired self-portrait that I titled Salivador

Dali. Second was the guitar video I titled Footloose. My most recent

was today, when I decided to share a sliver of my rendition of Amazing

Grace I came up with about 3 or 4 years ago. I’m sure there will be more

to come in the future. For now, I’ve added a link to my Instagram page,

so you can follow.

https://instagram.com/raywyatt_/

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Concrete

I was driving home to Indy from my hometown,

when the first spark flew. As I merged to one of

the exits, I saw the criss-crossing interstates at

a favorable angle. The imagery was reminiscent

of spiderwebs, which was the inspiration for the

first verse of Concrete.

This photo isn’t a photo of what I saw, but

somewhat paints the picture I wanted to paint

with my words.

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New YeART

New year means new art. For this post it happens

to be visual art. Even though most people know me

as a musician, most people probably don’t know I

have a BFA in Electronic Art/ Animation from Ball

State University. There are certain things I miss about

being in art school, mainly the accessibility of materials

and a studio. My visual art has transformed into what’s

accessibile to me currently, which happens to be Instagram

and Photoshop (but only until my trial runs out).

Here is something new I’m doing in 2015 to try to combine

my music and visual art. My preliminary title is “Word Painting.”

Here is the first installment that I posted today on Instagram.

Follow on Instagram at raywyatt_

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Trip to the Capitol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few days ago my girlfriend (Maggie) and I hit the road

east towards the Atlantic. Our destination was Washington

D.C. We had multiple reasons to visit. One, for her to visit

her brother who now lives and works in D.C. Two, for me

to meet her brother. Three, for me to see a new city. Four,

for a nice quick get away.

 

We arrived in D.C. at 7:00PM on Wednesday and left D.C. at 11:00AM on

Saturday. Not much time to get to know a new place, but we

made sure to capitalize with the time we were given. We took

in a National’s baseball game, stopped by NPR headquarters,

had lunch at Union Station, took some substantial time at the Holocast

Museum, got a tour of the Capitol building, walked the Mall at

night, took a quick peek at the White House, tread amongst the fallen

at Arlington National Cemetery on the 70th anniversary of D-Day,

popped in the Library of Congress, enjoyed a parade on Barracks Row,

and ate at a few fine D.C. dining locations. This is just a quick look on

the surface to the things we did on our trip. I’m still trying to let the

depth of it sink in for myself.

 

Two and a half days is not much time to process the amount of information

we took in, let alone the weight of it. I hope to write a song or two inspired

by my short yet intense time spent in D.C. It’s a majestic city, and I hope to

return.

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EP Under Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in early January, I posted about an EP I wrote

on a brutal -35 degree day. I haven’t worked on it

much since then, because I was finishing my debut

album.

 

I finally started making moves on it more recently,

and I’m excited to announce that my friend and

fellow songwriter, Brandon Lott, will be providing

the beats and synth. This will definitely be an

experiment and learning process for me, and I hope

to challenge and push Brandon’s skills to new limits

as well.

 

You can check out Brandon’s music at

brandonlott.bandcamp.com or look him up on

Soundcloud. His debut album is pictured above.

 

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Total Fail

So the whole posting-something-everyday idea

was just that. An idea. I quickly jumped ship once

I started devoting time to working in Adobe Illustrator.

 

I don’t really have a day job, and I’d like to do

something with graphic design. I figured it

would be a good idea to learn how to use Illustrator,

and I thought I should put together some sort of

portfolio.

 

I started out doing a couple things with text and

photos, then moved to more challenging tasks like

using the pen tool, which can be challenging on a

laptop trackpad. I’ll try to post some of the “projects”

I’ve been working on lately. We all know what happened

last time I tried post something.

 

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