Category Archives: Singer-Songwriter

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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Music Videos

While I’m saving money in order to record my next album, I still want to be producing new content. You know, for my “fans.” So far, I’ve made two videos. The first is what I call a music videoette for the song Victory. The second was a near-full-length video for Dwell.

IMG_2565Both videos were shot on my iPhone 6s using a Osmo mobile stabilizer and edited with iMovie. Pretty primitive equipment compared to the gear that’s on the market today, but if I don’t have the money to record an album, I definitely don’t have the money to spend on video equipment.

The simplicity and limitations of these videos parallel my music nicely. If someone commissioned me to write and record an album entirely with an acoustic guitar and my vocals, without any kind of layering, I would be ok with that. That’s how all my songs start out anyways.

I plan to make at least two more music videos. I’m just waiting for the sun to come out and the temperature to rise.

Click the links above to watch. Please like, share, tweet, blog, etc.

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Full-Time Musician

The title says it all. I’m officially a full-time musician. After being laid

off from my full-time job, my wife and I made the decision for me to

pursue my music. I’ve never done anything this unsure and unstable.

It’s like I’m in the ocean, and there’s no land in sight. I don’t know

which way to swim, if I’m surrounded by sharks, or if I’ll ever be

rescued. Right now I’m looking for land, for shallow water, for a boat,

and anything that floats. I’m not drowning, but a bit overwhelmed at

the moment.

Here are a couple simple ways you can be a life vest at the moment:

  1. You can like/ follow me on social media (links below). It might
    not feel like much but it means a lot.

    1. Facebook: to stay up-to-date.
    2. Instagram: to stay up-to-date with cool visuals.
    3. Twitter: to stay up-to-date with what the kids are doing.
  2. You can invite your friends to like/ follow as well.

 

That’s all for now. The game is afoot.

 

 

 

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