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Jessie Baker

Yessir! – 2009 (Patuxent)

Reviewed by C. Eric Banister

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CDs by Jessie Baker

On his first solo, all-instrumental album, banjo player Jessie Baker sets the tone with the rambunctious Follow The Leader and what follows is a excellent collection of banjo tunes that pay tribute to Baker's heroes, Earl Scruggs and Don Reno. Baker began playing very early in his life and formed a band, The Baker Boys, with his brother and mother that played around his Indiana home. He was then invited to join Karl Shiflet & Big Country Show in 2007. Baker has since moved on to join Michael Cleveland's Flamekeeper.

Two of those Flamekeepers, Michael Cleveland on fiddle and Marshall Wilborn on bass, join him along with fantastic guitarists Dudley Connell and Audie Blaylock. With band in tow, Baker burns through classics like San Antonio Rose, Nine Pound Hammer, Boston Boy and Johnson Mountain Chimes.

For a picker of only 18 years old, Baker is well versed in the history and classic catalog of bluegrass music and uses this album to demonstrate the style he is continuing to develop for himself.