Rob Baird is in a hurry.
Moving deliberately through every room he enters and speaking, joking, bluffing with
breakneck speed in every interaction, Baird moves like he’s on the run and that’s
exactly the way he wants it.
Born and raised in Memphis, TN Baird’s own blend of swagger and confidence come
honestly, easily, naturally, a little strange, a lot intense, as idiosyncratic as the city itself.
But like nearly everything in this small pocket of flyover America---a little shrouded in
mystery---Baird always seems to be hiding a pocket ace or two in the sleeve of his
pearl-snap button down, saving it for when he needs it most.
From the young dog innocent promise of his debut ‘Blue Eyed Angels’, followed by the
shinier, more well-defined sounds and sharper writing on his sophomore effort ‘I Swear
It’s The Truth’, the sonic left turn of ‘Wrong Side Of The River’ and especially 2018’s
heartbroken opus ‘After All’ and the follow-up ‘Live From Arlyn Studios’ Rob Baird can
never be confused for a man who holds anything back when he opens his mouth to sing
and when he does, all his cards are on the table and then some.
As his hundreds of thousands of monthly listeners accounting for millions of streams
across multiple platforms and ticket-buyers nationwide of ten plus years of non-stop,
blood and bone touring will attest, Baird is a must have, go-to refuge when you want to
Baird’s gift is shamelessness.
He has a point to prove, an axe to grind, a mountain to move, a demon to bury, an angel
to please and he doesn’t care if anyones knows it.
Where this angst meets his prodigious craftsmanship as a writer is his sweet spot, and
that’s what keeps people coming back. This unique blend of openhearted shamelessness and free-wheeling chaotic control are
on no greater display than his two forthcoming efforts ‘Anthems’ and ‘They Call It
Written and recorded during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, these albums find an artist in
complete command of what he wants to say and, more importantly, how he wants to say
‘Anthems’ expands on Baird’s previous sound and blows the doors off just for good
Cooking with the Heartbreakers’ cool and riding a barely-on-the-tracks roller coaster of
perpetual groove a la The Dukes, mixed with a little whiteknuckle recklessness of The
Replacements and the understated cool of early Lyle Lovett, Baird harnesses this new
untamed sound with a natural ease and off the cuff natural vocal ability, giving this
mismash of sounds and influences an eye to the storm to rage around. Baird is in
complete control for maybe the first time on wax and it shows.
‘They Call It Memphis’ is another animal altogether.
In service to his previous material, Baird decided to revive and reinvigorate some of his
earlier, critically and popularly acclaimed material---crowd pleasers like ‘Dreams &
Gasoline’ and ‘Same Damn Thing’ and the always emotional show-stopper ‘Can’t Stop
Bringing back the same recording team as ‘Anthems’ and convening at the legendary
Ardent Studios in the singer’s hometown of Memphis in August 2021, Baird and Co.
(now christened The Hard Lucks after Baird’s own independent record label) rage even
harder, deeper, truer, as if hell bent on revenge for some wrong he hasn’t righted,
barrelling toward a greatness that may well already be at hand.
Don’t tell Rob Baird that though.
He’s still on his way.
He’s still looking for what’s next.
He’s still in a hurry.