Hailing from Mid-Michigan, musician Scott Baker takes from life's experiences and evolves them into his own individual rooted soundscape. Solo acoustic or electric with band, there is no end to his musical script. Equal parts of both roots rock music from the '60s and '70s rubbed together with shimmering bits of electric blues and improv jazz. Writing originals from a largely folk-singer/songwriter background, performed live with a '80s & '90s underground feel, there are no boundaries. Guitarist, vocalist, saxophonist, songwriter, he also is a member of the Mid-Michigan Songwriters Guild.
Scott Baker & The Universal Expressions features drummer Timmy Scott, bassist/backing vocalist Pete Socha, and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist John Grundner (ex-Beertones). The band splits half their evening with original music and the other half covers, featuring tunes by the likes of The Band, John Hiatt, Tom Petty, The Allman Brothers, Peter Green, Crosby-Stills-Nash, Neil Young, Norah Jones, Van Morrison, CCR, etc. Scott also plays solo acoustic shows on a regular basis.
For six years (1999-2005) & helping lead the way for a new style of original music in the Tri-cities area, venues bent the rules, allowing more room for originality with his group Muddy Gumbo. The band broke through the flood gates with like-minded jam/groove based groups in the area helping capture the spirit of fans with new styles and ways of expressing the homegrown musical sound. The band released Continuous Rotation in Dec. 2001 and “Capture The Moment” (EP) in the Fall 2003. Scott & Earl 'The Squirrel' (percussionist) released the Muddy Gumbo Duo EP 'Swampuccino' in fall 2004 as a limited live release of the two-piece acoustic setting.
Baker has been the recipient of a handful of Review Awards since 2002, including 2005's Blues Artist Deserving Wider Recognition. He was nominated again for Blues Songwriter of The Year for the 2006 Review Awards. Along with the Universal Expressions, the group was nominated for 11 awards in 2007. The Universal Expressions won Band of the Year and Band Deserving Wider Recognition in the blues rock category in 2007. Both John Grundner and Timmy Scott are former Review Award winners, outside of the Universal Expressions as well.
Baker originally went solo with The S.N.A.P. Revue (Savvy Northern Acoustic Players), highlighting original music from six local artists in 2003. He also worked with S.N.A.P. cohort Jeff Yantz in The One Trick Ponies, yielding the CD Landmark (Bull Frog Records, '03). Baker played mandolin on the track “Dreamer 29”. A demo of the song “Northern Space” was included on Suite 19, by the Mid-Michigan Songwriters Guild, adding another feather to Baker’s cap in 2003. He was added as guitarist/vocalist backing national folk artist Jen Cass for a show in spring 2006.
With Gumbo coming to a halt in February of 2005, Baker played solo acoustic shows over a year each week in Bay City, MI, from Feb. 2005, until May 2006. He continues to move forward with his music with a new solo CD, Between Seasons, due in November of 2007. He has shared the stage with Larry McCray, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed), Adam Levy (Norah Jones), Frank Bang (Buddy Guy), Black Stone Cherry, Chris Buhalis, Jeff Talmadge, Jamie Sue Seal, Jen Cass, recorded with the Northwoods Improvisers, all either as a solo artist or electric with band. Scott also has the unique honor of opening the very first Hells Half Mile Film + Music Festival in 2006 and closing the festival in 2007, both as a solo act.