The writing process for James Lee is where most of his effort goes into. Like method actors who consume their character wholly in order to deliver an exceptional performance, James Lee puts himself deep into the stories of his subjects to understand their passionate plights. From here, he can paint the subtle yet vivid that brings poetry out of the normal and allows the listener to connect on a more natural and personal level. As Bill Revill (WESU in Middletown, CT) put it, “Baker's song's pay attention to the oft-unnoticed details that make up a story. Well written songs with tight yet spare arrangements and vocals, this is someone going places."
A classically trained musician, he fuses influences from acoustic singer-songwriters like David Mead, John Gorka, Gregory Alan Isakov, Bob Dylan, and Slaid Cleaves. He embraces open tunings to create an unconventional but welcoming sound and timbre to his playing. Trained briefly by Richard Gilewitz, a renowned fingerstyle guitar player, James Lee’s fingerstyle guitar playing is rich and melodic, pulling listeners into memorable motifs and atmospheres. This dance between his soaring and crisp vocals and the elegant and tasteful acoustic guitar licks is captivating enough to make the listener feel like they have been invited to participate in the story of the song.
In 2017, Baker released a Texas-inspired full-length project called Home Again. Harnessing his experience in technology, Baker recruited talented studio session musicians using the new platform Fiverr.com, accessing performers from Los Angeles, Canada, The United Kingdom, and Denver. Home Again is a Country-flavored Americana album, rich with instrumentation like dobro, lap steel, fiddle, and harmonica.
In March, he released an EP of Folk/Americana songs called The Canadian River. The single of the same title placed #23 on the FolkDJ radio charts in April of 2018 and the song Two Cageless Birds went on to be selected for the John O’Hara Songwriting Performance Grant.
James has played at several prominent venues including the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, The Fox Theater in Boulder, and Swallow Hill and The Walnut Room in Denver.
"He’s got such a heavenly voice and talent for writing deeply inspiring and intimately connective songs that to call him anything other than brilliant would be criminal".
— No Depression
"Baker's phrasing paired with the sparse arrangements captivate the listener. The title track -- Baker's homage to the purifying qualities of nature -- is a delight."
— John Sillberg (CKOL - Campbellford, Ontario)
“Baker's song's pay attention to the oft-unnoticed details that make up a story. Well written songs with tight yet spare arrangements and vocals, this is someone going places."
— Bill Revill (WESU in Middletown, CT)