Lowcountry 'beachy' bluegrass by way of Charleston

Black Mountain News
Winners of the 2016 Charleston City Paper Bluegrass Band of the year music award, Dallas Baker and Friends play a free show at Town Pump at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 30.

Dallas Baker and Friends, playing a free show at Town Pump at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, is inspired by the traditional sounds of Bill Monroe, Jim & Jesse, Flatts & Scruggs and groups like Grateful Dead and The Band.

The Charleston, South Carolina band says it has developed its own sound - a Lowcountry "beachy" bluegrass sound that has a touch of boogie and jam.

"We love to do it all and to play songs our audience would never think of being done in the way we do them," Baker said. 

A native of Charleston, Baker grew up playing violin - until he picked up his first guitar and bass as a freshman in high school. Forgetting violin, he became a huge appreciator of the heavy metal/grunge/hard rock scene and played metal for the remainder of his high school days. Listening to bands like Metallica, Pantera, Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Sound Garden and Pearl Jam, Baker was convinced he was gonna be a heavy metal star.    

Ten years later, after having played in rowdy bluegrass and jam bands, in 2014 he formed Dallas Baker and Friends. Baker lives on James island now with his three kids, three dogs, and two fish. He's a kayak tour guide by day and a musician by night.