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Meg Baird

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Meg Baird
Meg Baird (left), performing at Brudenell Social Club, 2015
Meg Baird (left), performing at Brudenell Social Club, 2015
Background information
GenresFolk
Instrument(s)
Labels
Formerly of
WebsiteOfficial website

Meg Baird is an American musician based in San Francisco, California, United States, who, in addition to her solo career, is known as a founding member, lead vocalist, and drummer for Heron Oblivion, along with members from Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound and Comets on Fire. She was also a guitarist and the lead female vocalist in Philadelphia psychedelic folk rock band Espers, and played drums in Philadelphia punk band Watery Love. Baird frequently collaborates with the Los Angeles-based harpist Mary Lattimore.

Early life[edit]

Originally from New Jersey, United States, Baird's family history is based in the folk tradition: Baird is the great-great niece of Isaac Garfield "I.G." Greer, a historian and Appalachian folk singer born in 1881.[1] His inclusion on one of the earliest albums issued by the Archive of Folk Culture in the Library of Congress helped expose Baird to folk music at a young age, while she was taking piano lessons, teaching herself guitar, and listening to Smithsonian Folkways albums.[2]

Music[edit]

While a member of Espers In 2007, Baird released her first solo album, Dear Companion, on the Drag City record label. Baird's second solo album, Seasons on Earth, was released in 2011 and received favorable reviews from The Wire, Allmusic, Spin and NPR.[3][4][5][6] This was followed by Don't Weigh Down the Light in 2015, described as "post-folk" by the New York Times.[7]

Bands and collaborations[edit]

Baird was a founding member of the Philadelphia psychedelic folk group Espers, whose first album was released by Time-Lag Records in 2003.

In 2014, Baird joined Heron Oblivion as lead vocalist and drummer. The supergroup includes Charles Saufley, Noel Van Harmonson (Comets on Fire), and Ethan Miller (Howlin Rain, Comets on Fire).[8][9][10]

She also plays with sister Laura in The Baird Sisters and have released three albums between 2003 and 2011. In 2013, the Baird Sisters joined Glenn Jones on My Garden State.

Between 2009 and 2012, Baird played drums for Philadelphia punk band Watery Love.[11]

In 2018, Baird and Mary Lattimore released their album Ghost Forests to critical acclaim,[12][13] reaching the number three position on Billboard's new age chart.[14]

Touring[edit]

As a solo artist, she has toured with many noted fingerstyle guitarists, including Bert Jansch,[15] James Blackshaw, Micah Blue Smaldone, Michael Chapman, Glenn Jones, Michael Hurley, and Jack Rose. In February 2016 Baird served as the support act to Ryley Walker and Danny Thompson on an extensive tour of the United Kingdom.[16] In 2019, Baird and Mary Lattimore toured extensively in support of their album Ghost Forests.

Style and influences[edit]

Evoking Appalachian and Anglo-American folk ballads, Baird's vocal style has been compared to members of the UK folk-rock scene, including Celia Humpris of Trees, Fairport Convention's Sandy Denny, and Pentangle's Jacqui McShee.[17][18][19]

Discography[edit]

Meg Baird[edit]

  • Waltze of the Tennis Players/Dear Companion (A Capella Version) 7-inch (Tequila Sunrise, 2006)
  • Dear Companion (Drag City/Wichita/P-Vine, 2007)
  • Seasons on Earth (Drag City, 2011)
  • Don't Weigh Down the Light (Drag City, 2015)
  • Furling (Drag City, 2023)

Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore[edit]

  • Fair Annie 7-inch split with Sarah Silverman - 7-Inches for Planned Parenthood 10×7″ box set (2017)
  • Ghost Forests CD/LP (2018) (Three Lobed)

Heron Oblivion[edit]

  • Heron Oblivion CD/LP (2016) (Sub Pop)

Espers[edit]

The Baird Sisters[edit]

  • At Home CD-R (2003) (self-released)
  • Lonely Town CD (2008) (self-released)
  • Until You Find Your Green LP, ed. 300 (2012) (Grapefruit)
  • Glenn Jones / The Baird Sisters My Garden State CD/LP (2013) (Thrill Jockey)

Collaborations and backing vocals[edit]

Watery Love[edit]

  • Debut 45 7-inch (2009) (Richie)
  • Two Thrills 7-inch (2011) (Negative Guest List/Little Big Chief)
  • Die With Dignity 7-inch (2012) (Siltbreeze)

Compilations[edit]

  • So Much Fire to Roast Human Flesh CD (2006) (Bastet)
  • Loving Takes This Course: A Tribute to the Songs of Kath Bloom CD (2009) (Chapter Music)
  • Meet the Philly Elite (with Jack Rose, Kurt Vile, and US Girls) 7-inch (2009) (Kraak)
  • We are all one, In the Sun: A tribute to Robbie Basho CD/LP (2010) (Important Records)
  • Shirley Inspired CD/LP (2015) (Earth Records)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baird, Laura. "Baird Sisters Biography", retrieved April 14, 2009.
  2. ^ Drag City press material "Meg Baird: A Biography"[permanent dead link], retrieved April 14, 2009.
  3. ^ "Critic Reviews for Seasons on Earth". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  4. ^ Thom Jurek (2011-09-20). "Seasons on Earth - Meg Baird | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  5. ^ "Meg Baird, 'Seasons on Earth' (Drag City)". Spin.com. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  6. ^ David Garland (2011-09-11). "First Listen: Meg Baird, 'Seasons On Earth'". Npr.org. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  7. ^ Ratliff, Ben (June 22, 2015). "Review: Meg Baird, Always Generous, Gives Even More in New Album". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "Frisco Freakout on Twitter: "Psych supergroup Heron Oblivion (Ethan MIller, Noel Harmonson, Charlie Saufley, Meg Baird) opens for @warondrugsjams this Wed at the @indysf"". Twitter.com. 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  9. ^ "The Entrance Band - Tickets - The Chapel - San Francisco, CA - January 29th, 2015 | The Chapel". Thechapelsf.com. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  10. ^ "The War On Drugs – Tickets – The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 2nd, 2014 « The Independent". Theindependentsf.com. 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  11. ^ Mark Deming. "Watery Love | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  12. ^ Meyer, Bill (December 2018). "Soundcheck". The Wire. pp. 44–45.
  13. ^ "Ghost Forests - Meg Baird, Mary Lattimore | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  14. ^ Records, Three Lobed (November 20, 2018). "so wild and surreal to see @meglingbaird & @marylattimore's "ghost forests" popping up on @billboard's new age chart. so wild!pic.twitter.com/J9w96lMgh1". Twitter.com.
  15. ^ "Bert Jansch tour dates" Archived 2006-08-22 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved April 15, 2009.
  16. ^ "Meg Baird - Drag City". Dragcity.com. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  17. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Dear Companion Review", Allmusic, retrieved 15 April 2009.
  18. ^ Hess, Kevin. "Bairded Lady", Phrequency, retrieved April 15th 2009.
  19. ^ Gill, Andy. "The latest review", Which Course, retrieved 15 April 2009
  20. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Ask Forgiveness Review", Allmusic, retrieved April 15, 2009.

External links[edit]