‘The Key To A Happy Life’ – Maurice Baker – a certain quirky but engaging eccentricity(March 06, 2018)
There are folk wandering around this world for whom the word ‘idiosyncratic’ is surely written. These folk find their own peculiar path through the miasma of confusion that surrounds us. They don’t necessarily conform, neither do they overtly rebel, they just make their own rules and live accordingly. One of these souls is Maurice Baker ... musician, songwriter, teacher, author and quiet purveyor of philosophy ... a man possessed of vision, clarity and unique perspicacity. His latest work is the book and accompanying CDs - ‘The Key To A Happy Life’.
The two CDs, for those that recognise and appreciate his slightly left-field approach, are a typical Maurice Baker offering. From semi-sarcastic and obliquely humorous songs seeded with razor-sharp comment such as ‘She Had A Butterfly On Her Bottom’ and ‘Sheep’ to ‘Marmalade’ and ‘Ripe Potatoes’ through songs of savage observance and fractured memories like ‘Bound For Australia’, ‘White Feather’, ‘Soho In The Sixties’ and ‘Nelson’s Yard’.
Turning attention to the book ... ‘The Key To A Happy Life’ is nearly a diary, partly a chronicle, somewhat a personal memoir... it also feels like something of a catharsis. Whatever it may be, more than anything else, it’s a series of honest reflections, although it’s clear that poetic licence has a part to play. And there’s nothing wrong with a little artistic verisimilitude to add colour to otherwise cold facts. Baker’s view on life comes through the written word as strongly as it does through his music and both glory in a certain quirky but engaging eccentricity.
Review: Tim Carroll