Ken Baker has been playing steel guitar for 40 years. His first
interest and experience was through his mother Edna Baker who
introduced him to Hawaiian lap steel.
Early influences such as Rob E G on an A major 6 string tuning
found Ken’s passion in the sound of the instrument, as experience
and enthusiasm grew he purchased a triple neck 8 string Fender
Years later Ken was to hear ‘Lloyd Green’ playing
a tune called ‘touch my heart’ on Tamworth radio station
2TM, this was a new sound and the first time he had heard a Pedal
Only months after Ken was introduced to Pee Wee Clarke who came
to Albury with the Reg Lindsay show, that same night after the
show he ordered an Emmons Pedal steel guitar which Pee Wee shipped
over for him later that year.
Ken Bakers career includes numerous highlights, experiences and
friendships including his 1976 USA trip with Benny Joyner were
he met the likes of Buddy Emmons, Lloyd Green, Doug Jernigan,
Curly Chalker, and a very young Paul Franklin just to name a few.
Through another friendship with George Xanthos Ken also attended
and performed at the Melbourne steel guitar conventions.
Remaining an Albury based musician Ken has numerous credits to
his name including hundreds of live band performances with Stainless
Steel, Gemini Four, Baker street, various freelance performances,
other highlights include 1978 tour with Jimmy Little, later years
saw Ken work with Ray, Lee and Tania Kernaghan. Ken has performed
at the Tamworth country music festival several times including
his 1992 tour with Freeway/Tulsa band. He has performed with large
Albury festivals including the ’Albury Wodonga-Carols by
candlelight’ which has included backing names such as -
Tina Arena, Rick Price, Danni Minouge.
From his first album release with Stainless Steel “Movin
on” he has recorded with several various country artists
over the years.
More recent times Ken has work with Paul Gibbs - ‘Swing
Ranch’ and ‘Smokin Joe’ as well as other local
duos and trios such as ‘the Bull Plain riders’.
Instrument - Emmons D10 (push pull) 8 floor
pedals 6 knee levers
Amplifier - Peavy session 400
Effects - Emmons ultra match, Zoom digital delay/
Reverb, Turbo Rat
Favourite players - Too numerous to mention.
“It is a very individual instrument which delivers something
different from whoever plays it”
Musical Influences - Hawaiian, Mod jazz, swing,
Ambitions - To see steel guitar expanded more
in today’s and tomorrow’s music.
To encourage more young people to take up the instrument.
Kens conclusion - “The steel guitar is
a very unique instrument, may digital technology never rob it
of its warmth and uniqueness”