There’s a group of singer-songwriters in a class by themselves. They defy categorization and cross genres—and radio loves them. Sting, John Mayer, Dave Matthews—those are just a few of the most prominent.
Now we can add Jeremy Baldwin to the list. His playful blend of jazz, R & B, and pop, compelling songs and phenomenal musicianship place him alongside the notable musical mavericks of our time.
“Open Your Eyes,” Jeremy’s debut CD, shows no sign of the fact that he’s just in his mid 20s. On the contrary, its sophisticated artistry reveals the presence of an old musical soul.
Lyrically, the songs wade in complex thematic waters. Colorful stories about interpersonal experiences and relationships explore issues of choice, change and making sense of the world we live in—or create. “I don’t tend to look at life or events as inherently positive or negative,” he explains. “I think it’s more a matter of perspective. We can choose to find beauty—but we do have to look for it.”
Musically, his tunes reflect that optimism, with lots of groove, funk and tempo, fueled by his distinctive guitar style of multilayered picking, strumming, bass and percussion. “I think music can do a lot of good in the world,” he says, “so I try to keep it positive. I want people to have a good time at my shows.”
The arc of Jeremy’s musical path began in middle school, in his hometown of Frederick, Maryland, playing electric lead guitar in rock and blues bands. He continued performing throughout college, switching to acoustic guitar and songwriting during his senior year. “I got tired of band members not showing up for the gigs,” he recalls. “So I decided to make sure I could play as a solo act.”
Like his music, Jeremy’s education was a work of his own design. He attended Frostburg State University in Maryland, spent his junior year at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland, then returned to Frostburg, graduating with a Liberal Arts degree in a self-created major: Popular Music Management. “It was a mixture of business courses and music theory—the things I thought might be useful on my musical journey.”
After graduating, Jeremy began performing full time in the Tri-State area, finding his sound and his audience. As his following grew, so did his musical vision—beyond what the region could support. In 2003 he moved to Nashville.
Three years of intensive writing and performing in Music City produced a catalog of great songs, the attention of Nashville’s top players and a desire to take his career to the next level. In 2006, he traveled to Asheville, North Carolina, to record “Open Your Eyes” with producer Chris Rosser. To capture the heart of the songs, they invoked a rare technique: recording live. The core of each song is just Jeremy on guitar and vocal, one take, straight through—a live performance. “We brought in the other parts later,” Jeremy explains, “trying to add only what we felt each song needed. We wanted the focus to be the guitar and vocal. So what you hear on the record is essentially what you’ll hear at my live shows.” Which is a good thing—his stage performances are mesmerizing.
Fortunately for music fans, there’s a radio format that embraces nonconformist artists like Jeremy—Triple A. And you’ll hear him there soon enough, because he truly is one of a kind.
Jeremy’s current projects include an “Open Your Eyes” CD release party in early 2007, ongoing Nashville gigs and making preparations for a mid to late ’07 tour. Please check his website for updates: www.facebook.com/jpbaldwinmusic