Kaleigh Baker: A Diamond in the Rough

While Mexicans celebrate El Dia de los Muertos, I head downtown Orlando for the incredible pleasure of seeing Kaleigh Baker live for the first time. In the hazy, underground bar that is Tanqueray's, her voice cuts clear through the smoke and straight into my unsuspecting heart.

November 1, 2013

I'm a sucker for female vocalists, and Baker delivers. Her voice is like smooth whiskey (which she proudly announces to the crowd as her drink of choice), with a bite that picks you up and then lets you down easy. Sultry, silky, and, oh, so sexy, it carries you off into dark corners in dimly lit alleys where you are alone with yourself and her words. As she croons, her eyes go distant, like she sees through the room into an open portal through time and space.

She is accompanied by Nate Anderson on sax and, for tonight, Ukrainian cellist Oksana Yurievna Pankiv. She strums along on guitar while she sings, never missing a beat. You can tell she's a local favorite; the crowd sings along and cheers her name at every chance.

Baker has just hit the road for an East Coast tour of the jazz and blues variety, working her way north in a vegetable oil-powered RV. If she's stopping in your area, I highly recommend making her acquaintance. Tour dates are listed below.

11/7: The Underbelly - Jacksonville, Fla.
11/9: Barefoot Barista - Pawley's Island, S.C.
11/11: Deep South Bar - Raleigh, N.C.
11/13: The Garage - Winston Salem, N.C.
11/15: Speakeasy - Richmond, Va.
11/20: Bushwallers- Frederick, Md.
11/21: The Metropolitan - Annapolis, Md.
11/22: The Southside -Hornell, N.Y.
11/23: The American Legion Benefit for The Troops - Canisteo, N.Y.
11/27: The Rattler - Pittston, Pa.
11/29: Dinosaur BBQ - Rochester, N.Y.
12/3: Wilberts - Cleveland, Ohio
12/4: Uncommon Grounds - Chicago, Ill.
12/7: Riley's Tavern - Veriona, Wis.



Thandiwe Ogbonna is a music writer gone rogue.
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