My parents loved classical music and my mother taught piano. I studied piano from age 5 – 12 and started playing guitar at age 12.
I’ve been writing songs seriously since 2001, when I turned 49. That was the year I joined the Baltimore Songwriting Association (BSA) and started attending monthly songwriting circles. I think that the experiences gained during one’s first 50 years provide wonderful and important perspective and insight for songwriting. I have tried to incorporate lessons I’ve learned and experiences I’ve had into my songs. I think that each song should be uplifting, entertaining, and insightful, and I hope and believe I have delivered on those goals in this project.
More than 10 years ago, I forged a close friendship with Art Wachter, President and CEO of Entertainment Consultants, LLC, a Maryland-based production company.
Art is an avid guitarist/singer/songwriter, and a great guy. He has produced shows for many of the top acts in the music and entertainment industry. In addition, he serves as a host for NPR’s “The Folk Show” at WPSU. Art also hosts the “Wagon Shed”, a fabulous venue for world class acoustic music in New Freedom, PA. Check out his concerts streamed on “Songside.com!”
In 2007 I released “Across A Bering Strait Bridge”, including 14 original songs for which I sang the lead vocals. The CD featured Orrin Star (Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo), Mike Auldridge (Steel Guitar), and Rickie Simpkins (Fiddle), all of whom I met at the Wagon Shed.
Here are some of the reviews that “Across A Bering Strait Bridge” received:
Laurence Baer’s songs speak from his soul. They speak from his soul to yours. It is life poetry crafted in song. I’ll definitely play some of these tunes on WPSU!
Jennifer Carmen, Host, Folk Show, WPSU, National Public Radio, Pennsylvania
Accompanied by tight string sounds (and special guests Rickie Simpkins, Mike Auldridge and Orrin Starr) singer/songwriter Laurence Baer tells stories of growing up (“To Be a Man”), pokes fun at married life (“It Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You”), and mixes traditional country sounds with an Americana influenced vocal presence on his new CD, “Across a Bering Strait Bridge.”
Elena See, FolkAlley.com
The joys of an old-time fiddle party shine through the virtuoso playing on this debut showcase by a fine new bluegrass talent.
John Harding, Arts Editor, Patuxent Publishing Co., Columbia, MD
A must hear! Great uplifting songs in the tradition of John Denver, Jackson Browne, and Dan Fogelberg.
Ted Agres, TheWashington Times
A new artist with new songs. This is the future of our music. New material that has the feel of today combined with the music and stylings of yesterday. Each song has something to say and Baer, combined with well-known musicians, Mike Auldridge, Ricky Simpkins, and Orin Starr, has given the type of performance that has given the songs life and meaning. It is a tribute to Bluegrass that it has the ability to bring talent like his to the music. It is our responsibility as fans and lovers of the music to recognize and support such talent.
Red Shipley, Host, Stained Glass Blue Grass, WAMU, Washington, DC
A collection of ballads mixed up with great footstompers! You can listen to Laurence’s ballads on many levels: as a contemporary story, a biblical verse, or as a life lesson. His entertaining footstompers are… well… just that. Infectious. Very enjoyable playing by some musical heavyweights here: Rickie Simpkins on fiddle, Orrin Starr on guitar, mandolin and banjo.
Barb Heller, host of String Fever, North Country Public Radio/ FolkAlley.com
Something struck me when I heard “To Be a Man”. I’m a father of two boys (and a girl), and halfway through the song the message finally hit me of what an awesome (in the original sense) responsibility it is to be a father. “Rise Again” reminded me of John McCutcheon’s “Gonna Rise Again”, but I liked your version better. The songs are loaded with charm and wisdom.
Jeff St.Clair, Announcer / Producer, WKSU.org
I listened to Larry Baer’s new CD and immediately tried to find a program
it would fit. It was a damned good CD and I enjoyed it. Now I have to re-program next month’s shows so that I give the audience a chance to hear good songs well sung.
Oscar Brand, Host, Folksong Festival, WNYC; Curator of the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame
Hey Laurence. Many thanks for sending me a copy of your project, “Across A Bering Strait Bridge.” You’ve written some cool songs, replete with intelligent lyrics, nice melodies and interesting arrangements. You’ve definitely have a gift. I especially enjoyed “Storm Ahead,” “Jacob’s Song,” “Peter, James & John” and the fine title track.I’ll be doing my best to get the word out. Thanks again for the neat tunes.
Dave Higgs, Nashville Public Radio, Bluegrass Breakdown
In 2009, my song “White Pass Railroad” was included in the Del McCoury Band’s Grammy-nominated “Family Circle” CD.
The song was selected as the “Borders Book Store” download of the week for Thanksgiving Week 2009.
The railroad created an amazing video for that song including archival footage filmed in 1897. It can be seen on this site’s video page by clicking here.