Thursday, March 28, 2019


Dartmouth hero Baldwin continues to forge his own solo path apart from his duties in the Matt Mays band. On his latest six-track EP, he vividly describes the price rock 'n' roll can extract. The songs come from a dark place, as he was kicking the destructive habits of substance abuse, and he poured it all out, not holding back in his words or intensity.

Able to view his addiction from the outside, Baldwin gives the other guy, his dark side, a voice in the story as well. In Salvation, he tempts Baldwin in the cold church basement, while he sits at a 12-step meeting. It's raw, loud and scary, like the stories the members were telling, and that constant voice in the back of his head.

True to form though, Baldwin's songs dark songs have strength imbued throughout as well, guitar epics that drive the words home with grandeur. In the best Springsteen/Petty tradition, there's defiance in the voice, guitar and drums, the rock 'n' roll a metaphor for survival. But there are no simple victories. As he sings in the closing cut No Rest For The Wicked, "Hope is a deception of the weak of mind/I'm here to tell you gently there's no peace to find." In other words, this work isn't going to end soon, and the dark guy will always be around, hard to keep at bay. The music alone here will inspire you, but so will Baldwin's honesty and humanity.

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