An experienced band leader and blues revivalist, Baker writes and plays contemporary soul and blues music that is catchy, energetic and imposing. Complimented by an explosive horn section and a tight rhythm section, Baker’s vocals and guitar sit neatly in the centre of the music. His distinct guitar playing shifts between understated, elegant accompaniment, and euphoric, soaring lead, while his vocals benefit from a low, resonant tone that both warms and energises the arrangements.
Born in Kingston, Greater London, Archie moved north to study at the University of Sheffield in 2016. He joined a popular soul cover band as rhythm guitarist, before taking over as band leader and frontman for several years. Baker’s guitar playing evolved in contrast to the Sheffield rock-music scene, with a precise, clean playing style and warm, bluesy tones – inspired by the likes of Robert Cray and Mark Knopfler. Slowly, but surely, he found his niche as an understated and gravelly vocalist, before going on to form his own eight-piece soul band, Archie Baker & The Blue Meanies.
Baker’s first few releases explored an original mix of soul and rock, as well as serving as a training exercise in arranging and self-producing. The lead single from his debut EP, Holiday, demonstrated a fresh take on modern soul music and struck a chord in the Sheffield scene, while his next release – a duet with Chloë Beth Rogers titled Missing You – was voted best new song by the Spotify ‘Artists Wanted’ community in early 2023.
Now, with a wealth of recording experience and financial backing from UK musicians’ charity Help Musicians, Baker’s debut album showcases the very best of his songwriting and musicianship, with purposeful, evocative guitar playing and powerful, bluesy vocals. The arrangements are full and rich, with layers of piano, guitar and bass creating uplifting and complete soundscapes on which the three-piece horn section and lead guitar delicately sit upon. The album is complimented by awe-inspiring backing vocals from Chloë Beth Rogers and impassioned instrumental solos from members of The Blue Meanies. Each track explores a different feeling and style of soul and blues music, with influences spanning The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dire Straits and Sammy Rae & The Friends – to name just a few.
Baker’s debut album will be released on streaming platforms and CD format in early 2024.