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Tiny Dancer by Elton John

About a year ago, a producer in San Francisco called me into a studio to sing for the video game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore. Apparently the first American Idol Karaoke game had been a big hit (big surprise there), and they wanted to make another one.

Since the original masters of classic songs can be fairly expensive to license, games like Guitar Hero and American Idol sometimes commission musicians to perform cover versions. The interesting thing is, these covers are meant to duplicate exactly the performances heard on the originals. Now for the musicians that shouldn’t be too big of a problem, but for the singers, that can be a little tricky.

I gotta say it was a riot being a 23-year old kid from Florida singing Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” with a faux British accent. I was standing there in the vocal booth, hearing little snippets of the original song played back in my headphones as I tried to mimic Elton’s phrasing and diction into the mic.

Here’s a cover version of me singing “Tiny Dancer,” only this time, I’m not trying to imitate anybody.

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#41: Tribute to LeRoi Moore of Dave Matthews Band


In light of yesterday’s passing of Dave Matthews Band saxophonist LeRoi Moore, I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to a great musician who helped sculpt the sound of one of the most popular bands of the past couple decades, and one of my favorite bands growing up.

My brother Adam introduced me to Dave Matthews Band (everyone called it “Dave”, for short), back when Under The Table and Dreaming came out in the early ’90s.  I was hooked from the first time I heard “Ants Marching,” and went down to my local Peaches record store to buy the single.  The clerk told me they didn’t carry the single, but suggested that I buy the whole album.  I wouldn’t be disappointed, he said.

And I wasn’t.  From the moment you heard Moore’s saxophone in sync with Boyd Tinsley’s violin, each layered atop Carter Beauford’s mind-blowing percussion (to call it “drumming” just wouldn’t do it justice), you knew this was something different.

Some of the best memories of my youth are sitting in the passenger seat of my buddy Scott’s car sophomore year of high school, him speeding to get back from our off-campus lunch break while the two of us blasted the Crash album.  I’d play air drums on the dashboard, we both sang at the top of our lungs, and invariably our company in the backseat would look on appalled.

Here’s “#41”, my favorite song by one of my favorite bands.  Here’s to you, LeRoi.

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Starting Now

Starting Now

Here’s a demo of a song I’m working on…

I wrote it for my brother Adam and his fiance.  They’re getting married next month, and I thought I’d sing this during my best man speech.  That’s right: best man! Well, actually, co-best man (I gotta share the title with Ivan, the oldest and wisest brother of us all).  Hey, you take what you can get when you’re the youngest…

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David Baron Launches Solo Career with New EP

Singer-songwriter and pianist David Baron has launched his solo music career with a new self-titled EP. The EP features 6 original tracks that display Baron’s expressive voice over a powerful piano rock sound.

In songs like the bitter rocker “Love Is Just A Lie” and the heartwrenching ballad “Shadows On The Inside”, Baron’s soaring vocals and confessional lyrics capture what it felt like at some of the most important moments in the artist’s life, from growing up as a kid in South Florida to searching for love as a post-grad on the west coast.  “They’re the most autobiographical songs I’ve ever written,” says Baron. “It made sense to simply title it David Baron, because every note and every word of these songs says ‘This is who I am.’”

Baron co-produced the EP with Grammy-award winning producer Stephen Short, who discovered Augustana and has worked with such artists as Phil Collins and Remy Zero. The tracks were recorded at Archon Studios in Los Angeles with engineer Aris Archontis.

David Baron was formerly the lead singer and songwriter of the San Francisco-based rock group The Spins, which he formed as a freshman at Stanford University. After 5 years, Baron split with the group in Fall 2007. He plans to take his new songs out on the road in an upcoming tour with his new backing band.

David Baron

1. Love Is Just A Lie
2. Standing Still
3. Shadows On The Inside (Shelly’s Song)
4. Kids
5. Nothing To Fear
6. Say You

Produced by Stephen Short and David Baron

Mixed by Aris Archontis

Words and Music by David Baron

David Baron – Vocals, Piano, Acoustic Guitar
Greg Pajer – Guitars
Steve “Shag” Aguilar – Organ
Alex Budman – Sax
Andrew James – Bass
Blake Paulson – Drums, Percussion
Jes Hudak – Background Vocals

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Secret Shows in San Francisco, South Florida

Earlier this year, San Francisco-based singer-songwriter David Baron was seen playing secret shows in California and Florida to test out new material.

Baron played solo piano shows at various venues in San Francisco where he polished up recent compositions amidst covers and old originals.  In February,  Baron took his new material to the International Tennis Championships at Delray Beach, Florida, where he played four shows with his new backing band.  Video footage from the shows in Florida can be seen on his website at davidbaronmusic.com.

Baron spent the months preceding these shows writing a barrage of new rock tracks for his upcoming solo EP, which is planned for a Summer 2008 release.  Check back here for more details on the EP, as well as dates for upcoming shows.

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