Photo by Allison Morgan

Eric Baines

Bass, Vocals

For as long as I can remember I’ve had music in my head. It’s not a career that I chose, it chose me. I started playing in bands in the 6th grade at a church pizza party and I’ve been hooked ever since. My parents loved the Beatles, The Beach Boys, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and definitely Chicago. The music from the 60s and 70s was always ringing through the house and it made a huge impression on me.

I grew up in Broomfield, CO but always longed for the big city. I attended Berklee College of Music in Boston briefly and then went to work back in Denver where I played in bars, nightclubs and the occasional weddings playing rock, r&b and blues. I did whatever I could do to eek out a living. It was a great place to hone my skills. I eventually became the bass player for contemporary jazz saxophonist Nelson Rangell and began to tour with him. It was a big change going from playing 3 chord blues shuffles to the complicated and technically challenging music of contemporary jazz but again I was able to hone my skills and become a better bass player.

After a few years of doing that, I was anxious to move up and that meant moving out. I made the move to Los Angeles where things immediately took off. I began to play and tour with smooth jazz piano player Keiko Matsui. What started as a sub situation eventually turned into 12 years as her musical director. I also toured/subbed with Gregg Karukas, Lee Ritenour, Melissa Manchester and I was the bass player for the High School Musical concert tour which lead to some years playing Corbin Bleu.

I’ve always had a love for instrumental jazz but I’ve also always been a singer and was really wanting more of that In my life. These pop music gigs help me transition out of the jazz world and into more vocal music. I spent 5 years as the bass player and main back up singer for country music icon Dwight Yoakam. That gave me a chance to really improve as a singer and as a songwriter which I also love to do.

But I really feel like everything in my career was just training to be a part of this amazing band called Chicago. I’ve been a fan all of my life and have seen them play live a couple of times over the years. What a ride it has been and to end up here is nothing less than a dream come true and the culmination of years of hard work.

Visit Eric’s Dive Bar Rock Star Podcast at www.thedivebarrockstarpodcast.com
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