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Feb 13 Valentine's Day Weekend with Erick Baker Knoxville, TN If you had told me when I graduated from the University of Tennessee in the summer of 2001 that I would end up making a living as a singer-songwriter and a television show host, I wouldn't have believed you. My degree was in public relations; I didn't have a background in music, unless you count singing in the congregation on Sundays. Amazingly though, as it turns out, you would've been right. I didn’t grow up singing or playing music. I’ve never had voice lessons, and I taught myself how to play guitar. With my music, I’ve always relied on passion instead of skill. The first song I learned to play was “Straight to Hell” by Drivin' 'N' Cryin.' (My Mom and Dad were so proud.) My performing career began on an apartment balcony in South Knoxville, playing for friends and random people passing by, which soon led to playing cover shows at local bars and restaurants. I was 23 when I wrote my first song, in the summer of 2002. The first time I seriously considered pursuing a career in music was on May 9, 2007, after opening up for John Legend at Knoxville's Tennessee Theatre. At the time, I was in graduate school, working on a master’s degree in English. A local promoter heard me perform at a songwriter showcase a few weeks earlier and, remarkably, offered me the gig. I went from performing in a noisy bar for 15 people who could care less to a sold-out theatre of 1,500 who intently listened to every word I sang. The guy that walked on stage that night wasn’t the same guy that walked off. One set, six songs in just thirty minutes, changed my life forever. Since releasing my debut EP, It’s Getting Too Late To Say It’s Early, in 2008, I’ve played over 1,000 shows, performed in front of crowds over 10,000 people, shared a tour bus with Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, and heard the sound of a sold-out theater singing one of my songs in unison back to me. I’ve been able to share the stage with amazing artists like James Blunt, Gavin DeGraw, Marc Broussard, Edwin McCain, the Goo Goo Dolls, Grace Potter, Brandi Carlile and Heart. I’ve played for the U.S. troops stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as tours in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, performing for our men and women in uniform stationed overseas. learn more
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