Brian Baggett Band
The rock concept album is a fading artifact. Chalk it up to shrinking attention spans or the apathetic avoidance of anything that remotely resembles a movement toward art in popular culture. Yet for local guitarist Brian Baggett, it’s a realm still ripe for musical exploration.
The Web is Baggett’s first completely self-produced solo project, but it’s certainly not his first foray into the studio. He appeared with area funk-jazz act the Yards on its eponymous debut as well as on local jazz bassist Bill McKemy’s first solo release, Duende. Baggett’s ability to cross genres with a striking sense of ease and maturity allows him to render the ambitious breadth and width of The Web remarkably palatable.
Weaving a tale of warning against the creeping dangers of modernity and the pitfalls of isolationism bred by technology, Baggett’s Web doesn’t stray far from the formulaic archetypes of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, the Who’s Tommy or even Styx’s Kilroy Was Here. Baggett’s cast of characters and caricatures is engaging, and the disc’s central story line serves a useful roll in unifying The Web‘s eclectic musical offerings, but it’s his healthy doses of acoustic folk, classic rock, electronica and contemporary jazz funk that truly give his creation life. It’s a gutsy move for Baggett to dabble in a dying genre, but it could be the sort of gambit that garners him the attention he deserves.