The vision for this first SoulShine CD began in the summer of 2006 with Rhonda and Greg Baker sitting in their basement rehearsal studio with a handheld tape recorder (used to record lectures - back in the day). The concept for this project was to create an old-school album in both style and message. In honor of all the funky-soulful music of the 70’s, the song writing process started with a groove - Greg’s bass line over a drum loop, and a soulful melody from Rhonda. Sometimes the message fueled the music, other times the music inspired the lyric.
Rhonda Baker began writing music at age 13. “My first song was called ‘Dream On’. I still remember the song…’so keep on dreamin’ your nights away but be awake to make ‘em come true!’…”. Rhonda continued writing music and released two CDs in the 90’s. This is when she began recording and performing with Greg. “We had an instant musical as well as soul connection. We both remember the exact moment we saw each other. I felt like I had known him all my life! We were just friends and band mates for ten years before we got together; I think our friendship helped our relationship as well as our songwriting…we respect each other that’s what makes it work”.
Greg Baker began playing music in his teens and by the 90’s was signed to Columbia records in the band Pod. “We actually recorded our album on a 16 track reel to reel. I remember holding one end of the tape while another band mate spliced a perfectly good recording to rearrange some song parts! Wow…how times have changed!” In 2001 Rhonda and Greg both took some time away from their songwriting to perform with two legendary Indiana Musicians Henry Lee Summer who wrote and recorded the top ten hits, “I Wish I Had a Girl” and “Hey Baby”, and Carl Storie, who wrote the smash hit “Put on Your Dancin’ Shoes”. “It was a great ride, but after several years we were anxious to put on our creative hats and begin writing and performing our own music”.
So…in the spring of 2007 (tape player in hand) Rhonda and Greg Baker, along with band-mates Brian Baker (former national touring guitarist) and Charlie Bushor (former drummer for The Why Store, MCA Records) went to Static Shack Studios in Indianapolis, Indiana, to record their twelve songs with Gary Mielke (former keyboardist for Carl Storie and Dane Clark; producer and engineer for such artists as Garaj Mahal, Derek Gardner, Steve Allee, and Cynthia Layne). Bob Bailey (former guitarist for Carl Storie) and Paul Holdman (solo artist and guitarist for Jennie DeVoe and Tad Robinson) laid down additional guitar tracks. The “icing on the cake” for their 70’s sound came from their horn section, the Soul Rays, which included John Garrett (trombonist for The Bob and Tom Band) and Rob Dixon (solo artist and saxophonist for Rufus Reid, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, The Count Basie Orchestra, and Cynthia Layne).
The album (released in the spring of 2008) is a new millennium revival of a funky-soulful 70’s horn band. The music keeps you groovin’ while the message of the songs inspires you to look into your Soul, to find the power of love that gives you the strength to create a peaceful coexistence with your Soul brothers and Soul sisters. SoulShine’s live show takes you back to the old-school concerts where the musicians and audience become one in the music that moves both your feet and your heart...People…it’s time…to let your SoulShine!