Sam Baker is an internationally recognized folk musician and recording artist from Texas who lost his hearing in a tragic, violent and wholly unexpected way:
While traveling by train to Machu Picchu in Peru in 1986, a bomb placed on a luggage rack above his head by the Shining Path guerrilla group exploded, killing seven passengers including three people who had been sitting with him. Baker was left with numerous injuries, including brain damage, a cut artery, and blown-in eardrums, leaving him deaf in on ear, limited hearing in the other and a persistent, intense case of tinnitus. His injuries required 17 reconstructive surgeries. The fingers of his left hand were left badly damaged, but over time he was able to grasp a guitar in his other hand and return to music.
Despite his history and challenges, Sam has gone on to music success, with his 2013 album “Say Grace,” being named one of the top 10 country music albums of 2013 by Rolling Stone Magazine.
As a fellow musician with hearing loss, I am taken by Sam’s story, especially how he has rebuilt himself to make music again. I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to him about his story: