MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

July 6, 2014

Musicians focus energies on house

Lisa LaRue-Baker and John Baker share a love of old things, not-so-old things and edgy new things.

This love is best shown through their two houses and their music.

The two met in what Baker, 53, called a “somewhat complicated story full of coincidence.”

“We both are musicians, and my band at the time was going to play in Pennsylvania and Lisa was going to play there, too,” he said. “She couldn’t make it, so she sent her publicist. I loaned her (the publicist) a dollar to get on the shuttle and the publicist said Lisa and I would make a good pair musically and professionally.”

At the time, Lisa LaRue was dividing her time between homes in Los Angeles and Muskogee.

After getting married, the couple moved to Muskogee and lived in a house that has been in LaRue’s family since 1859. In 2013, the couple obtained historic status for the house.

LaRue-Baker, 51, said she hopes to restore the home and make it a museum or historic site.

When living in a house they were restoring proved a challenge, the Bakers moved to a newer house, built in 1960.

Meet Lisa LaRue-Baker

AGE: 51.

HOMETOWN: Topeka, Kan., and Muskogee.

CAREER: Historic preservation, musician, composer, recording artist, vintage clothing shop owner.

EDUCATION: Some college.

FAMILY: Husband, John Baker; son, Spencer Snedden.

HOBBIES: Gardening, photography, interior design, reading.

Meet John Baker

AGE: 53.

HOMETOWN: Broomfield, Colo., and Los Angeles.

CAREER: Audio engineer, audiobook director and editor.

Ways to

collaborate

John Baker and Lisa LaRue-Baker share a love of music that began early.

“I started playing when I was 7 and pretty much right away wanted to be a musician,” Baker said. “I went to LA and ended up in co-ownership of a recording studio. The studio became more of a dialogue recording studio for audio books. I was able to transfer the skills I had in the audio industry to Muskogee.”

Baker said he plays for various local events. They have included a showing of LaRue-Baker’s photographs and a Red Cross benefit.

LaRue-Baker said she began playing music at age 3.

“I grew up listening to a lot of movie soundtracks, 1960s pop music,” she said. “My grandparents listened to a lot of ’40s and ’50s music.”

Describing her current style of music as “symphonic,” LaRue-Baker said there is not much demand in Muskogee for her music.

But that doesn’t stop her.

“Here, you can collaborate on the Internet,” John Baker said. “She is very, very adept at orchestration.”

LaRue-Baker said she currently is collaborating on an album with a composer/keyboardist in Turin, Italy.

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