After a divorce, singer/songwriter Jeff Baker needed to make some major changes in his life. He quit his job and moved to Hermosa Beach from Chicago nearly two years ago. Over the years, he wrote songs and performed when he was a teenager growing up in Kentucky and later played music with some cover bands, but he “wanted to do my own stuff.”

“At some point in one's life you wake up and go ... 'What am I about?,'” Baker said. “You just don't want to plow forward and wake up one day and go, 'Man, I wish I'd recorded that album, I wish I really got my music out there.'”

Baker recently released the first single, “Crazy Beautiful,” off his upcoming soon-to-be titled album. He said “Crazy Beautiful” was written in the “context of a man admiring a woman,” but is more about the South Bay in general.

“The people are warm and genuine and beautiful, the houses are beautiful, the weather is beautiful, the smiles are beautiful,” Baker said.

Baker didn't know many people in the South Bay when he moved, but he attended wine tastings at Uncorked to meet people. He became friends with Mike Longacre, owner of @Mike's Guitar Parlor in Hermosa Beach, who introduced him to more people in the music community.

Baker recorded an EP, “The High Road,” with fellow Hermosa resident Lee Hudspeth, who he met at Mike's. The EP was inspired by Hudspeth's poetry and the initial songs were from songwriting sessions that took place on Baker's Hermosa Beach porch. After the EP was released last March, Hudspeth went on to another project, and Baker decided to record his own material.

“It was like 'What now?,” Baker said. “There were no thoughts is this is going to make any money, or am I going to have a band behind this?'”

While he recorded eight tracks at Studio 637 in Hermosa Beach, Baker wanted to help people chase their own dreams as he was doing in the studio. He formed his own company, DreamBridge Coaching, also in Hermosa Beach, what he calls “meaning-based career coaching”

“It's about helping people stretch and chase their dream or make that big move ... it's primarily centered around people who feel a calling to something but don't know what it is,” Baker said.

“Crazy Beautiful” is available on all major streaming services including Spotify and iTunes.

For more information, visit jeffcbaker.com.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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