Rachel Baiman came up playing old-time fiddle and made a name as one-half of the fiddling duo Ten String Symphony, with Christian Sedelmyer. In 2017, Free Dirt Records released her debut solo album, Shame, and Baiman has since established herself as a force in the singer-songwriter world.
Her latest album, Common Nation of Sorrow, sees her digging into the long tradition of topical songwriting. But, instead of spouting her progressive ideals, she sees songwriting as an avenue to bridge the imagined divides that our political leaders might prefer to spotlight.
In this episode of the Why We Write podcast, Baiman talked about the responsibility songwriters wield in that realm. She also got candid about the relationship between mental health and music-making. Plus the influence of John Hartford and Gillian Welch, among other things.