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Sudbury's singing doctor is back

By: Community Submission

 | Jan 02, 2014 - 3:52 PM |
Sudbury doctor Gerry Bakker opens for Celtic-flavoured Ennis at St. Andrew's Place on Jan. 26. Supplied photo.

Sudbury doctor Gerry Bakker opens for Celtic-flavoured Ennis at St. Andrew's Place on Jan. 26. Supplied photo.

Gerry Bakker opening for Ennis, Jan. 26

Mild-mannered family physician by day, raging folky by night — Sudbury doctor Gerry Bakker takes to the stage at St. Andrew’s Place Sudbury on Jan. 26.

Many Sudburians will likely find it strange Bakker can switch from stethoscope to six-string, but he's no stranger to the stage.

Raised in a musical family (his father played organ, while his mother taught piano), Bakker began playing guitar at age five, performing his first gig in Grade 5 by singing “Puff The Magic Dragon” to 350 students at his school’s weekly assembly.

In Grade 9, Bakker played trumpet in the school stage band, but found his true musical calling in forming Folk II with his playing partner, Brian Scott. For the next five years, the duo averaged three gigs a week at folk clubs, weddings and church concerts, earning $200 a week gigging through high school.

During his days at Queen’s University, Bakker continued to earn money through his songs, playing regularly in Kingston folk clubs like the Bitter Grounds and the Scarecrow.

“I had a Volkswagen,” he recalled. “I had to tilt the front seat right to the windshield to load in my column speakers, guitars, amps, mic stands and sound board.”

When he entered medical school, music took a back seat to study, but Bakker would dust off his guitar for a yearly appearance at a variety showcase put on by the med students.

His arm's-length relationship to music remained until about eight years ago when he began to feel the desire to put pen to paper and craft new songs. This month, Bakker unveils six of those new songs this month when he opens for Maritime muses, Ennis.

“To open for Ennis in that beautiful venue to a listening crowd is a dream come true,” Bakker said. “This is going to be alright!”

He will be accompanied by his nephew, Greg Lakanen, on lead guitar.

After a great performance at Springfest 2013, Ennis returns to Sudbury for the Jan. 26 performance. Planted firmly in Newfoundland roots music with a distinctive Celtic flavour, Ennis won Group Of The Year and Album Of The Year at the 2013 Newfoundland Music Awards.

This concert is presented by Northern Life and Jan Oystrick Re/Max Crown Realty. Additional support has been provided by Sudbury Travelodge Hotel and Perkins Restaurant.

The concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Jan. 26 at St. Andrew’s Place. Advance purchase of tickets is recommended as the show is well on the way to selling out.

Contact Bob Bale at 705-523-6200 to reserve tickets.

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