B T Biography


Beginning on stage at TOAD in Cambridge, MA during a weekly residency in March of 2009, Baker Thomas Band has always been an eclectic collection of musicians and good friends getting together to make great music and have a blast. With anywhere from 7 to 10 and even more musicians on stage, the BTB is a wrecking ball of good times and great tunes.

Vocal hooks and rock and roll lyrics are backed by one of the sickest bands you'll hear. Horns, violin, and mandolin soar over the top, dueling guitars fill up the middle and the bottom is held down by rock solid bass and a thunderous kick drum.  The clever and catchy hit songs cover the spectrum of classic rock, funk and groove, with hints of bluegrass and jam band.... so many influences... one big sound.

When you think of us, think of "The Band" We don't sound like The Band, but we are a rolling party. We're loose enough to be spontaneous and fun but we're pros, seasoned musicians and peers who have been crossing paths and sharing stages in the cities of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville for quite sometime.

Baker Thomas Band is dangerous and deadly fun. We have The Secret Weapon, The Legend, The Professor, The Ambassador, The Dancer, The Gator, Big Papa, The Ship's Captain and often more! We are a band of characters for sure!

The BTB has our core players, but sit-in performers is the norm on any given night, for we have one of the best bands in town, lightning quick on the uptake and the confidence to ride the line.

Come on down to a show and you'll be cookin' up a good time with Baker Thomas Band soon enough!

Cast of Characters


Tom bw

The Captain

 In March of 2009 Tom Bianchi threw together a band of local musicians to take a swipe at some of his songs. Although holding the unique status of singer/songwriter/solo bassist, he was looking for a bigger sound.  What became of it is what we know as Baker Thomas Band.

Dubbed the 24 Hour Entertainer by friends and fans for his frequent status as “last man standing,” Tom abandoned the full spectrum of chordal bass playing, picked himself up an 18 inch speaker and now focuses his playing on one of true purposes of the bass guitar, movin’ and groovin’ the low end until your forced to move with it. This traditional approach to bass allows Tom to lean hard into singing the songs. He may be the leader of this party boat, but as every Captain knows when you have an amazing crew it’s pretty easy to steer the ship.

The songs Tom writes pay tribute to dozens of musical styles including rock, funk, R&B, bluegrass, pop, reggae and countless other styles and with the eclectic mix of musician, the influence of sounds and styles song to song are endless.

Hey!  Won't you be my friend?

Big Pappa

As Jake may mention in conversation, “I was coming down to sit in with Baker Thomas Band pretty regularly, then one day I looked at their website and noticed I was listed as, “in the band!” I thought, okay, that’s cool."

Jake Bush plays accordion and sings with BTB. When the band was in its early stages doing residencies at Toad, (Cambridge, MA) Jake would come by and sit in all the time. Eventually he was not only simply on board, but a key aspect of the mix on the record, BTB and a strong and positive personality in the band.  Jake is a mover and a shaker, always lookin' out for the better of the group.  He’s a tall man who’s sound is like the glue of the band and he’s a leader. For that we’ve dubbed him, “Big Poppa Jake!”

Jake also plays in the award winning folk group, Pesky J. Nixon, who just won the title of “Emerging Artist Most Wanted” at the famous Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.

Check out Jake's band, "Pesky J. Nixon"

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Sarah bw

The Siren

 This incredible and hi-spirited leader jumped on board the BTB early in 2011.  Before returning home to the East Coast, Sarah played for years in various bands on the West Coast, mainly Southern California. For several years, she was the in-house vocalist for Sublimes' Lewie Richards at 17th Street Studios in Costa Mesa where she recorded background vocals for various performing artists. She performed regularly with Jack Manness of Long Beach Dub All Stars.  She's been on stage and/or on recordings with Half Pint (The Official Ambassador of Reggae Music to Jamaica), Slightly Stoopid, KAT (of Sublime with Rome), Oaklands GKoop, local SoCal legends Hobo Jazz, various rap groups and performed many local shows with her own musical duo Bird and Monkey. She has penned about 40 songs and recorded numberous jazz standards. Most recently, Sarah was on State Radio's lastest album Calling all Crows and is the in-house recording vocalist for The Bridge Sound and Stage in Cambridge. In the spring of 2011, Sarah was the in-class recording artist for the senior level recording class at Emerson College, Boston.

After sailing the Pacific for many months... (seriously...) Sarah Miller came down and sat in with the band a few times and with her powerful blues/rock driven vocal and stage presence she very quickly became an undeniable signature part of the big-band’s sound.  With her positive vibe and undying will to take on any challenge and get the job done, Sarah can figuratively and literally keep any ship on course, and make it a hell of a fun time. When Sarah sings she brings a rock-star quality to the stage that completes the Baker Thomas sound. Sarah Miller is a true rock-star in every good sense of the phrase.

The Dirty Dancer

 New England Conservatory graduate, accomplished dancer, mathematician and Tromboner... (Tromboner? Can you say that?) Tim Lewandowski has been on board with BTB since day one. More than just a guy who plays Trombone, Tim brings an invaluable amount of fun and musicality to the stage. When he’s not hitting the signature BTB horn licks or taking big honkin’ solo, he may “grab a partner and swing’er round” at any given moment. Always dressed to kill and always classy, Tim is a ton of fun to listen to, watch and be in a band with. He plays with many local bands and is on plenty of recordings including The And Company’s debut record, “Look Up”. With a quirky ability to twist and contort his dancer frame and ability to deliver a devilish glare at will, we have no other choice but to dub him, “The Dirty Dancer.” No one puts Timmy in a corner.
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Bw hugh

The Legend

Hugh McGowan is a legend in our music community. Born and raised in North Quincy, MA and with the strongest of Irish roots, Hugh has carved a name for himself in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville music scene with his melodic yet cutting lead guitar licks and tone, his graceful tenor voice and his long standing Open Mic Show that has launched the careers of Ryan Montbleau, Jesse Dee and so many others.  

As Hugh may tell the story, Tommy McCarthey asked Hugh to run an open mic at his new pub, "The Burren" in Somerville. Hugh promptly replied with, "I'll start this Tuesday!". Thinking about it and realizing the importance of the up and coming Tuesday, Tommy replied, "This Tuesday is St. Patrick's Day... that's open mic for everybody!  Let's start next Tuesday."  That was over a decade ago and The Burren Open Mic has been running on Tuesday's ever since.

When Hugh is not ripping leads for BTB you may find him on any given night singing his own songs either solo or backed by his band, Misfit Toys, often featuring many key members of BTB.  He's been on stage with the best of the best, he's toured with The Push Stars and his reputation precedes him, that's why we call him, "The Legend."

Check out Hugh's own Music Page

The Alligator

 Alan Goodrich is a legend in our music community. As a singer/songwriter/guitarist and drummer Alan has been on hundreds of stages in New England and Beyond. With his band “The Alligators,” he has been performing for more than twenty years. As a session drummer Alan has performed with The Platters, Greg Hawkes (The Cars,) T Lavitz (The Dixie Dregs, Jefferson Starship, and Pat Benetar) and many more super-talents.

Alan provided the brilliant finishing touches of percussion on the debut cd BTB and has been on stage with Baker Thomas Band either behind the kit or playing percussion ever since. A true showman to the core and one of the greatest persons you’ll ever get to meet, Alan “The Alligator” is always entertaining and will always leave you smiling!

Check out Alan and the Alligators online!
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The Ambassador

 Check pedals... plug in guitar... add coffee... Nicknamed “The Ambassador” for popularity and instant like-ability, Noah Maltsberger is a deadly weapon on the stage. Often Noah will provide the jazzy undertones and landscape the arrangements with subtile and tasty deep toned chord washes, but when Maltsy decided to unleash it’s time to hold on. In his arsenal is a countless collection of blistering licks that will melt your face off at without a moments notice.

Around town Noah is a side arm for many bands including Samantha Farrell Band, Cilla Bonnie Band and anyone else who needs the leads. A pleasure to hang with on and off the stage, The Ambassador is an asset to any room. And one more thing... if you’re looking to get on his good side, just ask him out for a burrito lunch sometime.

The Secret Weapon

Violin, Electric Mandolin, Pedal Steel, Banjo... what you need to make the song “pop”, Steve Latanision has got it. Known just as well on the scene as Steve “Latt”, you may see him playing with John Cate and the Van Gogh Brothers, Dave SanMarco, Lonesome Jukebox, Dagmar, Danielle Miraglia, The Blue Flower, Danny Galagher, Stan Swiniarski, Misfit Toys and countless other acts.

His skills as a rhythm and lead player are undeniable and he’s all eyes up when on stage. Steve is known as one of the best utility players in town and when he takes leads his lightning fast fingers can light fires. We like to call him “The Secret Weapon.”

Need a secret weapon for your gig?  Contact Steve!

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Randi bw

The Genius

 One of the newest members of the Baker T gang, Randi Bernier jumped on board October of 2011 for the big Middle East Downstairs show to complete the Baker Thomas Horns. A “Genius” in many senses of the word due to her computer wizardry and uncanny ability to sight read on the fly, Randi also plays Keyboards as well as Trumpet in the all female band, Mrs Danvers. Bringing Berklee chops and experience to the band Randi is an awesome addition to the Baker Thomas crew!

Check out Randi's band Mrs. Danvers

PiXi StiX

The double meaning of Maureen's nicknamed was well earned by her skills with drum sticks and her sweet and free spirit. Always up for the show and always on stage with a killer smile and vibe, she started playing when she was a kid and has played every percussion and drum style imaginable. If you see the band "Booty Vortex" you'll see her getting her disco funk on and you may see her around town in bands that are funk, blues, marching, rock, Irish, Inca, R&B, Jazz and Gospel. Now that's versatile! - "There's a Passion in Every percussive note; there's strength in every stroke." Maureen jumped on board BTB in 2012 and she's an awesome addition to the gang!
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The Professor

 The BTB’s drummer since day one, Jim Larkin always brings a little razzle dazzle to the stage. Dubbed “The Professor” for his signature look, round-rimmed specs, an ironed collared shirt and wavy English Professor’s hair, when Jim isn’t playing bass for some of the finest acts in town like Boston’s own, Jesse Dee, Danielle Miraglia or Dietrich Strause, he can be seen laying down the back beat that keeps the rag-tag Baker Thomas train steady on the track. Even though Jim has a bit of a gear acquisition problem, you’ll never see an intervention from BTB. Whether it’s the vintage Ludwigs, the giant 24 inch bass drum or something flashy and new, whenever this time-keeper is in the saddle, the BTB is ready to launch!

Exactly what is the Jim Larkin Situation?

Some more honorary members of the BTB include:  Dietrich Strause, Danielle Miraglia, Ryan Fitzsimmons, Mark Presler, Greg Klyma, Matt Borrello, Kara Kulpa and Pat McCann who have sat in with us more times than we could possibly count.

Also a special note for Jeff Gaynor who is was with us for the first years and also a key (more like keyboard... heh heh heh...) part of the first record with his amazing piano and keyboard work.

Other honorary members include the tons of performers who have come down to shows and sat in with the band, Rebecca Muir, Katie Elmore and Brian Morell, James Houlahan, Jesse Dee, Ryan Montbleau, Mike McCann, Erik White, Zac Taylor, Avi Solloway, Matt Abatelli, Shrimp (Drums on "You And Me Again"), Sonny Barbato (Accordion on "You And Me Again", Jesse Pagano (Washboard on "Fruit Fly" and "Easier Than This"), The BTB Singers on "Train Face" and "Fruit Fly" and anyone we may of missed!

And of course Marinda dancin' on the bar, the swing crew, the folks who sing along, the fans, the faithful, the friends...


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