By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Ten years into his career, Texas-based singer-songwriter Rob Baird is feeling like he's found his groove.
Baird — who'll return to town for a 10 p.m. Friday show at Golden Light Cantina, 2908 S.W. Sixth Ave.; cover is $12 — has found his career climbing steadily, moreso in the wake of his 2016 release, Wrong Side of the River.
"I'm 10 years into this now, and I feel like it's nice and normal," Baird said. "I'm not always as scared as I used to be that people aren't going to show up."
Baird grew up in Memphis, Tenn., then moved to Fort Worth for college. He started his music career in the Lone Star State, scoring big with his 2012 sophomore album, I Swear It's the Truth. He moved to Nashville for a couple of years, eventually realizing that his heart was in Austin.
Wrong Side of the River, inspired by his childhood listening to Memphis soul, was completed in 2015 but released in May 2016.
"The biggest thing for us has been watching this record slowly grow," Baird said. "It's really fun to see the acceptance in the Americana community. They're allowing us to be part of that community as much as the Texas country community has."
Baird will join several Americana and country acts Saturday at the annual Canadian River Music Festival. Also on the bill are William Clark Green, Blackhawk, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Flatland Cavalry, Red Shahan, The Cody Sparks Band and Hillbilly Stu. (Look for a story later today about the festival.)
Since the completion of Wrong Side, Baird has had plenty of writing time — both solo and collaboratively.
"I'm going to write with David Beck, who was in Sons of Fathers for a long time ... and I've been writing with my friends Drew Kennedy and Sunny Sweeney," Baird said. "I try to do both (writing solo and with others).
"Writing gets lonely sometimes," he continued. "When you're writing with others, you have other people relating to the cause. And generally, I get to write with people I've known for a long time, so I'm hanging out with a good friend who has a common goal. It's just rewarding.
"I actually try to write as much as possible without burning myself out."
That's one reason he's glad for the break between albums.
"There's something about living life and getting perspective, then coming back and saying what happened," Baird said.