One of the hardest working musicians in Maine has had some bad luck lately with serious medical issues, so a fundraiser is planned to help cover his expenses.

I first met Doug Baker in the '80's, when I was still pretty new to the local County Music scene. Over the next many years, I followed the band 'Bootleg,' that featured Doug, Stephen Mooers, Tom Morelli, and Kris Woodward, and even got to be a part of their award-winning night at a Q-106.5 talent competition. Looking back, that seems like such a long time ago.

Since then, Doug has played in many bands, including 'The Real Deal,' that was featured on a live jam TV show from Peakes Hill Lodge, and 'The Maine-ly Country Band.' I don't remember a time when Doug wasn't involved in music, sharing his guitar playing and beautiful voice with fans statewide.

But now, he's struggling to regain even the simplest of his musical abilities. Doug has experienced several major health problems lately, that have left his speech slurred and his abilities limited. He's working his way back, as shown in a video shared by his wife Patty of Doug playing guitar and singing from rehab. While it will be a long road, Doug is determined, and anyone who knows him will tell you that means he's halfway there already.

To help Doug and Patty deal with the medical expenses not covered by insurance, his rehab, and just the loss of income while he's laid up, friends and family have planned a fundraiser on Sunday, March 25th. They hope everyone will stop by the Bangor Elks Lodge on Odlin Road between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for some live music, delicious pot luck, and auction items up for bid. It's a non-alcoholic event, so everyone is invited.

Doug is much beloved in the local County Music scene, which explains the amazing line-up of folks who are coming out to perform, including seven bands: Mainely Country, Driven, Whiskey Bent, Bobby Reed & The Wild Horse Band, The Ryan Carter Band, JJohn Whitman and Southwind, and The Rick Carter Band. In addition, there will be performances from Vinny and Dylan Cormier, Thomas Morelli, John Williams, Cornell & Judy McLellan, Kathy & Buzz Vandestine, Peter Allen & Deedee Record Allen, Ray Stafford, Jean Scripture, George Harnish, Brittany Reed, Sharlene Hooper, Pard Higgins, Allison Ames, and Don Nickerson!

Keep track of any updates and learn how to contribute to the auction, pot luck or bake sale through the Doug Baker Benefit Facebook Page. And if you can't make the event, but would still like to help out Doug and Patty, send your financial donation, payable to 'Patty Baker' to: Jeff Simon, P.O. Box 975, Milford, ME 04461.

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