Since 1980, Jeff Baxter has been entertaining audiences throughout the Washington / Baltimore area with his distinctive vocal stylings.
He has been performing in various bands since the age of 15, when he and some friends from high school hooked up and started performing at nightspots in and around Laurel, Maryland.
Although he says that initially performing in bands was a great way to meet girls, his vocal talents soon made music one of the major influences in his life.
In 1988, Jeff and his fellow band members formed The Cross-Tie Walker Band. For the next 11 years they were one of the dominant southern rock cover acts in the DC / Baltimore / Frederick / Southern Maryland area, opening for artists such as Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, Toy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band, Savoy Brown, and Steppenwolf.
One of the most memorable experiences he had was performing for a charity benefit concert at Ft Smallwood park outside Baltimore, opening for The Outlaws, with over 80,000 people in attendance. Incidentally, running sound for this performance was a relatively new guy to the group, Steve Kimbell. Ah yes...the plot thickens!
Influenced by an uncle who was a musician in Michigan, Jeff has never had any formal musical training. What he does, he does naturally and from instinct...something that leave many trained musicians shaking their heads wondering why they have to work so hard at something that comes so naturally to Jeff.
In 1992, Cross Tie Walker produced, recorded and released an Extended Play cassette of four songs, three of which were penned by Jeff. All four songs featured him on lead vocals. Every copy of the EP quickly sold out, and Jeff's credentials as a songwriter as well as performer were clearly established.
After many years of performing together, but with most of the band members now married and having kids, the pressures to perform regularly were getting more and more difficult to address, and in 1999 the Cross Tie Walker Band eventually disbanded.
Rewind just a couple of years. Jeff met Mike and Veronica Herrera at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Odenton, Maryland while performing with the church's contemporary music group. The year was 1997.
They started harmonizing together and realized there was something really special between them.
By 1998, Oracle came into existence as a dynamic three piece band with a faithful and dedicated following.
Looking back to his days with Cross-Tie Walker, Jeff then introduced Steve Kimbell into the band as the trumpet player and sound engineer for the group.
In December 2002 Jeff proposed to his long time girlfriend Jolene, (yes...she accepted), and in January 2003 Jeff and Jolene were married, with both Oracle and Cross Tie Walker Band performing at the reception. Yes, Jeff spent much of the reception on stage with the bands! In fact, Jeff and Jolene (an accomplished singer in her own right), performed the song "Unforgettable" together at the reception!
At this same time it was realized that in order to devote sufficient time and attention to his many areas of interest, (to say nothing of a new family), something had to give, and as Oracle Band was actually being invited to perform more during 2003, Jeff announced that he would be leaving Oracle as son as a qualified replacement was found and worked in.
Now a proud parent, Jeff has been out to visit the band and sit in on a few numbers from time to time, and we fully expect him to continue to pop in from time to time.
In his spare time, he has been involved with his church, coaching kid's soccer teams, as well as writing and recording some of his own musical material.
Jeff has been a major asset to Oracle from day one, and we would like to thank him for his dedication and solid work ethic.
We wish Jeff and Jolene all the happiness in the world.
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