It takes a true explorer to simultaneously traverse a familiar path and the road less traveled, but Baxter Hall is nothing if not a musical multi-tasker. With one boot planted in his family’s path of professional musicianship, and another kicking up dirt in the realm of roots rock, the Boston singer-songwriter wields a carefree rock ‘n’ roll spirit fortified by a lifetime of discipline and dedication to his craft. Hall’s hard-earned chops have established him as an old soul offering modern wisdom against an inviting backdrop of shape-shifting rock.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Hall has honed his sound for most of his life. Music was a way of life in Hall’s childhood home, where he was surrounded by multiple generations of professional classical musicians. Symphony Hall would serve as his childhood playground, where he was weaned on the wonders of live music while his father performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. Peeking at performances from backstage, he learned the meaning of world-class musicianship at a young age, as he watched legendary instrumentalists like Yo-Yo Ma take the stage. But another sound spoke to him as well – a rugged fusion of folk, roots, and rock from visiting acts like James Taylor and Warren Haynes.

Wielding his guitar and a wealth of inspiration, Hall entered the world of professional musicianship early, tapping BSO percussionist Will Hudgins as a mentor. Jam sessions at Hudgins’ home molded Hall into a receptive young artist; by 13, he was working as a professional guitarist, taking work as a session musician and performing with other acts across New England. Hall’s industrious nature soon caught the attention of Grammy-nominated artist Duke Robillard – once a touring guitarist with Bob Dylan and Tom Waits – who adopted Hall as a mentee and collaborator. Recording sessions and live performances alongside Robillard further developed Hall’s sound throughout his late teens, preparing him for a thriving solo career.

Hall took the plunge into solo musicianship with his 2021 debut album Somewhere in My Guitar, which he quickly followed with the Real Conversation / High Vibe Friends EP in 2022. The two-track project furthered Hall’s sense of duality, backing cool tones of soulful pop with hooky roots rock. Philosophical cut “Real Conversation” spurns toxic chatter – what Hall calls “surface level trivialities” – with a low-key but deceivingly strong guitar groove. “High Vibe Friends” revs Hall’s rock ‘n’ roll ethos to double down on his rejection of superficiality, as he seeks meaningful connection in a world that glorifies little more than likes and appearances. 

His spring 2024 release “High Road” digs deeper into these meditations, yet reveals a touch of previously unheard twang from Hall. A foundation of stripped-down folk underscores his challenge to find the (often lonely) moral high ground: “You know, the lowest roads are still higher than hell,” he professes on the bridge. 

These rich layers – insightful lyrics, extensive training, and a malleable palate of rock, folk, roots and pop – overlap at Hall’s dynamic live shows, which have touched every part of Boston, from the Paradise Rock Club to hotel rooftops downtown. Online, his influence stretches even farther, reaching listeners across the globe through Instagram videos of his performances. As his view tally (which currently soars over a few million) has grown, so has his list of esteemed admirers. Performer dubbed Hall a “gifted axe-slinger” in a longform profile, while VOX Amplifiers, JBL, and Elixir Strings have all backed his vision with brand partnerships. 

But ultimately, it’s a lasting, positive impact – not digital plugs and shares – that Hall is after every time he picks up his guitar.