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Mike Baggetta: Genre-Blurring Guitar Hero

The multi-faceted guitarist collaborates with punk bassist Mike Watt and session drummer Jim Keltner on Wall of Flowers

Mike Baggetta (photo: Bill Foster)
Mike Baggetta (photo: Bill Foster)

Mike Baggetta has been on a high. The multifaceted guitarist recently completed a whirlwind 10-day tour in support of Wall of Flowers (Big Ego), his out-there album with punk bassist Mike Watt and legendary session drummer Jim Keltner. He capped off the cross-country jaunt at the New York club Coney Island Baby by joining forces with fellow guitarist Ava Mendoza and ripping through an earth-scorching cover of the Stooges’ “Funhouse.”              

But for Baggetta, the chance to perform live versions of songs from Watt’s punk-rock opera, 1997’s Contemplating the Engine Room, has been even more monumental. That sprawling opus, a deeply autobiographical song cycle connecting Watt’s time in ’80s punk trio the Minutemen to his father’s life in the Navy, has had a lasting effect on the guitarist.

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