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.