Article by Dutch Metzker
Tom “Trashmouth” Baker is a self-taught master blues harmonica player who has been prominent on the KC music scene since the 1970s. Tom is a Missouri native who moved to the Merriam-Shawnee area when he was a kid. The Hohner harmonica company had a Beatles promo with 2 harmonicas as prizes, which Trashmouth received and set about learning how to play it. After he became somewhat proficient, he sat in with Kansas City greats, Little Hatch, and Lee McBee, to further hone his skills through the 1970s and 1980s. During this period, he also performed with the Colt 45 band on his journey. He became a part of The Homewreckers in the 1980s, who performed around the metropolitan area at various locations.
Trashmouth joined the Blues Notions in the late 1980s and, in 1990, won the KCBS’ local International Blues Challenge (IBC). In Memphis, the following year, the band made it to the IBC finals and won third place. It was the first time a Kansas City band received an IBC trophy. The Blues Notions released “This is It” in 1997.
From the 2000s to the present, Trashmouth has had a thriving solo career, with the release of the highly regarded CD, One Man’s Trash, in 2017. Trashmouth is happiest when performing and regaling you with stories of Kansas City’s blues history. Be sure to catch him when you can; you’ll be glad you did.