I decided to do a self-written biography here and not follow the standard format, this is more of a self-critique of my albums with some biographical info here and there. I’m a Canadian artist, spending much of my time in Dundas, Ontario. I started playing keyboards and piano in bands, mostly making original music but some covers as well in my teens while coming up with all sorts of other compositions and recording them. I recorded just about anything and everything in those days and I still have about 200 cassettes full of all kinds of ideas and mini-albums mostly from about 1986 to 1996.  I also sang in some choirs (as I did as a child as well, along with violin) and studied music theory, piano, and composition formally into my early twenties. I hope I’m still learning, maybe just not quite as formally. I’ve now been teaching music for at least 25 years as well as performing and recording for many other artists and songwriters. I’m now doing way less playing for other artists in the last few years in order that I may focus more soley on my own musical projects.

So, the main focus for this website is my five solo albums that I have released on CD. The first one, “August” from 1996 (although it was released on CD in 1997) was so titled because I literally wrote and recorded the entire album during August of 1996. I played all the instruments on the album including keyboards, guitars, penny whistle, recorder, trumpet, vocals and even some drums! Vocalist Susan Fraser helped out with excellent heart-felt singing as she did with the subsequent albums, but “August” was mostly an instrumental record so neither one of us sang too much until the next album. I’d describe the sound of the record as a mix of folk, progressive and new age. I like to think it’s a nice debut album with a lot of innocent charm and I think it sounds totally amazing considering it was recorded on a rented cassette 8 track machine!?!?!  I still consider it my favourite of my albums, partly for nostalgic reasons and partly for the fact that I think I maybe achieved a few beautiful moments for the first time (at least for me personally). I was very pleasantly surprised to read in Atropos Magazine from Spain, the album was rated the #1 album of the year by one of the top reviewers. Oh, and the title track is 20 minutes long! How cool is that?

The next CD was “Fields” from 1998 and this contained a lot more singing/song-writing mixed in with the instrumental passages. I had 8 tracks of digital recording gear for the first time (an ADAT machine and Mackie Mixer) and I still remember the thrill of hearing back the power in the mix of the first track “New Universe” for the first time. It still sounds wonderful to me to this day. Once again I had help from Susan Fraser, but also drummer Mike Truax on 3 tracks, (who I’d played with in several other personally very important bands for me, such as Perpetual Angelus, Nut Hutch and Bipolar) guitarist Jacob Moon on 2 tracks, (who was one of the other singer/songwriters I played for at the time) and even a tune with Mike Clasen (of Records on Wheels, Dundas fame) on Sax. I’m proud to say that I think it stands up as a pretty original record, has had some very nice  response over the years, and my personal opinion is that something went very right with “Fields”! Some live shows resulted from the album which made me decide to go even more band-oriented for the next album.

“Orion” (from 2000) shed a bit of the folky sound in favour of more progressive rock sounds, at least on the longer tracks “Orion” (featuring lead vocal by Sue Fraser) and “Shadow Walls”.  I had Chris Lamont (another Dundas native) on Drums, John Mamone on bass guitar, Steve Cochrane on guitar on two tracks and Jacob Moon doing a two-part acoustic guitar arrangement on one track. I played very simple, but hopefully effective lead electric guitars on “Orion” and “Shadow Walls”–something I had also done on many of the tracks of “Fields”  and was to do even more of on Martin Road, even though keyboards are obviously my main thing. At 37 minutes, it’s a bit of a short album but an important one for me breaking new ground as a writer.  The album cover didn’t work well at all (long story), but there’s a cool booklet inside with some nice fall pictures of Sue and myself by the Escarpment in Dundas. And the long tracks were always great live, a couple of my best songs.

“Martin Road” was released in 2003 and was a partial return to the folkier sounds of “Fields”. It’s probably my most song-oriented,  moody,  introspective and softly sung album. This time the band again consisted of Chris Lamont, Sue Fraser, John Mamone, Steve Cochrane and Jacob Moon on their respective tracks, but also introducing Dino Verginella on bass on a couple of my faves including the title track. The album has aged very well for me and I’d now say it seems to have a classic feel to it as with the other early albums which I’m very happy about. I also love the drum sound on this one, and Chris’ slightly more jazzy playing in quite a few spots than on my other albums. Some really nice reviews of the album and indeed all of the albums, are here: Also, please check out my personal videos for “Victoria Day” and “Martin Road” on my youtube channel–

“Further Out” was released in 2009 and although it’s much more accessible or radio-friendly than what I normally do, it’s not without a few nuances/surprises and also some great playing: The lineup was Chris Lamont on drums, Dino Verginella on bass, Guitars by Andrew Aldridge on 4 tracks, Steve Cochrane on 1, and myself on slide guitar on 2 tracks and playing keyboards/vocals on all the tracks. Sue played a smaller role on this one, but her contributions really make the title track for me along with Chris Lamont’s incredible drum playing and Dino’s great feel and bass riffing– “Further Out” as a song is one of my favourite things I’ve ever put out. It’s a great track, please check it out on Soundcloud! I’m also very partial to the last section of “Everything to Lose” and much of  “Spinning Wheels”(great guitar solo by Andrew). “Stainless Skies” is one of the simpler songs and I think it works really well as such. Lyrically an ode to flying, it’s a bit of a reference back to “New Universe” and part of the reason I used the giant paper airplane image for the album cover once again.

I’m now writing as of May 2014 and working hard on promoting the new album which still sounds to me to be the most band-oriented and symphonic-sounding album I’ve done to date. This isn’t a Ken Baird album; The band is called Monarch Trail and the CD is called “Skye”. I felt that this time around, the sound was so collaborative in nature that a band name made the most sense. While the group mainly consists of Chris Lamont, Dino Verginella and myself, some familiar names will appear such as John Mamone (this time on guitar instead of bass), Steve Cochrane and new friend Kelly Kereliuk on guitar on their respective tracks. I’ll add more to this biography as I go, but if you haven’t already, please check out for more info and links to sound clips (and I also included the first track of the album called “Luminescence”)

And now I’m writing in July 2016 and I’m happy to say that a new Monarch Trail album will be out later this year. More news will be on the Monarch Trail website, but I may expand on a few personal thoughts over here too. More soon!