WHEN A GUY SPENDS A DECADE IN A Southern bar band playing bluesy, raunchy rock celebrating misfit heroes for a thirsty clientele he terms "the longneck crowd," you'd expect him to be a wild man.
But Dan Baird, at the moment, is doing the dishes. "Hey, you learn your place," he says with a laugh. Two years ago, telling himself. "You"re turning in crappy shows and don't know what you're doing," Baird, 38, quit the Georgia Satellites and moved with his girlfriend from Atlanta to rural Adolphus, Ky., about an hour north of Nashville. He was free to practice his guitar in his barn and relax. "I watch a lot of Doctor Who on the Sci-Fi Channel," he says. "I do some yard work and barbecue and go get the mail. I watch a lot of movies. And I watch SportsCenter on ESPN. I live kind of a regular life. It's a neat thing." He also writes Southern rock that he admits isn't particularly innovative: "I'm a guy who's still in the day-old bread store, so to speak. I'm not very current." And, happily, neither is Adolphus. "It's just a post office surrounded by farms. A lot of people have livestock, soybean farms, tobacco farms. I've got an oxygen farm: 40 acres of trees."
Life in the sticks inspired Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired, his first solo album, a disc full of "little songs about little people. My stuff is like Mark Twain goes slumming," he says. "I see some girl in her acid-washed jeans and Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt that's two sizes too small walking across the street, and I just start making this stuff up."