32 South band founder dies

Published 10:30 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The founder and leader of a hometown band died Monday after a battle with cancer, but family and friends will remember his musical passion and talent.

Gary Baines founded 32 South, so named because the band practiced in a barn on his property on the rural route. His wife of 21 years, Lisa Baines, said her husband was all about music.

“Music was Gary,” she said. “He loved music fully. Our whole life — we have been together for 21 years — has been music. But we loved it together.”

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Baines was drummer and vocalist for the homegrown country band.

“He didn’t venture off too far from the drums,” Lisa Baines said. “(He didn’t play guitar because) he always said his fingers were too short, and he couldn’t get the chords. But he thoroughly enjoyed his drumming.”

Lisa Baines said many in the local music scene knew her husband and often invited him to play on stage, even if he was only there as an audience member.

He also wrote some of the band’s songs and enjoyed mentoring younger musicians, former band member and longtime friend Craig Robertson said.

The two met when Baines filled in during a gig for the band Robertson played at the time. Baines said he was trying to start a country band. They practiced for a month or two at the barn.

“I think our very first gig was at the Suffolk Moose Lodge,” Robertson said. Baines was a member there. Eventually, the band could be found playing just about any stage in the area.

Like Baines’ wife, Robertson also said Baines lived through music.

“It was just something he was very passionate about,” Robertson said. “He just really had a drive to do it. Even when he got really sick, that drive never left. If there was a gig to be found, he was going to try to play it.”

Robertson said his friend enjoyed sharing his passion with others.

“He just loved music, and he loved to make music with friends. He enjoyed sharing that with the audience.”

In addition to his wife, Baines leaves behind his mother, a daughter, four sons and 11 grandchildren.

A funeral will be held Friday, with visitation the night before at Parr Funeral Home.