DARIEN — When Will Baird was living in San Diego, a lone coyote lived across the street from him. At night, the coyote would howl all alone.

Baird began thinking of the coyote’s story, which became the inspiration for his debut album, “Coyote Dreams.”

“Eventually the coyote realized what I realized,” the Norwalk resident said. “Life has its ups and downs. Once you can accept that, you can embrace life.”

Baird got his start in music in college at Tufts University in Boston. There he played in Harvard Square with the likes of Suzanne Vega and Tracy Chapman and had a morning folk show on WERS, a radio station run by Emerson College students. To this day, Baird returns to his roots and plays in Cambridge once a month at the Lizard Lounge.

Despite his interest in music, Baird took up a career in marketing and moved to Darien. He served as a duty supervisor for Post 53, only playing guitar occasionally for his young son. After a stint in California — where he met the influential coyote — Baird moved back to the East Coast and settled in nearby Norwalk.

When Baird retired from marketing in 2014, he began performing and writing songs full time.

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Hear him sing

Will Baird will perform a free concert on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m. at St. Luke’s Parish, 1864 Post Road. For information about “Coyote Dreams,” visit willbaird.com.

“It kind of came time to re-evaluate life and what I wanted to do,” he said. “My guitar had been sitting on my stand in my living room for 30 years. It was always there in the background.”

Baird began working on some of the tracks for “Coyote Dreams,” which was produced by three-time Grammy Award-winning producer Phil Magnotti and is self-released. Baird has already begun promoting the album with gigs in New York City, Boston and Connecticut. He has also started playing more house parties and will perform a free concert at St. Luke’s Parish, 1864 Post Road, where he’s been a parishioner the past three years.

“Will Baird is part of the band that plays for our ‘Come As You Are’ service every Sunday evening,” said St. Luke’s Director of Communications Maggie Domont. “He’s a vibrant member of our community, and we enjoy his music each Sunday.”

Anyone, not just St. Luke’s parishioners, can attend the Oct. 21 concert to hear songs from Baird’s debut album.

“Coyote Dreams” touches upon themes of life and its journey, Baird said.

“It’s a story everyone goes through,” he said. “It’s a story of a lifetime that appeals to all ages. You realize you have dreams and then you realize you have permanent bad habits, which prohibit those dreams. How you handle that determines the second part of your life. You can accept the loss of your dreams or you can be bitter.”

Baird said he went through that stage while living in San Diego. He said it’s the wisdom that comes with age that makes him stand out from folk singer/songwriters of a younger generation.

“It’s freeing because I’ve got wisdom my competitors don’t,” he said. “I know things 23-year-old folk musicians don’t. I’ve experienced things they haven’t. That’s what makes my music strong.”

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata