Friday, October 06, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Norman Blake, by JD

Norman L. Blake (born March 10, 1938) is a traditional American stringed instrument artist and songwriter. He is half of the eponymous Norman & Nancy Blake band with his wife, Nancy Blake.
Most of the music that Norman Blake plays could be described as neo-traditionalist Americana folk and roots music (folk, bluegrass, country, blues), and many of the songs he plays are traditional, but he plays this acoustic type of music with a style, speed, and quality that has evolved and progressed in the modern age. Though probably best known for his fluid renditions of classic fiddle tunes transcribed for the guitar ("Fiddler's Dram/Whiskey Before Breakfast"), Blake has also written songs that have become bluegrass and folk standards, such as "Ginseng Sullivan", "Slow Train through Georgia", "Billy Gray", and "Church Street Blues".

Blake is revered within American folk music circles because of his many accomplishments. He’s put out more than 40 studio albums, backed up Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan on the seminal Nashville Skyline, and worked with the legendary John Hartford during Hartford’s most creative period. Blake also recorded with singer Joan Baez and appeared on her hit song “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, played dobro on the 1972 album Will the Circle Be Unbroken by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Later, he performed on the album Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, which won five Grammy Awards, and worked with T Bone Burnett on the soundtrack O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which won a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Norman Blake Documentary: 
Legendary guitarist, singer, and songwriter Norman Blake 
discusses and performs clips from his album "Wood, Wire and Words." 
This video was shot at Cook Sound Studio atop Lookout Mountain 
in Fort Payne, Alabama, in July 2014.

"I'm Going to Georgia" - Norman and Nancy Blake with James and Rachel Bryan

Norman Blake flatpicks Randall Collins and Done Gone

Tony Rice & Norman Blake - New River Train

Norman and Nancy Blake "My Dear Old Southern Home" and "New Money":
Norman and Nancy Blake discuss some of their beliefs about music and sing the tune "My Dear Old Southern Home." Norman also discusses their guitars as well and plays "new Money" with Nancy.

Blake is another welatively unknown 'superstar' - if the likes of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Robert Plant, Alison Krause and many more want you to play in their recording sessions then you are very very good!

Norman Blake is very very good.

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