Can there be a bluegrass or old time musician more consistently entertaining than Norman Blake? He’s been flatpicking his guitar and singing songs that celebrate a simple life and the old time ways since 1972, delivering a series of cherished albums and remarkable live performances.
Even before his solo career became established, Blake was working in the trenches of American music, touring with Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson in turn, recording with Joan Baez, and serving as guitarist with John Hartford’s Aero-Plain band.
And after nearly three dozen solo or duet albums over the years, Norman is still cranking out new music. His latest, Brushwood Songs & Stories, contains 19 new songs and tunes from this legendary artist’s fertile imagination. As is his wont, most are played simply, with just guitar and voice, or with accompaniment from cellist and guitarist, Nancy Blake, his wife of more than 40 years.
The record doesn’t officially release until January 20 on Plectrafone, but pre-release copies can be purchased now from Western Jubilee Recording Company online. Audio for several tracks can be sampled there as well.
There aren’t many acoustic guitarists alive who wouldn’t enjoy receiving a copy of Norman Blake’s newest CD for Christmas.
Let’s hope the old master has another dozen of these in him.