Norman Blake (Born March 10, 1938 in Chattanooga, Tennessee) is an instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter. In a career spanning more than 50 years Blake has played in a number of folk and Country groups. He is considered one of the leading figures in the Bluegrass revival of the 1970s and is still active today, playing concert dates and making albums with his wife Nancy Blake.
Although known as one of the most prominent acoustic guitar flatpickers, Norman Blake is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Other instruments he plays include the mandolin, 6-string banjo, fiddle, dobro, banjo and viola…
He is known for his loose right hand guitar technique, which arose out of his mandolin technique. Also well known is his devotion to 12 fret guitars, including Martin 00s, 000s, D18s, D28s, and, most recently, Gibsons, like his 1929 12 fret Nick Lucas special. Blake is listed in the credits of the Bob Dylan album Nashville Skyline and the Johnny Cash album Orange Blossom Special. He was featured on the Steve Earle comeback albumTrain A’ Comin’ and on the multi-platinum O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, which ignited new interest in bluegrass music and won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2002. Blake participated in the “Down from the Mountain” tour which resulted. Blake also played on the 2007 album Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, which won fiveGrammy Awards. 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 standards, such as “Ginseng Sullivan” from Back Home in Sulphur Springs, “Slow Train through Georgia”, and “Church Street Blues”.
Blake has produced 32 albums and has recorded on the Rounder, Flying Fish, Country, Takoma, Shanachie, Western Jubilee, Red House, Dualtone, and Plectrafone labels.
Here is Mr. Blake doing some ( NashVille Blues ) ENJOY!!