Blues • United States
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Blind Blake is a figure of enormous importance in American music. Not only was he one of the greatest blues guitarists of all-time, Blake seems to have been the primary developer of "finger-style" ragtime on the guitar, the six-string equivalent to playing ragtime on the piano. Blake mastered this form so completely that few, if any, guitarists who have learned to play in this style since Blake have been able to match his quite singular achievements in this realm. Blind Blake was the most frequently recorded blues guitarist in the Paramount Records' race catalog; indeed, Paramount waxed him as often as they could, as he was their best-selling artist. By the time the Paramount label folded in the fall of 1932, Blake had recorded an amazing 79 known sides for them under his own name and had contributed accompaniments to Paramount recordings by other artists such as Gus Cannon, Papa read more...
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BLIND BLAKE The Essential album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential
Blues 2002

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BLIND BLAKE The Legendary Blind Blake album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Legendary Blind Blake
Blues 1958
BLIND BLAKE Blues In Chicago album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues In Chicago
Blues 1967
BLIND BLAKE That Will Happen No More album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
That Will Happen No More
Blues 2010
BLIND BLAKE The Rough Guide To Blues Legends: Blind Blake album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Rough Guide To Blues Legends: Blind Blake
Blues 2013

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BLIND BLAKE The Rough Guide To Blues Legends: Blind Blake

Boxset / Compilation · 2013 · Blues
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siLLy puPPy
Little is known of the artist known as BLIND BLAKE who was a pioneer blues and ragtime singer / guitarist. Despite little known about his personal life, he was actually quite successful for a short time when he recorded a great deal of music for Paramount Records between 1926 and 1932. Around 80 different songs actually. He was known for his technical wizardry of blending complex finger techniques that included ragtime and blues and considered to be one of the most accomplished guitarists of the era. His trademark sound was that he made his guitar sound like a piano with his lightning fast finger picking talents. Ragtime is notoriously one of the most difficult genres of music to play on the guitar.

Despite BLIND BLAKE’s prolific output in a short period of time, Paramount Records went broke in 1932 and then he disappeared for a while until in 1934 he was hit by a streetcar and finally succumbed to a pulmonary hemorrhage caused by a bad bout with pneumonia a couple years prior thus ending his life and taking all the mysteries with him. Due to the fact he only recorded in the 20s / 30s timeline no albums were released at that time and only various compilations exist that attempt to highlight his prolific canon of finger breaking guitar workouts.

THE ROUGH GUIDE TO BLUES LEGENDS: BLIND BLAKE succeeds in painting a decent representation of BLAKE at his peak ranging from 1926 to 1929 including his first hit “West Coast Blues” and some of his most impressive guitar work on tracks such as “Southern Rag.” “Come On Boys Let’s Do That Messin’ Around” includes one of the first scat solos ever recorded and many of the tracks display his eclectic experimental tendencies which inspired many guitarists to come including Ry Cooder, John Fahey and Leon Redbone amongst others. Even Bob Dylan covered “You Gonna Quit Me Blues” which can be heard here in its original form.

Many World Music Network compilations also contain a second bonus disc and the one included here is titled “The Rough Guide To Ragtime Blues & Hokum.” The hokum was a particular type of American blues music that was almost always humorously employed to incorporate a fair use of euphemisms that made sexual innuendos. This type of music along with ragtime were the musical genres of choice for party situations in African American get-togethers of the day. Since BLIND BLAKE is one of my favorite artists from this period, this compilation is a highly recommended gateway drug into further exploration. If you just can’t get enough there is always the Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order in four volumes from Document Records but this compilation contains most of the more celebrated singles.

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