Sunday, January 22, 2006

End of the road for Norman and Nancy?

Thirty-some years ago, Norman Blake set off with his first solo album, Home in Sulphur Springs. I bought my copy of that album when it was released in 1972 and still cherish it as one of my favorites. Acoustic Guitar magazine lists Home in Sulphur Springs as one of the top ten "essential" bluegrass and country recordings and Flatpicking Guitar magazine considers Norman a "Legend".

Over the years, Norman Blake has played and recorded with a varied assortment of musicians including; The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, John Hartford, Tut Taylor, Vassar Clements, Michelle Shocked, Steve Earle... And appeared on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's legendary "Will the Circle be Unbroken" album. He also contributed to the soundtracks of the movies "Cold Mountain" and "O Brother, Where art Thou?"

Norman describes Home in Sulfur Springs and the new release, Back Home in Sulfur Springs, as "bookends" to a career. Nancy adds "We've always looked at the records he and I have made together as chapters in a novel. We never knew quite how it was going to end up. But this at least creates an off ramp for quitting the road. Not quitting the music. We'll be playing 'til we flop. It's just that the road's really kicking our rear end and we've got to find a better way."

Norman Blake - Down Home Summertime Blues - from Home in Sulphur Springs (1972)

Norman Blake - Church St. Blues - from Whiskey Before Breakfast (1976)

Both of these albums were released on the Rounder label and re-released as CDs. For the complete collection of Norman Blake on Rounder/Flying Fish look here.


Anonymous Lucy said...

I like 'em. Nice way to easy into Monday after a shitty weekend.

January 23, 2006 9:12 AM  
Anonymous nap said...

Very nice, not sure but I think I remember him from a bluegrass fest. in Smithfield or Surry, VA.

January 23, 2006 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed once again great job. You cant go wrong with Norman Blake


January 23, 2006 1:20 PM  

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