Sunday, April 09, 2006

Norman Blake

Speaking of guitars, a careful reader of this blog would get the impression that I only listen to early classical music. Not true! I am great lover of traditional country music, folk, country gospel, and bluegrass (all of which are absent from the radio - unless you have satellite radio). My heart becomes full when I hear the dulcet tones of a good guitar in the hands of Wayne Henderson, Doc Watson, Tommy Emmanuel, or especially Norman Blake. Have you heard of any of those names? Probably not, for they play a music steeped in Celtic tradition - the music our forefathers brought with them in the 18th century when they emigrated here from Britain. When I hear this music, I feel transported back in time to a very different America. I owe this love for folk music to my parents, who would put on the folk radio program "Woody's Children" on Saturday evenings. I received a well-rounded home education.

The best example of this is Norman Blake. He is one of the best guitarists I have heard, but also a gifted storyteller and preservationist of a lost American culture. I heartily recommend you give him listen, whether on iTunes or some other place. A good place to start would be The Fields of November, which is a double album of songs recorded in the 1970s. Oh yeah, here's a picture of the guitar C.F. Martin has made in his honor. And yes I would like to own it...

{The top picture is of Norman and his wife Nancy, who accompanies him}

{What makes this guitar so attractive is that 1. It's a Martin. 2. It's a slot-head. 3. It has twelve frets where the neck joins the body. 4. The neck is a bit narrower at the top for smaller hands. Don't even ask it's price - it means you (and I) can't afford it.}


Post a Comment

<< Home