Greg Blake Band – Saturday June 29, 2019 at 8:00pm
You’ll hear it in his voice immediately … the original strain of Appalachian mountain music that lies at the heart of all great modern bluegrass and country. Greg Blake grew up in the mountains of southwest West Virginia, and when he sings, you can hear a voice that connects to the great old generations of mountain singers, invested with a rich twang and rumbling drawl, and the kind of eerily powerful high tenor cry that first inspired the ‘high, lonesome sound.’
These days he’s traded the low, rolling mountains of his West Virginia homeland for the sky-scraping peaks of Colorado, and he’s moved his lifelong calling as a minister to the full-time bluegrass music scene, but he still keeps his faith close and his family closer. On songs like “Dreaming of a Little Cabin” or “Turn Your Heart Toward Home”, you can hear the gentle guidance of a pastor and a devout family man reflecting on the good path. While bluegrass gospel may be one of Greg Blake’s signature talents, he’s certainly not averse to a little rough-and-tumble country singing, and his new album features a blazing bluegrass version of Johnny Cash’s “Hey Porter” that shows off Blake’s razor-sharp and lightning-fast guitar picking abilities. Drawing from a wide variety of song sources, from Cash to 80s country (Joe Diffie), to Canadian folk (Ian Tyson), to the original source himself, Big Mon, Greg Blake has a far ranging set of influences but a powerful Appalachian base to his music that resets these vocal gems in new ways.
Now after touring North America and raising a family, he’s poised to come into his own as one of the true Appalachian stars of modern bluegrass. This debut solo album, Songs of Heart and Home, measures Greg Blake spreading his wings as a vocalist and bandleader, crafting genre crossing music and following in the footsteps of his idol, Mac Wiseman, to make music that appeals to Bluegrass, Folk, Country, and Gospel fans alike.
“[Songs of Heart & Home] is a well conceived, nicely executed release with top-flight songs and excellent vocals and instrumental work. Highly recommended.” – Bluegrass Unlimited, March ’16