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Whiskey Before Breakfast

Norman Blake

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Album Review

Blake's best album, and one of the finest bluegrass albums of the '70s. "Church St. Blues" and "Slow Train Through Georgia" are great originals that demonstrate Blake's natural ease with a sung ballad, while the fabulous medleys "Sleepy Eyed Joe/Indian Creek" and "Fiddler's Dram/Whiskey Before Breakfast" show off the graceful flat-picking that made him famous. All told, there have been many albums in the folk idiom featuring many a guitar virtuoso, but very few achieve such a mix of relaxed subtlety and eye-popping virtuosity, and Whiskey Before Breakfast will perhaps stand as the greatest achievement by this master picker.

Biography

Born: 10 March 1938 in Chattanooga, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although he is proficient with a variety of stringed instruments, Norman Blake is famous for his acoustic guitar skills — he was one of the major bluegrass guitarists of the '70s. Blake came into view in the late '60s, when he began performing as a sideman with artists as diverse as June Carter and Bob Dylan. During the '70s, he began a solo career that quickly became one of the most popular and musically adventurous within bluegrass. He continued recording and performing — occasionally...
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