‘Robt Sarazin Blake’ solo album from Robert Sarazin Blake(February 13, 2014)
American folk singer Robert Sarazin Blake is one more link in a chain of American folk legacy that stretches back beyond today to moments lost in time. There is perfect understanding in that laconic delivery, the well-rounded vocals, the songs built on experience and carried by intricate and deceptively simple guitar. His solo album ‘Robt Sarazin Blake’ offers everything fans of this eternal brand of music could want and more.
Spanning the country from Northwest, to West Coast, across to the East Coast and even over the pond to Ireland. The songs on this album reflect journeys and illustrate views on life with its myriad experiences. The impression that this is understated music is confounded by its absorbing intensity. And right from the get go you're into Blake’s lyrical approach, from the opening travelogue ‘Dingle to Tralee’ recalling friends and feelings, people and places, through a contemplative view of life portrayed in ‘Ok, Ok, Ok’, to the outstanding observance of ‘Our Winter in New York’, an utterly incisive track made more potent by a tasty harmony from Anaïs Mitchell.
Blake tells startlingly clear narratives intertwining moving lyrics around carefully constructed melodies, listen to the bare emotions of ‘Joy’ and ‘Maxine’, the hard account of ‘Sister’ or the profound honesties of ‘Butte, MT’ with its sharp lyrics: “Isn’t amazing what they’re doing with plastic, if I hadn’t known better I’d have thought it was wood. The whole world’s changing and I know it scares you, I know you’d stop it if only you could.”
Alongside Blake, this album features the talents of Jacob Silver (upright bass) Jefferson Hamer (guitar) Eamon O’Leary (bouzouki) Anaïs Mitchell (vocals) Rob MacMillan (conga) and Daniel Zane Maroti (guitar).
Reviewer: Tom Franks