Old Ties

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
A well-kept secret, except among guitar and bluegrass aficionados who’ve appreciated his artistry for decades, Norman Blake remains one of the great roots-music instrumentalists. This collection, which reaches as far back as 1972 and stretches to 1990, collects superior selections from Blake’s recordings on Rounder and Flying Fish Records. There are plenty of examples of Blake’s guitar wizardry, both on instrumentals (“Sleepy Eyed Joe/Indian Creek,” “Fiddler’s Dram/Whiskey Before Breakfast”) and songs that also feature his understated but always endearing vocals. Blake’s spirited and idiomatic fiddle playing also gets its due (“Blind Dog,” Bristol in the Bottle,” ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
A well-kept secret, except among guitar and bluegrass aficionados who’ve appreciated his artistry for decades, Norman Blake remains one of the great roots-music instrumentalists. This collection, which reaches as far back as 1972 and stretches to 1990, collects superior selections from Blake’s recordings on Rounder and Flying Fish Records. There are plenty of examples of Blake’s guitar wizardry, both on instrumentals (“Sleepy Eyed Joe/Indian Creek,” “Fiddler’s Dram/Whiskey Before Breakfast”) and songs that also feature his understated but always endearing vocals. Blake’s spirited and idiomatic fiddle playing also gets its due (“Blind Dog,” Bristol in the Bottle,” “The Fields of November”). That Blake can hold his own with the very best pickers around is made more than evident on “Lost Indian,” a wonderful instrumental get-together with Doc Watson and Tony Rice, the mightiest of all bluegrass guitarists. But Blake’s prowess as a player is old news to his fans; new listeners should be prepared to be mightily impressed.
All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Norman Blake will never be known as a revolutionary. His starkly honest guitar picking and gently lulling voice have sounded almost exactly the same for the 30-some years that the Rounder release Old Ties encompasses. Often performing solo, occasionally accompanied by his wife, Nancy, and any of a number of bluegrass and neo-traditional folk musicians Tut Taylor, Charlie Collins, Doc Watson, Blake's summery, porch-swing ballads and blues are perfectly performed and humbly executed. Working with the traditional themes of old-timey folk music, Blake re-creates the earthy feel of a timeworn classic the first time a song emerges from his guitar, and his unpretentious, reverent style delivers the music in an intimate environment. The compilation sticks to his more traditional-sounding compositions and interpretations, making for a wonderful afternoon listen and the perfect introduction to Blake's uniquely faithful style. Although his musical offerings may never be seen as revolutionary, his unwillingness to change to a more contemporary mode of folk music may be a kind of revolution...if anyone wanted to argue about it. Luckily, with music this pure, no one does.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/4/2002
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661158320
  • Catalog Number: 611583
  • Sales rank: 95,125

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Norman Blake Primary Artist, Fiddle, Vocals, Slide Guitar
Nancy Blake Bass, Guitar, Cello
James Bryan Fiddle
Tony Rice Guitar, Vocals
Doc Watson Guitar
Ben Pedigoe Banjo
Charlie Collins Fiddle, Guitar
Nancy Short Cello
Technical Credits
Norman Blake Producer
Tony Rice Producer
Sam Bush Producer
Tut Taylor Producer
Richard Adler Engineer
Scott Billington Art Direction
Keith Case Executive Producer
Bruce Kaplan Executive Producer
Paul Mufson Engineer
Nancy Given Art Direction
Jon Weisberger Liner Notes
Bill Wolfe Engineer
Christian Clayton Cover Art
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