Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Richard Blake Master Guitarist: Bio

Richard Blake is a master guitarist who has devoted his career to playing guitar, and, at times, electric bass, to playing in every conceivable musical venue in New York City and the metropolitan area from Connecticut to Pennsylvania. Richard currently plays well-known chord melody love songs; alone on a “jazz box” guitar and a small amplifier. There are no effects (other than light reverb), extraneous synthetic backgrounds, or vocals. This is serious, elegant guitar playing. He also plays with his own trio (guitar, bass, and drums) with a focus on subtle jazz arrangements of well-known songs. The music is sophisticated with a bebop feel. Technique: Richard’s technique is unique and immediately recognizable. Following the guidance of his beloved teacher, Chuck Wayne, Richard uses a small pick held between the first finger and thumb and only the upper knuckles move; there is no movement of the right arm. The rest of the right hand rests on the pickguard; the physics of which allow for great control, accuracy, and speed. This resting of the hand is used primarily for single string playing. Fingering on the fretboard is flawless. For chord melodies, Richard uses the remaining fingers on the right hand to “brush” the strings such that the relative loudness of each string is consistent with the others. This also allows for chord melodies to be played in a manner similar to a piano in that all the notes in a respective chord are heard simultaneously. This technique enables great speed and clarity in terms of playing passing tones, syncopations, and arpeggios. Richard Blake applies this technique to the theoretical algorithms presented in songs and then plays with great sensitivity, feeling, and passion.

"Richard Blake Plays Midtown at Midnight" was released in May 2010 and achieved the following RMR jazz airplay rankings: #2 June 04, 2010; #2 June 11, 2010; #4 June 25, 2010; #4 July 9, 2010; #4 July 16, 2010; #5 August 13, 2010; #6 July 23, 2010; #7 May 28, 2010; #7 August 27, 2010; #8 July 30, 2010;  #8 August 6, 2010; #10 September 10, 2010; #11 June 18, 2010; #12 September 10, 2010; #18 August, 20, 2010; #25 July 2. 2010.

To communicate with Richard:   www.richardblakeguitar@comcast.net

 

I have made a YouTube video with Paul DeLorenzo on keyboard and Dennis Kohrherr on drums.  On YouTube you can locate this under the title Richard Blake Smooth Jazz Guitarist.  The link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk1ki0AuB44

To read a story written by Ms. Jessica Infante in The Asbury Park (NJ) Press on June 22, 2010 about my early career, please see http://www.app.com/article/20100621/NEWS/6210342/Barnegat-jazz-guitarist-Richard-Blake-makes-his-mark-on-the-charts

To listen to a podcast of portions of my latest cd, please go to http://wglt.org/podcasts/jazz_next/   and then scroll down to Richard Blake and the date is May 13, 2010.  This is also listed as 100513_blake

To read further about my musicianship and history, and listen to one track, please go to http://karionpresskits.com/richardblake/richardblake.html  This site also presents a history of the airplay rankings of "Midtown at Midnight".

For reviews of my cd's from persons who have purchased them and who have graciously made comments, go to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/richardblake     This will be the cdbaby website that features my first cd, Richard Blake Plays Heartache Guitar.  For reviews from those who have purchased Midtown at Midnight and who have graciously made comments, go to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/richardblake2  These sites also provide opportunity for listening to samples of recordings.

For professional reviews, please go to the PRESS section of my website.

 

Thank you for reading any or all of the above and I also thank those who have commented on my musicianship.  I am particularly grateful to my long-term teacher, the late Chuck Wayne, for all he taught me and how he taught me to teach myself.  One of the ways I teach myself is to listen carefully to any and all musicians and I learn something from everyone, no matter what their apparent level or type of musicianship currently is.  I am also very grateful to my life-long friend, the late John (Baeg) Lombardo: a songwriter, musician, and record company manager.  John motivated me to break out on my own and my work to date is a reflection of his encouragement.  Last, but certainly not least, I thank my wife and daughter for their encouragement and patience; doing this stuff involves massive practicing and unorthodox schedules.  If you buy or have already purchased one of my cd's, those who have contributed to the final product are listed and each put in a 150% effort toward helping make these the best production possible.