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Richard Blake Master Guitarist: Press

MELODIC PRODUCTIONS

KARI-ON PRODUCTIONS

4199 Rivermont Drive

Evans, GA. 30809

706-993-2223

kari@karigaffney.com

Media Promotion

You are one of our most requested artists during our soft jazz hour.

George Fuller, KRML - Live Radio Interview
The cuisine and service are perfect. Making the dining experience absolutely perfect is listening to the gentle love songs played by solo guitarist, Richard Blake
restaurant review - New York Times
Blake is an absolute delight to listen to and watch. His playing is enchanting and one watches in amazement as he concentrates on his playing with multiple variations within respective songs. His left hand flies off the guitar while his right hand remains motionless.
entertainment writer - The Islander
If there is one band that you should hear it is Richard Blake's Severe New York Swing Trio. You will be treated to a broad array of songs, often at the request of listeners. The songs are held together by the members of the group who obviously respect and enjoy each other as well as the audience. Amazingly, the band does not use a song list, but rather, plays whatever they feel comes naturally and next in their vast repetoire; smooth with a complicated, yet easy to listen to style reminiscent of subtle jazz applied to all kinds of songs.
entertainment reviewer - The Islander
Richard, your touch is beautiful. You have a unique style that is unmistakeable in terms of your talent, hard work, and passion. You play for the audience, not for yourself.
John Lombardo - Correspondence, Composer for CSI-Miami and former vice-president for RCA recordings
I have never before encountered a musician who was so dedicated to perfection as are you.
Chuck Mearizo, guitarist with The Earls and recording engineer - Personal Correspondence

Re:  Midtown at Midnight:  "Don't be thrown off guard by the fact that Blake plays both guitar and bass on this trio recording.  He obviously has dubbed in the bass, and it all works out quite nicely on a program of standards and pop tunes and more.  Blake sometimes reminds me of Howard Roberts, especially from that period when Roberts did pop tunes for Capital."

George Fendel - Jazz Scene, The Jazz Society of Oregon's Newsletter, June 2010

"Upon listening to the first song on Richard Blake's "Midtown at Midnight" I am reminded a bit of the gentle style of Wes Montgomery, that is until I hear a passage that I assumed was a tremolo applied to this guitar.  I read the liner notes, and it seems the warbly texture during this passage is a guitar technique, and I'm wanting to hear more.  "Midtown at Midnight is an album for fans of the jazz guitar, specifically that laid back style perfected by the likes of Montgomery, Joe Pass, and Pat Martino.  The accompaniment is shared amongst three others, and it doesn't get too busy or complicated; it sounds like something you'd expect to find in a comfortable home with a fireplace in the background, with wine on the side and electricity waiting to happen when the instruments are picked up.  The choice of covers here are quite good, including one of The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" that at first doesn't sound like the original until the second listen.  The recording itself is a great listen, everything balanced well and where they should be. If you turn this up in your home or apartment, you might have neighbors saying "turn it up."  Well maybe not, but what is certain is that Blake is a fine guitarist whose style shows a maturity that comes from years and experience.  Young guitarists will understand subtlety upon listening to this CD.  Buy this and take in a lesson or two."

www.thisisbooksmusic.com/category/music-reviews June 19, 2010 (Jul 9, 2010)

"Guitarist Richard Blake has so much feeling coming out of so much restraint.  "Richard Blake Plays Midtown at Midnight" is a collection of tasty covers and one original."

Jon Norton - WGLT 89.1 FM Chicago (Jul 9, 2010)

"Richard Blake Plays Midtown at Midnight":  Some of our fave musical finds have been the hard working, unsung cats toiling away at hotel bars and lounges, night after night, honing their craft to people who don't notice and don't care.  Jersey guitarist Richard Blake probably falls right into that category.  A master of the jazzy, after hours guitar, Blake delivers a lounge flavored set that you can categorize as background music that is really so much more.  A nice mixed bag of popular tunes, this set is just waiting to turn your deck into the bar you always want to hang out at.  Killer stuff, so subtle and so intriguing."

Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher - Midwest Record Recap Review, Volume 33/Number 209 (Jul 9, 2010)

"Although you might not know him by name, Richard Blake is a well-known master guitarist known to many in the Northeastern United States.  Blake has spent the majority of his life playing lounges and clubs..... and he has managed to make quite a name for himself over the years.  One of the things that distinguishes Richard from other guitarists is that he is a purist.  Instead of relying on effects, he plays it straight....forcing himself to rely on his pure talent to get his messages across (rather than the latest cool gadgets).  The guy is good....damn good.... as is evidenced ty the wonderfully fluid playing on this album.  "Plays Midtown at Midnight" presents eleven cool moody instrumentals that should please just about anyone who loves lounge music and/or subdued jazz.  Classy cuts include "Lollipops and Roses," "Harlem Nocturne," and "Vaya Con Dios."  Smooth and articulate"

Don Seven - LMNOP Magazine, June 2010. www.lmnop.com.au (Jul 9, 2010)

In my dark and dim past when I worked in the record department of a high street store, an album like this, "Richard Blake Plays Midtown at Midnight", would have been classified as "easy listening" and dropped in amongst the James Last and Montovani.  This was back in the day when rock fans derided easy listening as something for the granddads.

Of course, easy listening has now been rescued from obscurity by the more aware musical fan and reclassified as "Lounge" and given some street cred by DJs.  In actual fact I think guitarist Richard Blake's album is really Jazz Lite, with its gently swinging guitar and rhythm section.  In reality, Mr. Blake plays both electric and acoustical guitars and bass guitars on this album, with Dennis Kohrherr providing the sympathetic drums and percussion throughout.  The eleven tracks are drawn from the jazz and pop songbooks of the 50's-70's:  Lollipops and Roses, Norwegian Wood, Things Ain't What They Used To Be, Get Your Kicks on Route 66, Some Day My Prince Will Come, Harlem Nocturne, S.S. Cool, Desafinado, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Transfer Station At 3 AM, and Vaya Con Dios.

I really enjoyed this album, the playing is superb, the vibe is good humored and the album leaves you feeling positive and happy.  Can one ask for more than that?  I would also recommend this album to those learning the guitar and bass as a master-class on the subject.  To my mind Mr. Blake should be a much better known guitarist than he is.  I'm not sure which retail outlets are stocking this so please go to the live link below (the (BUY section www.richardblake.net website) and check out availability options on the website there. 

I think I am going to rate "Plays Midtown at Midnight" as one of my albums of the year so far, just for the pleasure it provides.

Not everything I review is cutting edge.  But somethings that aren't especially geared to breakthroughs in the musical language can be quite attractive.  Take guitarist Richard Blake and his "Midtown at Midnight" CD.  Here's a fellow that takes his cue from guitar music that flourished in the '50's.  Instrumental music that has a firm footing in the Jazz camp, but does not especially emphasize improvization.  So it is with Richard Blake.  He has a very fine sense of chordal voicings, plus some of the popular instrumental guitar stylings that were so much a part of the scene then.  He is backed by a bass-drums unit for most of the tracks and they do what they're supposed to do and mostly stay out of the way.  Richard stays pretty close to the melody most of the time.  But he has lovely chordal versions of things, from "Lollipops and Roses," to "Norwegian Wood" and "Harlem Nocturne", plus some jump instrumental things as well.  It's not going to change anything.  I makes for some great listening for those who like the retro flavoring and that's what I responded to as well. 

Grego Applegate Edwards - Gapplegate Music Reviews (Aug 4, 2010)