18607 Bothell Way NE / Bothell, WA, 98011
Friday, December 30, 2016
7 p.m. 'til 10 p.m. Free All ages welcome
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In 1997, Robert Sarazin Blake dropped out of college and hit the
The folk music of his father’s house had combined with the DIY punk
ethos of the day and produced his first batch of songs, Another
Irrelevant Year. On the heels of Richard Manning, Billy Bragg, and Ani
Difranco, Blake’s 18-year-old release is an early document of the
folk-punk movement. On his first US tour, Blake played 30 shows around
the US planting seeds as he developed touring, not as an economic model,
but as a lifestyle. He hasn’t stopped. Ten full length albums into his
career, he’s continued to write pulling from folk roots, his travels,
his contemporaries, and the quiet spot in the back of his mind. The
writing has evolved, mellowing with experience and expanding with
reference, but the essence of the work has remained the same-strong
narratives solidly built on the folk foundation and fully in the
immediacy of the now.
The touring and performing has become an art in itself. Performing 200
shows a year, Blake is a world class performer in a neighborhood venue.
The show is a combination of songs and rambles landing somewhere between
a concert and a theatrical instillation. The neighborhoods have been
all over Ireland and the US and occasionally in Canada, Scotland,
England, Norway, Denmark, Germany and France. The shows are booked,
managed, and driven to by Blake- a one man cottage industry existing
underneath and outside the main-streams of the music business.
His songs continue to be influenced by Bob Dylan, John Prine, Shel
Silverstein, Christy Moore, Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell- his stories and
stage banter by Arlo Guthrie, Garrison Keillor, Spalding Gray, his
outlook by Naomi Kline, Jim Page, Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, and his
essence by James Baldwin, Henry Miller, Jeannette Winterson, John
Steinbeck, and Philip Roth.
His contemporaries, Anais Mitchell, Louis Ledford, Hamell on Trial, The
Heligoats, CR Avery, Jeffrey Lewis, and Jinx Lennon, continue to
influence and inspire.
From his home in Bellingham (WA), Blake started his own record label SameRoomRecords,
"recordings of songs and musicians in the same room and the same time"
-- an oddly unique idea in an era of digitally manipulated sounds -- and
has sold over 10,000 albums from his suitcase.
This philosophy reflects Blake’s dedication to the moment, to the
connection within live performance. There is always a moment in a Blake
show where the room pulls together and the space between the singer, the
song, and the listener disappears.
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