John Blek - The Embers
Label: Celebration Records
Blek stays true to his musical principles, nevertheless, gets more and more refined. The focal point is extraordinary melodic fingerpicking on the acoustic guitar and a voice which gets warmer, wiser and paraphrases a little more precise from album to album. Blek gets inspired by Irish, British and American folk and establishes his own position somewhere in between.
While the last album was mainly made with the two Bonnie 'Prince' Billy collaborators Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg, with this one the drums of Davie Ryan and the clarinets of Matthew Berrill come to the limelight. A warm breath runs through the songs: “Musically I wanted to use soft and warm sounds on this record to try and draw the heat of the fire into the songs. For this, I used a lot of clarinet and bass clarinet. The warm breath-like sound added a wonderful blanket for the songs to lie upon.“
John Blek was recently awarded Number One Award in Ireland by IMRO for an outstanding independent album release in 2019 and “Thistle and Thorn” was praised everywhere by BBC and RTÉ radio editors. Shortly before that, ‘Salt in the Water’ of Blek’s penultimate solo album “Catharsis Vol. I” was nominated as a Song of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards in Kansas City. It’s probably fair to say, that John Blek in his current form is not only one of the most diligent and prolific but also one of the best singer-songwriters in Europe.
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