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Norman’s Not Done Yet

May 31, 2017

Brace yourself for Norman Blake.

He’s a legend to some, but not just because he plays guitar, sings, and has a new album out titled “Brushwood.”  Here’s what Jack Silverman recently* wrote —

He fingerpicks an elegant intro to the opening track, “The Countess Lola Montez,” and at the 13-second mark, he effortlessly slurs and sweeps through the sort of split-second flurry of notes that makes aspiring guitarists hit rewind countless times, and leaves transcribers scratching their heads as they struggle to notate it.

It’s a beautiful musical embellishment by any measure, but what’s most astounding about it—and the album as a whole—is that Blake was 78 years old when he recorded it. He turned 79 on March 10.

— But wait, there’s more! —

Blake has recorded 29 new songs that he wrote or cowrote with his wife and longtime collaborator Nancy Blake.

This is all material he wrote after suffering a transient ischemic attack (often referred to as a mini-stroke) in 2012 at age 74.

In fact, Blake credits that medical emergency with lighting a fire under him and providing a sense of creative urgency.

— But hold on! There’s still more! —

Blake has never shown much interest in slowing down.

— And to think that you and I might have been known to say that this hurts, or that didn’t go like we’d hoped, or I woulda caught that ball but the sun was in my eyes Coach.

Listen to some of what Scripture says about aging:

They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and very green.
(Psalm 92:14)
You will come to the grave in full vigor,
Like the stacking of grain in its season.
(Job 5:26
  Abraham breathed his last
and died in a ripe old age,
an old man and satisfied with life.  
(Genesis 25:8)

Norman Blake’s not done yet. Why should we think we are?

See you back here tomorrow.



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  1. Bill Elving permalink

    I will try to resemble this mans life, my intention is to slide into the coffin with a “Yeehaw, what a ride”. Many say I am full of it but I’m not sure it’s sap. Thanks again for the post…………..bill Elving


  2. Knowing you like I do, YOU’RE for sure not done yet either, Bill! Thanks for this today.


  3. I ascribe to all those scriptures… When the arthritis showed up in my late 20’s, I called it my thorn (like Paul’s) and I kept on charging and the knee replacement in my 40’s gave me more speed. But it seems, lately, I have a thorn in every pad of every paw!


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