Greg Blake Band
Greg Blake is no stranger to the Durango Meltdown – matter of fact, over the last 10 years, he’s been a pretty regular feature, appearing numerous times with Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Mountain Holler, and the Spring Fever Bluegrass Band. You’ll hear it in his voice immediately: the original strain of Appalachian mountain music that lies at the heart of all great modern bluegrass and country. Greg was born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia, and when he sings, you can hear a voice that connects to the great old generations of mountain singers, invested with a rich twang and rumbling drawl, and the kind of eerily powerful high tenor cry that first inspired the “high, lonesome sound.” He’s twice been nominated for the SPBGMA’s Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and twice he has been in the running for IBMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year. But he’s not just a singer – he’s a picker too … five times Greg has won the SPBGMA’s Guitarist of the Year, not to mention the Kansas State Flatpicking championship.
This year, the Meltdown asked Greg to assemble an ensemble of bluegrass virtuosos to bring to the festival. He has chosen a stellar cast to present to the discerning Meltdown audience. Grammy award winning, Sally Van Meter, will be on resophonic guitar and helping with harmony vocals. Sally made her mark as a trailblazing female in bluegrass music and is considered won of the “Masters of the Dobro”. Blake agrees with the group, Alabama, when they say in their song “… if you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band …”; matter of fact, the guy who recorded on that famous cut in the studio will be on the Meltdown stage with Greg. The favorite student of Kenny Baker, Blaine Sprouse, will dazzling the crowds with his incredible fiddle work. He’s played with all the greats – Baker, Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Jim & Jesse, the Osbornes, Peter Rowan, and on and on the list goes. Joining Greg to create one of the hardest driving bluegrass rhythm sections you will ever hear on any stage will be the great John Reischman on mandolin whose original tunes have become festival jam circle standards and the incomparable Mark Schatz on bass (you’ll probably see him doing some flat-footing and body percussion as well). Rounding out the band on the 5-string will be professor Keith Reed – another familiar favorite face at the Meltdown.
Unlike many “all star” bands, this is not just a bunch of bluegrass giants randomly selected. All of these great musicians toured for 3 weeks in Ireland and were the foundational band (except for Reed) for Blake’s epic debut solo album, “Songs of Heart and Home” which was among the Top Ten Bluegrass CDs played around the world in both 2015 and 2016. You won’t want to miss an opportunity to hear at least a couple of the four sets of classic bluegrass they’ll be delivering at the Meltdown. It should prove to be a treat you’ll remember for a while.