will never be known as a revolutionary. His starkly honest guitar picking and gently lulling voice have sounded almost exactly the same for the 30-some years that the Rounder release Old Ties
encompasses. Often performing solo, occasionally accompanied by his wife, Nancy
, and any of a number of bluegrass and neo-traditional folk musicians (Tut Taylor
, Charlie Collins
, Doc Watson
's summery, porch-swing ballads and blues are perfectly performed and humbly executed. Working with the traditional themes of old-timey folk music, Blake
re-creates the earthy feel of a timeworn classic the first time a song emerges from his guitar, and his unpretentious, reverent style delivers the music in an intimate environment. The compilation sticks to his more traditional-sounding compositions and interpretations, making for a wonderful afternoon listen and the perfect introduction to Blake
's uniquely faithful style. Although his musical offerings may never be seen as revolutionary, his unwillingness to change to a more contemporary mode of folk music may be a kind of revolution...if anyone wanted to argue about it. Luckily, with music this pure, no one does.