Midtown at Midnight
Richard Blake plays guitar and bass in the New York tri-state area and he plays both instruments on these recordings. These recordings represent flawless guitar technique in terms of positioning of the fingertips on the fingerboard and delicate picking with a small pick and the fingernails of the remaining fingers. When just using the pick, the right hand remains on the pickguard for stability and control. Richard's technique is immediately recognizable. There is virtually no movement of the right hand above the wrist (with the exception of a portion of the final track). This technique is then applied theoretically to the algorithms inherent in the songs and then played smoothly and with passion. The songs on this album are eclectic yet held together by Richard's unmistakeable style. The recordings were made by laying the tracks for guitar and drums first, followed by bass and percussion effects where desired. All songs are played with a bebop edge, with the exception of the final track, 'Vaya Con Dios', which is played with dedication to the melody and without any percussion. Richard arranged ten of the eleven songs. The arrangments are unique and creative; often taking the listener by (pleasant) surprise. The listener will encounter smooth musicianship. The songs have been orchestrated such as to respect the composers; entertain those who enjoy guitar and smooth playing; and inspire those up and coming guitarists who wish to learn more about control, playing with feeling, chord melodies, and subtle bebop. This is Richard's second CD release. His first, 'Richard Blake Plays Heartbreak Guitar', is a compilation of well-known love songs played on solo guitar chord melodies and has been positively reviewed. This type of playing is Richard's primary performance venue in addition to trio gigs with drums and either bass or piano.