First Listen : New solo flute album from John Blake - The Narrow Edge

John Blake has taken a break from recording albums to well, record an album.  This time its his own. More recognised these days as the man behind the controls in his Lion's Den studio in Raheny, Dublin or providing sound engineering at the many gigs around the capital, this record should raise his profile.  He was part of an a group of new young talent that emerged under the tutelage of Clareman Brendan Mulkere in the early '90's in London.  In those years he was a regular session player with the London rat pack of Lamond Gillespie, Tommy Maree, Mick Leahy and others.  Apart from his early work with Téada and the dozens of albums that he appears on in a support role he has recorded two outstanding trio albums that are a must for any collection. In 2003 with Lamond Gillespie and Mick Leahy he recorded Traditional Irish Music From London and followed it up in 2008 with the Humours of Highgate.  The session culture at the time in London was vibrant with musicians of the calibre of Brian Rooney, John Carty and others regular on the scene. John was all the time absorbing, learning and developing his own music and style.

Included below is the first sound from his new solo album called The Narrow Edge which he refers to as being "a distillation of the many influences I have encountered over the years both in London and Ireland." It is greatly influenced by the musicians he has played with as well as the recordings of flute players like Jackie Coleman, Jack Dolan, Paddy Doran, Gabe Sullivan, Jim Donohue and Peter Horan.  The tunes included are in many instances familiar with a five part version of "Craigs Pipes" or "Kregg's Pipes as Tom Morrison called it.  Also included are Pay The Reckoning, The Earl's Chair, Toss The Feathers and many more recognisable names.  John also includes two of his own compositions, The Humours of The Neale and Colonel Sullivan's.  There are 14 tracks in total with John playing Flute, Guitar, Piano and Whistle. Ruairí McGorman provides accompaniment on Bouzouki.

We will add a link to where it can be purchased shortly.


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Comment by Liam Edwards on October 19, 2014 at 21:56

I knew a Jack Dolan from Leitrim/ Roscommon area who played the flute and fiddle.  He was a carpenter by trade and spent some time in the US before returning to Dublin in 1965.  Is he the man mentioned above?

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