Folk Blues & Things to Use
Fourteen songs recorded in the winter of the year 2000 in a small bedroom in Providence, RI. Recorded by Will Schaff and originally released on Ambiguous City Records by Mike Hilton. 'Except for scattered and cryptic e-mails, each from a different part of the U.S. East Coast, I hadn't heard from Shelly Blake in four years. However, Blake's music has never been far from my mind. His previous [releases], The Lonely Ornamental Music Of Shelly Blake (1995), Color Notation On The Sociopathway (1995), The Kindest Cuts (1996) and Secret Breathing Lessons (1996) were lo-fi masterworks; emotionally raw, breathtaking poetry. In the interim, Blake moved to Boston, got married ('Spend a lot of time singing to my wife,' he reports.) and, if this recording is any indication, found some peace, if not comfort. Recorded on 4-track by Providence, RI-based artist-musician Will Schaff, Folk Blues & Things To Use is just Shelly's voice, acoustic guitar and harmonica, straight up, no chaser, like a 21st century version of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Gone is the outright agony of the old work, but Folk Blues is nonetheless a terrific [recording], overflowing with complex emotions, luminous lyricism and sad, stark beauty. Isn't it time you heard something real?' -- Demo Universe.