Blake, Norman


  • From Chattanooga, Tennessee but grew up in Sulphur Springs and Rising Fawn, Georgia.
  • Best known as a guitarist and mandolinist. He plays all the bluegrass instruments.
  • Began performing in the 1950’s with a group called “The Dixie Drifters.”
  • Early 60’s, worked with Hylo Brown on WWVA, Wheeling, West Virginia.
  • A Nashville studio musician during the 1960’s and 1970’s. He has worked with many artists including Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
  • 1969-1970, was a regular on the Johnny Cash TV show.
  • Toured with John Hartford for two years.
  • 1975, married Nancy, a classical celloist from Independence, Missouri.
  • 1976, recorded Whiskey Before Breakfast album (Rounder).
  • 1978, with wife Nancy formed the Rising Fawn String Ensemble, performing what he calls “Chamber Bluegrass.”
  • 1987, recorded Blake & Rice (Rounder), the first of two duet albums with guitarist Tony Rice.
  • 2000, appeared on the soundtrack of the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou.”
  • 2001-2, toured with the “Down from the Mountain” tour.
  • 2011, released his 38th album, Green Light On The Southern (Plectraphone).
  • 2012, suffered a mild stroke.
  • 2015, released his 39th album Wood, Wire & Words (Plectraphone).j
  • 2017, was presented with a “Distinguished Achievement Award” by the IBMA.
  • 2021, released “Day by Day” album (Smithsonian-Folkways)