published Friday, June 1st, 2012

Norman Blake at Barking Legs on Saturday

IF YOU GO

• What: "An Evening With Norman Blake."

• When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

• Where: Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.

• Admission: $15 in advance, $18 at the door.

• Phone: 624-5347.

• Website: www.barkinglegs.org.

For a musician who has inspired countless flatpickers and has figured into two music revivals, Norman Blake keeps a fairly low profile around home.

However, area residents will get a chance to spend "An Evening With Norman Blake" when the North Georgia resident takes the stage Saturday at Barking Legs Theater.

The show is a chance to spend "an intimate evening" with "our most popular and requested performer," according to the Barking Legs website.

Though he has gained prominence as an acoustic guitar flatpicker, Blake also sings and plays mandolin, six-string banjo, fiddle, Dobro, banjo and viola, according to online bios. In a career spanning 50 years, he has played in a number of folk and country groups. He is best known for his work with John Hartford, Tony Rice and his wife, Nancy Blake, but he has played backup for Johnny Cash, June Carter, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Ralph Stanley and Joan Baez.

He is considered a prominent figure in the bluegrass revival of the 1970s and was featured again when "O Brother, Where Art Thou" ignited new interest in old-time music. He contributed "You Are My Sunshine" and an instrumental version of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" to the soundtrack, which won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2002. He also played on the 2007 album "Raising Sand," by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, which won five Grammy Awards.

Though he is known for fluid renditions of classic fiddle tunes transcribed for the guitar ("Fiddler's Dram," "Whiskey Before Breakfast"), he also has written songs that have become bluegrass standards, such as "Ginseng Sullivan" from "Back Home in Sulphur Springs," "Slow Train Through Georgia" and "Church Street Blues."

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