This 2012 box set rounds up Blake Shelton's first five albums – Blake Shelton, The Dreamer, Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill, Pure BS, and Startin' Fires – presenting them as mini-LPs in a slipcase. There are no bonus tracks but this is an easy, affordable, and handsome way to get Shelton's prime.
‘Sharon…’ is an eclectic soundtrack for the early ‘80s covering post punk, mod revival, ‘60s revival, independent scene, rockabilly/cowpunk, garage, London soul/funk, reggae dub and commercial pop, pre C86 with its looking back and looking forward, and what it isn’t, the extremes of the SAW production line of the late ‘80s and another era entirely.
Tim Blake played synths with Gong, Hawkwind, Steve Hillage, and other similar projects before going solo as a synthesizer performer and recorder. This was Blake's first studio release versus his recordings of live gigs. He really polishes things up a great deal, adding guitars and singing in the style of Gong's Daevid Allen and Steve Hillage's solo offerings. Blake's vocals would never be his strong point. His blessing to the ears was and always will be his ethereal and spacy synthesizer expertise. As Gong and Steve Hillage all preached the New Age and tuning into earth vibes and aligning one's soul with Earth energies to bring in a world of light and love – so Blake also crooned. No doubt, the '70s drug culture and disenchantment with organized religion had an immense influence on philosophy and music.
It's hard to believe that Morning Glory Ramblers is the first full-length recording by Norman and Nancy Blake in eight years. Certainly they've been active, from playing on all 47 Down From the Mountain dates, performing on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Cold Mountain soundtracks, June Carter Cash's final album, Wildwood Flower, and various other projects. This album, recorded on the soundstage of the Western Jubilee Warehouse in Colorado Springs, is a dynamite setting for the material found here. There are 17 songs in this collection, seven of them traditional melodies, still others so old they've seldom been heard over the last century, a Hank Williams' tune, and a couple by friends of Norman and Nancy's that are so saturated in the deep country, they could have been written decades before.