Jake Blount - Songlines Music Awards 2021 Nominee | Songlines


Jake Blount
Spider Tales (Free Dirt Records)

Jakeblount Feb2020 881
Spider Tales Front Cover FINAL

Four days after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis sparking a wave of Black Lives Matter protests, Jake Blount’s debut album Spider Tales was released. “I feel like it couldn’t have been timed better,” he said when we interviewed him in the October 2020 issue. “My mission with this album was to show people that this has been coming for hundreds of years. There have been warnings and they haven’t been heard.” Blount should know. The young black fiddler and banjo player was the first in his father’s family to be born away from the Virginia plantation where generations of his ancestors were slaves and on Spider Tales he weaves themes of discrimination, inequality and retribution into his intense interpretation of traditional material to create a new and vital form of black Americana. His musical journey started improbably enough playing guitar in punk and metal bands until the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the acquittal of his white killer caused a ‘personal crisis’ which sent him “looking for the music of my enslaved ancestors.” When he came across the African-American roots of Appalachian banjo and fiddle music it felt like ‘coming home.’ Rhiannon Giddens has described his album as “an incredible example of historically informed, beautifully played old-time music.”

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