Artist of the week: Karl Blau
Anyone familiar with the genius legacy of K Records, the legendary Olympia, Washington record label responsible for the release of records from seminal acts such as The Microphones, Modest Mouse, Beck or Beat Happening, knows that Karl Blau is one of America’s greatest indie heroes, producing a shape-shifting blend of genres that include rock, folk, country, blues, reaggae, dub, bossa nova and even ambient drone.
As a prolific and diverse singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer, he has released in the last twenty years more than three dozens of recordings under his own name, played over a thousand concerts as a touring musician, worked extensively as a demand session musician for many American indie artists and has himself been the founding member of D+, Your Heart Breaks, Captain Fathom, Les Hauts Sommets, Lovers Without Borders and the Bundles.
His new album, the ironically titled Introducing Karl Blau, is a rich and beautifully crafted collection of country-style covers from classic prime composers such as Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt, Link Wray or Don Gibson. The record, which was superiorly produced by Tucker Marine (the Nashville son of country legend Layng Martine, Jr and the husband of Laura Veirs), is the perfect vehicle for Blau’s sublime baritone voice and sensibility and a compulsory listen to every Sturgill Simpson fan out there.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.