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Blind Blake
Release date: 1950''s
Label: Art

1. Those Good Ol' Asta Boys

2. My Name Is Asta



A Group Of Bahamian Songs
Release Date: 1951
Label: Art


- J. P. Morgan
- Jones! Oh Jones
- Yes Yes Yes
- Pretty Boy
- Run Come See Jerusalem
- Love Alone
- Lord, Got Tomatoes
- My Pigeon Gone Wild
- Watermelon Spoilin' On The Vine
- Never Interfere With Man And Wife



A Second Album of BAHAMIAN SONGS (12" LP)
Release Date:1952
Label: Art


- Foolish Frog
- Little Nassau
- Hold 'im Joe
- Peas And Rice
- Jump In The Line
- Wheel And Turn Me
- Consumptive Sara Jane
- Gin And Coconut Water
- Conch Ain 't Got No Bone
- John B. Sail (Wreck of the John B.)
- Eighteen Hundred And Ninety-One
- Gin And Coconut Water
- Conch Ain't Got No Bone
- Ballamena



Release Date: 1952
Label: Art

- The Goombay Rock
- Bahama Lullaby
- Spirit Run
- Loose Goat Tie Goat
- A Womans Love
- Fisherman Bill
- Oh! Liza
- Moonlight Night In Nassau
- At The Iron Bar
- On A Tropical Isle
- Oh Caroline
- De Pig And Goat



A Third Album of Bahamian Songs
Release Date: 1953
Label: Art


- Run Joe
- Mary Ann
- Curley Cay
- Delia Gone
- Bahamas Mama
- Eight Babies
- Boat Pull Out
- Brown Skin Gal
- Goombay Drum
- Noise In The Market



Volume 2
Release Date: Unknown
Label: Art




Release Date: Unknown
Label: Art





Experience Blind Blake
Release date: 1991
Label: GBI

01. My Name Is Morgan
02. Goombay Rock
03. Yes, Yes, Yes
04. Foolish Frog
05. Pig & Goat
06. Comin Tonight
07. No Peas & Rice Or Coconut Oil
08. What A Pain I Got
09. Jones Oh Jones
10. Love Alone



The music of Blind Blake reflects what was going on in popular music in the United States and the UK fused with goombay rhythms that was being played by the popular musicians in the Bahamas. The versatility of Blake was boundless in the many styles that he performed and recorded during his musical career. I will present two varied styles of this Bahamian giant and his interpretation of them.

The first will be eight babies, which is representative of the European influence in The Bahamas. There are very few songs performed or recorded in 3/4 meter, however, Blake's performance of this island tune is very innovative in marrying the story-telling style of calypso and the musical/dance style known as the waltz. The waltz has a strong beat that propels from beats one followed by two lighter beats on beats two and three.

Developed in Central Europe from a dance known as landler, the waltz is a dance favored by couples. Locked in an embrace, polite society once frowned on this most intimate dance in the early 1800's. Before reaching The Bahamas, the waltz was popularized by composers such as Johann Strauss the elder and Strauss the younger, known as the waltz kings. Their style was called the Viennese waltz and was quite rapid.

Other types of waltz was the boston and the Creole waltz of South America. Speeds would vary from very slow to quick tempos depending on the preference of the composer. The tempo utilized by Blake is one that is medium slow, and provide an interesting story line which is typical in calypso music. The introduction makes good use of the male voices singing in a rubato style, which sets up the verse section for Blake to tell his story. The song a simple verse chorus with the A section (verse) repeating four times followed by the B section (chorus) which is repeated twice.

Click play to hear "Eight babies" -

The second sample is a classic Blind Blake style of playing calypso. The influence of Latin America is ever present in the clave that plays a 3 against 2 rhythm. It is also interesting the chord progression used by Blake utilizes secondary dominants V7 of the II chord at measure #5. This progression was common in jazz music of his time.

In the example below, the short introduction is followed by a lively calypso rhythm that features Blake on the banjo. Brought to the United States by slaves around the 17th century, the banjo is a close kin to the African long-necked lute. The playing techniques used are strumming, plucking or finger-picking. The banjo has formed a close relationship with American and bluegrass music. Listen carefully for the sound of the banjo throughout the piece along with the dominating pulse of the clave.

Click play to hear "Pigeon"

The clave commonly plays two distinct patterns -

The chord progression for "Pigeon" is as follows -


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