Norman Blake

Whiskey Before Breakfast

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    10
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Blake's best album, and one of the finest bluegrass albums of the '70s. "Church St. Blues" and "Slow Train Through Georgia" are great originals that demonstrate Blake's natural ease with a sung ballad, while the fabulous medleys "Sleepy Eyed Joe/Indian Creek" and "Fiddler's Dram/Whiskey Before Breakfast" show off the graceful flat-picking that made him famous. All told, there have been many albums in the folk idiom featuring many a guitar virtuoso, but very few achieve such a mix of relaxed subtlety and eye-popping virtuosity, and Whiskey Before Breakfast will perhaps stand as the greatest achievement by this master picker.

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