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Band Rock Jam


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"Scholars by day, stars at night"

..."Local music is definitely, definitely a better draw," says Lamont Greene, the bar's manager. He cites his top three favorites as The Naturals, Beatles cover band The Backbeat, and Weapons of Mass Distraction.

Greene says he was especially awed by Blake Tedder, a 21-year-old student at UNC, who he calls "the next up-and-coming solo artist … a lot like Otis Redding"

So the next time you're sitting at the bar with your friends, don't let the band be background. You could be watching the next Ben Folds.

By: Catherine ava Kopiec - Daily Tar Heel, Chapel Hill, Nc

"PEACEDRIVEN Songwriting Contest Honorable Mention"

for the song "Can't Be Broken":

We had nearly 500 songs submitted for the first ever Peacedriven Songwriting Award.  Our judges (with backgrounds in activism and music) were deeply moved by the passion so many of the songwriters have for peace.

Unfortunately the judges could only advance 40 songs in the contest.  Another cut to the top 15 will happen next week, followed by our one choice to win the Peacedriven Songwriting Award.

... But you are among the Peacedriven Songwriting Award Honorable Mention winners.  Congratulations! ...

Congrats on your Honorable Mention and we greatly appreciate your support of

stay driven,

Anthony Stokes, Founder/Editor

"Fan Show Review 4/14/06"

"Blake Tedder started things off with a bang playing one of my favorite songs by him, Crimes Beneath the Moon, and it only got better from there. Blake pretty much had everyone dancing to the music from the first song. Blake has become by far one of my favorite local artists and I plan to watch him play as much as I can." -

"Tedder's road to recovery recorded in song 4/21/06"

By John Ramsey

Blake Tedder's hands kept picking at his acoustic guitar midway through his set last Friday, but his voice refused to come.

Standing barefoot on a rug borrowed from his mother's house, his left foot tapping to keep time, Tedder played "May You Smile," one of a handful of his original songs, for the small crowd outside the Rocky Mount coffeehouse Java Mott's. The audience, mostly old friends and family, knew this song. They inspired it. They knew the subtle meanings behind the lyrics, and they understood why Blake was struggling.

The rest of us must start at the beginning: Five years ago, Aug. 15, 2001, Aspen, Colo. On vacation with his father, Tedder finally nails a song he's been working on for weeks – "Crash into Me" by the Dave Matthews Band. Still elated, the 16-year-old sophomore at Rocky Mount Academy calls his mother and leaves a voicemail telling her it's a great day for flying.

Later that morning, Tedder climbs into a small four-seat plane piloted by his father, Jerry Tedder. Minutes after the two take off, the plane has problems climbing, nosediving before crashing into the thin trees of Aspen. The Tedders stumble from the wreckage badly burned.

"I had no skin on my legs, arms or hands," says Blake Tedder, who walked barefoot more than a mile – his body in survival mode – before finding help. "I don't really remember being in pain."

Third-degree burns cover more than 35 percent of his body. Blake faces learning how to walk again, talk again, eat again – how to live again.

And doctors will soon tell Blake's mother that her son will never play guitar again.

They weren't around, though, last Friday when Tedder, 21, played for more than an hour in his hometown cafe, showcasing the informal flow of his mellow style. His hands still have burn scars, but he's learned to improvise.

"There's only a couple of things I can't do, like give a proper middle finger, things that don't really matter," says Tedder, whose quick wit becomes immediately evident to almost everyone he meets. "One of the reasons I'm doing music is to prove to people I went through a lot, but I can do stuff with it."

An anthropology and psychology double major at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Tedder decided in December to pursue a career in music. He has written nearly 300 songs, about 20 of which he says are good. "May You Smile" is an homage to the friends who stayed by Tedder's side. The refrain, citing "Love and open hearts that lifted this soul from the fire," is particularly poignant.

"Those guys stuck it out with me," Tedder says. "My friends are as much a part of my music as I am."

Family, friends and music, he says, all helped him recover. Since September, he's been playing a host of venues in Chapel Hill and Rocky Mount – from frat houses to pubs and restaurants – where his act has drawn as many as 300 people. He works mostly on tips and hopes to produce an album in June, counting Cat Stevens, Bob Marley and Keller Williams among his influences.

He plays "acoustic folkfunkreggae," he says, with lyrics that touch on everything; one minute he's rallying for peace, the next he's detailing a Quickie Mart tryst involving Boone's Farm and pork rinds.

When asked where he sees himself in five years, Tedder, after the briefest hesitation, responds with glaring detail.

"Five years from right now, at 8:30 on a Friday night, I see myself opening for a mediocre but awesome band in Boulder, Colorado," Tedder says before closing his eyes and pointing at an imaginary stranger. "I'm gonna be blowing the guy in the left corner away. I can see it."

He opens his eyes, then hollers in approval at a friend's band – a singer who's found his voice.

To check out Blake's music or his upcoming show schedule, visit
- Rocky Mount Telegram

"Live Music Alert!"

UNC student Blake Tedder will be playing at W.B. Yeats the day after Valentines Day. Tedder came into the newsroom today to promote his show and I told him I'd post about it on our blog. The local singer and songwriter is trying to catch his big break, and he's really working hard at it. Here's what some of his critics have to say about his brand of folk, funk and reggae.

"Blake gives you the music you crave without all 'at [expletive deleted]"
-Tedder's friend, who is not credited on his flier.

"… definitely going places."
- Tedder's 11th grade English teacher on a test.

"Hands down, best live show ever."
- A homeless guy to whom Tedder donates money, according to Tedder.

As you can see from the reviews Tedder has posted, he doesn't take himself too seriously, which is refreshing in an area where pretension often reigns supreme. Should be a fun show. So check it out after the Georgia Tech game. 10:45 p.m. to close.

For more info, check out

Over and out.
-Jim Walsh
A&E Editor - Daily Tarheel- Chapel Hill, NC

"Fan Show Review 2/4/06"

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Artist: Blake Tedder
Show: Java Motts, Rocky Mount, NC Feb. 4, 2006

Wow, This guys myspace does not do him enough justice, you HAVE to see him in person because he is amazing. Now don't get me wrong his music on Myspace is really good, but to see him perform in person is simply amazing.

Blake performed one song tonight that he just wrote today titled "Crimes beneath the Moon" and all I have to say is, if I never get to hear that song again I will feel neglected. I actualy plan to see him in person many many more times and I will be requesting that song each time.

He even did a couple of Bob Dylan covers and he did them perfectly. Blake, you sir kick ass! Keep up the great work and you need to get some CDs made, I would have bought one on the spot tonight had you had one.

- MySpace

"Area musicians to reunite for benefit concert"

By Zach Ahmad
Rocky Mount Telegram
Friday, December 22, 2006
Of all the things that remind people of the holidays, Grateful Dead covers and beer probably aren't high on many lists.
Yet if local guitarist Blake Tedder has anything to say about it, those things will one day be staples of any proper Rocky Mount Christmas.
For several weeks now, Tedder – a senior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a fixture of the local music scene – has been calling old friends, pricing equipment and negotiating with bar owners in an attempt to create a new Rocky Mount tradition.
At 9:30 p.m. Saturday at MXB3 at 1127 Benvenue Road, those efforts will culminate in the third annual Blake Tedder Crimmus Jam, a charity event for burn victims that has the dual purpose of reuniting a piece of the city's recent musical past.
"It's an opportunity for all the people we've played with over the years to get back together for one thing," Tedder said. "We all go to different colleges and live in different places, but we all come back for one night."
In what Tedder described as a somewhat organized free-for-all, a mishmash of current and former Rocky Mount musicians now home for the holidays will come together for a night of 1960s classics mixed in with a few originals.
Half the proceeds taken at the door will go to the Blake Tedder Foundation for Burn Survivors, set up by Tedder's parents after severe burns he suffered in a plane crash five years ago.
The Crimmus Jam is a unique event for Rocky Mount that came about both quickly and accidentally.
It began in 2004 when Tedder and a few buddies decided to throw together a show at the now-closed Las Lomas restaurant. Having few connections, the management put them in the smaller back room.
With a viral word-of-mouth campaign among old high school friends, however, the makeshift band managed to draw nearly 300 people and barely had enough room to perform. They repeated the event a year later in the main dining area, drawing a similar crowd.
"We weren't planning on making it anything, just joking around calling it a Crimmus Jam," Tedder said. "We just had such a fun time that we kept doing it, and I don't see any reason for us to stop."
Rather, Tedder has tried to expand the concert, spending hundreds of dollars and countless cell phone minutes trying to ring together a show worthy of the $7 cover charge. He said he hopes to bring back the same people each year, no matter how much they achieve individually.
"Some of these guys are going to be in awesome bands," Tedder said. "If I have their word they're going to come back, it could be a great thing."
Genna Suggs, who sings in a bluegrass band in Chapel Hill and has performed with Tedder for years, said she looks forward to the event more than any show of the year.
"It's the night that I look forward to the most when I'm home for Christmas," Suggs said. "It's a small town, and everyone comes. It's just so much fun to get back together with everybody."
The ultimate goal, Tedder said, is to get even more people thinking the same way.
"I really want this to be a Rocky Mount thing," Tedder said. "I want to get everyone involved."
- Rocky Mount Telegram - Rocky Mount, NC


<<< "To Be a Beatle" >>>
- a demo album produced in his Chapel Hill studio (Rosemont Studios)... where he used all overdubs to create a intimate and profesional fluid recording....

**Download or stream it by following this link (

<<< 1st Purefoy Jam Session >>>
- with the members of his new band on their first collaboration... informal and lo-fi recording - fun listen!

**Download or stream it by follwing this link (

<<< Live @ Java Mott's >>>
- an intimate coffee shop show in his hometown from february 2006. this was a first-run for many of these songs and his new Martin HD-35.

**Download or stream itit by following this link (


Feeling a bit camera shy


Blake is a young songwriter influenced by the greats. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jerry Garcia, Bob Marley, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan, and Roger Waters have all been topics of his musical study. Not only does he cite the greats and their influence as a part of his own music, he has independently studied each in depth through countless afternoons in the deserted UNC music library and through ball-busting late night noodling.

A determined soul, Blake wants nothing more than to bring the greatest music ever written back to the attention of the world. Through his own songwriting blooming from his tragic turned triumphant plane-crash survival story and affable presence, he stresses the importance of the ever impressionable moment and the greatness of life.