Cameron Blake
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Cameron Blake

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | SELF

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | SELF
Band Americana Folk


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"Review of En Route"

Cameron Blake
En Route
Release date: July 23 (Unsigned)

Cameron Blake has found his musical
niche. The classically trained violinist turned
bandleader went from playing classical solos,
to finding a place in the Baltimore music
scene – thanks in part to his graduate studies
at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory.
Blake, who is originally from Rockford,
Mich., creates stories from his experiences
and travels, and prefers to play his new album
live. He manages to work a perfect balance
of folk, pop and rock with profound lyrics
that have a deeper meaning than your run of
the mill love song. Blake sings with passion
about life’s journeys and the perils of the
working class, and even employed 13 musicians
– including some from the Baltimore
Symphony Orchestra – to help out on the

Key tracks:
“The Love Song Never Died”,
"On My Way to Jordan" - Revue Magazine

"Cameron Blake Double Album Release"

Cameron Blake

On Monday, December 20th Cameron Blake, accompanied by an ensemble of brilliant musicians, debuted his two newest albums ‘Hide and Go Seek’ and ‘Cameron Blake With Strings: Live!’ at An Die Musik. The setting was intimate and filled to capacity as the house lights dimmed and the performers walked onto a stage reserved only for those who, for lack of a better phrase, BRING IT.

Opening with an instrumental and parlaying into his song “Hudson Line,” Cameron Blake and company led all those willing to follow away from the inherent angst and stress of the coming week. The troupe gently led them to a place where the classical tenor of Peabody and the grit and poetry of Americana Folk converged to create music that presently stands alone in Baltimore.

At one point in the evening Cameron invited Caleb Stine and Val Nebbia to the
stage for a sing along of “This land is your land” completing the transition from
quiet and contemplative to carrying and jovial

One of the best ways to achieve greatness in your work is to surround yourself with other great people. Cameron must have taken this notion and ran with
it like a two-strike corner boy caught riding dirty by a Baltimore undercover,
because every single person on stage could have easily stood alone with their
instrument and delivered spellbinding music. But the laws of physics and all of their rigidity restricts one person from playing all the parts and instruments that go into a full and rich performance such as this. One can only assume that this is one of the reasons Cameron asked Ruby Fulton, a Baltimore-based composer, to be a part of his ensemble.

As the set progressed Cameron Blake and company played a set of songs that warranted the use of adjectives like beautiful, delicate and uplifting. “The Love Song Never Dies” was most encompassing of such descriptions and was further re-enforced by the captivation of the audience as the strings and percussion arrangements danced around Cameron’s voice and keys

If Cameron Blake were Paul Simon, Geoff Knorr would be his Art Garfunkel. He
is responsible for a substantial amount of compositions and accompaniments that
exist within Cameron’s repertoire. Geoff has been performing with him for the past
four years.

Being a songwriter, the matter of what makes an amazing artist has been the
topic of discussion during innumerable fat chewing sessions between myself
and several other creatives in Baltimore. The one recurring theory (short of
a sick ass light show) is that passion is the one element you cannot do without if
you intend to be an artist worth remembering. Passion can mean the difference
between filling a house and clearing one out. It cannot be taught or imitated but
was visible on the faces of everyone on stage.

Although the majority of the night’s work was done by the musicians,
much of the beauty and nuances the music could have been lost had it not been
for the audio work by Alex Champagne (Right), seen here with Dan Cohan
(left) of The Water. Alex’s expertise with sound can be heard across Baltimore in venues such as the Golden West and the Windup Space to name a few

Both of Cameron’s albums are currently available on his website. If you’re the type of person that likes to sit down at the end of the day, pour yourself a drink and get lost in the melodies, harmonies and subtle hooks. I recommend adding one if not both of these albums to your collection.

Story by Matt Kelley. - What Weekly

"Peabody grad Blake mixes hymns and Violent Femmes"

Peabody grad Blake mixes hymns and Violent Femmes
.. by Ed Schrader | November 25, 2008 at 8:00 am

Local singer-songwriter Cameron Blake, a recent Peabody Conservatory alumnus, has his roots in the more spiritual end of the spectrum, with a back catalog that makes no bones about its worshipfulness, yet as he moves forward the 26-year-old Michigan-born crooner seems to preserve that spirituality, but in a way that is noticeably veiled.

When I went to see Blake perform at Joe Squared last Sunday, I was unaware of the religious label placed upon his work. I was just told to check him out. I listened to his entire set, complete with an impressive backing band of well-versed accompanists, including a cellist, percussionist, clarinetist, violinist and a French horn player.

The band laid out some impressive atmosphere behind Blake's piano and guitar playing, with vocals culminating into a strange animal that sounds like a hybrid of Bruce Hornsby, Death in June and R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People — evocative no matter how you cut it.

The spirituality is there, yet Blake does a good job of serving up a non-preachy version of the gospel to an audience that would otherwise run for the door at the first mention of the Big Guy. Though it's not to say the audience wasn't unorthodox for the Station North Arts District on a Sunday night. It looked as though Hogwarts Academy was having a night of pizza and merriment (lots of beards, glasses and generally geeky camaraderie — likely some of Blake's former Peabody classmates and a few good-natured professors.)

Blake regaled us with about 10 songs ranging in subject from "Harness's," a Built to Spill-like meditation on heartbreak, which he introduced by asking, "How many people here have been through a break-up? Raise your hand?" to an almost absurdly sentimental song about Blake's grandmother that he preludes with a recollection of being 5 and wearing Super Mario underwear while simultaneously seeing a river full of dead frogs. A hook-laden tune declares, "Ya gotta lay in the river some day. Ya better jump in," sounding like a cross between a gospel hymn and the Violent Femmes.

You get the sense that Blake's musical journey, routed through some strange filters lacks in an exposure to Siouxsie and the Banshees. He has a delightful perversity that develops when one does not know what you mean when you say, "Hey, buddy, your stuff kind of reminds me of Current 93," another odd band that slips a little religion in the mix from time to time.

See Cameron Blake and his band at Joe Squared, 10:00 p.m. Dec. 6.
- B Newspaper

"Cameron Blake Turns the 13th Floor Stage Into a Clown Car"

By Al Shipley | Posted 8/3/2009

The first time I saw the Cameron Blake Band perform at the 13th Floor at the Belvedere Hotel last year, it was a six-piece band that occasionally displayed flashes of brilliance. Returning to the same venue to see the same band nine months later, last Thursday night, at the release party for its debut album, En Route, not much had changed. But the singer/songwriter had expanded his band to a septet, joking this time that the venue's small stage felt like a "clown car." And both the band and its frontman seemed to take a step up in confidence, while the added slide guitar added a lovely new texture to a sound that was already rich with violin and piano.
Blake's catchiest hooks on En Route, such as the bluesy singalong "Hospital" (which apparently some of the band members have come to refer to as "popsicle"), and the funky electric piano of "The Love Song Never Died," were expected highlights. But the band was able to bring even some of the more downtempo tunes to life onstage, such as "Fit Right In," which Blake introduced by explaining the lyrics, an ode to Baltimore as a place full of people who'd be misfits anywhere else. The bassist popped a few slap bass notes here and there that were a bit too Seinfeld for Blake's somber chamber pop, but for the most part the large band gelled beautifully.

Opening for Blake was the underrated local quartet E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart. While I enjoy frontman Ed Neenan's songs and energetic (read: sweaty) stage presence, I always kind of feel like the band's polished power pop could use a little more power and a little less polish. Neenan's guitar was too low in the mix for most of the show, although it finally became more audible in the band's last few songs. Still, songs such as "10mg" from last year's All the Medicine in the World sounded as good as ever, as did promising new material like "The Ghosts Around You," from the recent EP of the same name.
- Baltimore City Paper Online

"Cameron Blake is En Route to Greatness."

En Route, the debut album from singer/songwriter Cameron Blake, is a refreshingly unique masterpiece. Although the Baltimore musician has his master’s in violin performance, he is clearly a man of many talents. With fantastic orchestrations from the young musician, the album will take you on a journey paved not only with violin, but beautiful vocals, piano, harmonica, cello, and acoustic guitar, to name a few. In the beginning of your listening experience, you may find yourself struggling to pin him down under one genre. The album is a smooth combination of acoustic, pop, blues, and largely folk sound. It would do him an injustice to not give him credit for his wide range of appeal. Let’s just label him as this: “talented.”

It’s hard to compare Blake to any one other artist, but fans of everyone from Dave Matthews to The Swell Season will surely enjoy this record. The album opens with “This is All,” a track that instantly makes you feel like you are listening to a rebellious poet in the bottom of a dark jazz club. Farther along on the record is “On the Way to Jordan,” which is more than suitable for a pub set in the heart of Dublin. A favorite is “Interlude,” a slower-paced song that would be fantastic on the soundtrack of an indie flick. The piano and delicate harmonies will chill you to the bone in the same way as the painfully beautiful songs written by Damien Rice.

Blake provides fascinating vocals through out the album, sometimes emanating a similar sound to Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie. There is a pleasant clarity in his vocals that allows the listener to enjoy his unique lyrics. In “Lonely Rooms” he writes, “I held her marigold smile-apple scent rain through slanting silver-lines/ I am the prince and the fool-survived by a breath, a thread, a single room.” Pure poetry.

If you decide to check out one independent artist this year, make sure it’s Cameron Blake. With excellent musicianship, thoughtful writing, and exceptional vocals, you won’t be disappointed.

- Independent Clauses

"Where have you been all my life Mr. Blake?"

Cameron Blake is his name and music is his life. (Come on, I couldn’t be that cliche). Blake is a budding performer who aspires to be more than simply another graduate with a Masters in Music. In years to come, I can really see him as a seasoned professional in the world of singer/songwriters.

He not only sings, but he can play the violin, harmonica, piano and the guitar. (Just to name a few). Taking his songs to new heights, Blake ties in every instrument brilliantly with his Irish like crooning. (I swear listening to some of his songs whisks me away into a bar in the heart Ireland where folk music reigns).

His new album personifies what Cameron Blake is all about. The songs tell stories and each one symbolizes something important the artist wants to share with listeners. (I personally love Where the Blossoms Fall. I think the song is a beautiful addition to my list of great folk music).

On August 14, Blake is holding a CD release party at the 8×10 Club @ 8 p.m. If you’re into classic folk music with a tinge of indie, then give this dude a chance. I promise he won’t disappoint.
- bmore Tunes

"Album Review: En Route by Cameron Blake"

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

I’ve had this one for awhile (I’m embarrassed to tell you how long) and I almost didn’t review it. Not because of not liking it, I do. It is just that I’m not sure I have anything important to say about it. But lest I be judged for reviewing only women and Gregory Douglass, I’m giving it a shot.

Cameron Blake, at times, has a sort of shouty voice. It sounds like it’s coming from his mouth, not his chest or deeper. But it’s good and suites the music. Plus he hits some really high notes well too.

This is All is cool. Some parts are almost dirgy, then others are orchestral and dramatic.

I also like When it Comes Down to It. It has a cool organ part that stands out…that sounded much naughtier than I meant it. (I was going to edit that last sentence but Mr Collected Sounds made me keep it because he spit beer out of his nose when he read it.)

Interlude is pretty and probably my favorite track here.

This is a good solid pop-rock offering that I think many of you will enjoy!
- Collected Sounds

"Music Review: Cameron Blake's En Route"

Singer/Songwriter Cameron Blake's new album En Route is a moving piece of art house folk rock. The Baltimore musician lays down 12 tracks of passionate, eclectic and melodic folk music with hints of the more experimental side of the Beatles and even The Doors.
Art house rock is not my usual choice of music so you'll have to pardon my simplicity. I am, however, familiar with folk music and that influence is prominent on most songs on "En Route" thanks to the frequent, yet not overdone, use of violins performed by Hollis Roberts and Cameron Blake himself. I find the violin tends to bring all the various styles together like a warm blanket of melodies.

I found it interesting that when I loaded "En Route" into iTunes that the album was listed as unclassifiable, but I have to admit that I found myself agreeing with that classification (or lack thereof) while I listened to the album. There is no set format to the CD - unlike any Kiss or AC/DC album, where you pretty much know exactly what you'll get. Cameron Blake mixes things up with each song so you're never sure what'll be next.

This is by no means saying that the album is disjointed. There is still a flow and consistency throughout the music that keeps it from sounding like a compilation of various artists. I believe, as I mentioned earlier, the violin and Cameron's vocals are what keeps this album focused.

"En Route" starts off with one of the best songs on the album - "This Is All". It is a moving song that builds on its folk base with jazzy keyboards and some electric guitars. The melody is super catchy. "The Love Song Never Died" is similar though not as rocky, but more upbeat in a melancholy way. And "Harness" stays mellow with a more straight forward folk approach.

"Change Of Pace" is an upbeat number that reminds me of the experimental side of the Beatles mixed with the Eels. It's catchy and passionate. "When It Comes Down To It" is a slower, sombre piece that has a Beatlesesque feel. The album closer "Hospital" is a foot-stomping rocker that reminds me in part of The Doors as well as The Replacements. It has a raw edge which is different than the rest of the album.

Some of the standout songs for me are "Lonely Towns" with its haunting atmosphere and moving choirs. A unique tune that's both quiet and eclectic, "On My Way To Jordan" has a country gospel sound that works well with thought-provoking lyrics. "Hudson Line" is a heart-breaking tune that's poetic and melodic, honest and heartfelt. My favourite song is "Fit Right In". The twinkling piano is super catchy, the music is uplifting and is lyrically inspiring.

Cameron Blake has put together a collection of unique and special songs that are honest, passionate and fun. He is a solid musician and a confident songwriter and I look forward to future releases.


En Route (2009)
Cameron Blake With Strings: Live at An Die Musik! (2010)
Hide and Go Seek (2010)



Cameron Blake was born and raised in the small town of Rockford, Michigan. Growing up in rural Michigan meant dealing with lots of snow, cattle farms fumigating the air, and time spent with trees, grass, and creeks. Some might call these his "folk" roots. However, Cameron was also listening to his parents’ records of classical music and developing tastes for composers such as Bartok, Prokofiev, and Debussy. He took a liking to the violin at the age of 12, practiced really hard, and eventually received a Master’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, MD.

While at the conservatory, Blake lost himself in the guts and glamour of Baltimore city. He knew he needed a change of artistic landscape and like a great message from beyond; he stumbled across the music of Bob Dylan. Dylan became a major source of inspiration and if you ask Cameron any question about Bob Dylan today, you'll probably get a very thorough answer. Like his new found hero, Cameron quickly taught himself how to sing, play the piano and guitar, and began writing songs. Cameron also found a deep freedom of expression through lyric writing and the American folk vernacular. Songwriting quickly became his passion.

In 2007, he formed a band and has since written and performed over 40 original songs. His debut album, En Route, received positive reviews and one writer described it “managed to work a perfect balance of folk, pop and rock with profound lyrics that have a deeper meaning than your run of the mill love song” (Revue Magazine). En Route was selected by Tinderbox Music for a national college radio campaign, receiving heavy airplay and its single “On My Way to Jordan” took 1st place in folk on The album’s other single “Fit Right In” was recently set to a music video directed by Baltimore filmmaker Michael Faulkner.

The artistry and charisma of Cameron’s live performances have enabled him to perform in numerous venues throughout the East Coast, Texas, Michigan and even Paris, France. Known for constantly changing the arrangements of his songs in concert, Cameron has collaborated with various musicians from the Peabody Conservatory, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Baltimore’s finest rock, country, and Dixieland performers. Performances earned him accolades including the 8x10 Club’s August 2008 Artist of the Month in Baltimore’s City Paper and 1st place among 36 competitors in Philadelphia’s renowned World Café Live ‘Philly Rising’ Open Stage.

Venues Played:
An Die Musik (Baltimore)
The Windup Space (Baltimore)
The Ottobar (Baltimore)
8x10 Club (Baltimore)
13th Floor (Baltimore)
Metro Gallery (Baltimore)
49 West (Annapolis, MD)
169 Bar (NYC)
The Village Lantern (NYC)
The Scratcher Bar (NYC)
World Cafe Live (Philly)
Fitzgerald's (Houston)
Bar of Soap (Dallas)
Mocha Mayas (Shelburne Falls, MA)
The Shadow Lounge (Pittsburgh)

HON Fest (Baltimore)
Artomatic (Washington DC)
Fright Farm (Smithfield, PA)

Point Park University (Pittsburgh)
Geneva College (Beaver Falls, PA)