Cameron Blake

Cameron Blake

 Baltimore, Maryland, USA
BandAmericanaFolk

“Cameron Blake’s lyrics create a dense, romantic world and he’s got the arrangements to back it all up.” -Tom Hall (88.1 WYPR)

Biography

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 ourstage.com. 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)

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

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

Lyrics

Hide And Go Seek

Written By: Cameron Blake

Don’t you underestimate us; we have lived here much longer than you know.
Stack that woodpile in the corner, soaked in Bourbon it will burn right through the snow.

Her flannel dangles on your shoulder, as your beard is growing older in the cold.
You have loved so many others; you have shaken all the innocence you’ve stolen.

Ready or not here I come to blank face stares at my shirt undone
Ready to run, but I can’t run, your mouth is wet, my chest is numb.

The bird seed shells are black as raisons on the backdrop of the white December earth
And as you look out of your window, you become the person that you always hurt.

We’ve come so far in our deliverance, she says while digging through the drugstore in her purse.
My halo’s sometimes rather crooked, I never tend to fear I’ve lived to see the worst.

Ready or not here I come to blank face stares at my shirt undone
Ready to run, but I can’t run, your mouth is wet, my chest is numb.

In the siren’s solitary whistle, the devil plays a contrapuntal waltz for two
“Well, tell the truth like any other, but leave the part out where I cover up the truth”

A record scratches up the needle, the spotlight sizes up the center of the room.
And there you stand with all your laundry, your clothes are dirty but my mind can see right through.

Ready or not here I come to blank face stares at my shirt undone
Ready to run, but I can’t run, your mouth is wet, my chest is numb.

Give us bread to wipe our faces, serve us wine to stain the places where we’ve been
I hear the mice jump under stove tops, round the pilot light to clear the crumbs I’ve left.

Momma taught me how to hold her, how a woman wants the pillows on her bed.
I wish our bodies never slept, I wish to Jesus that these thorns come off my head.

Ready or not here I come to blank face stares at my shirt undone
Ready to run, but I can’t run, your mouth is wet, my chest is numb.

Now the country is a monster, the combines rusting in an overgrow of mirth
Living hungry like mosquitoes, feeding on the backs of calves until they burst.

The papers say I’ve killed a brother, but I was dead before the trigger shot him first.
But everybody is forgotten, except the saints who pray each day for their re-birth

The Love Song Never Died

Written By: Cameron Blake

Her old pickup is stuck in the grass
that grew longer in the summer of '03
when the flood rains washed over all our paths through the trees, where the men grew hard and the women watched their faces
and the children ceased their racin' just to see if they'd break.

But the love song never died
the love song never died
the love song never died, 'cept in me.

The radio buzzed lonely over miles to the background hum of the kitchen in the valley where our fingers touch, where men lay down and the women watched their faces and the children ceased their racin' just to see if they'd sleep,

but the love song never died
the love song never died
the love song never died, 'cept in me.

It’s lonely out here. The desert is asleep. It’s lonely out here, where the mockingbird speaks.

It’s lonely out here. The boxcar smoke is sweet. It’s lonely out here, the nails that pierce our feet.

You’ll come on back someday,
when every theme’s been played.
With you I’ll stay forever

You’ll come on back someday.
When every string’s been frayed
with you I’ll stay forever

the loves songs never die
the loves songs never die
the loves songs never died, 'cept in me.

All the books that you read,
stacked by size against the mahogany frame of your bed I read them all beside you ‘til the lamp grew dim where the moonlight lit your painted lips turned ivory. Your fingernails like diamonds as they claw to be fed and the men repent when the women wash their faces, and the children take their places in the cool of the dead.

Oh, but the love song never cried
he love song never cried
the love song never cried, 'cept for me.

Fit Right In

Written By: Cameron Blake

I came to notice all your subtleness.
It wasn’t the right time.
I came to offer up my brokenness.
It’s never the right time.

Did you ever think for a moment
that we’re all love songs?

Did you ever wonder why you’re placed here, oblong?
And you never fit right.

They came to make you happy memories.
It seemed like the right time.
They never held up any guarantee.
It’s always the next time.

Did you ever think for a moment
that we’re all love songs?

Did you ever wonder why you’re placed here, oblong?
And you never fit right.

Kiss the sleeper from her eyes, for the last time.
Cast the dreamer by his side, bend the life line.
You have watched us all pretend, stronger knees on skinny legs
that turn and twist to fit the in, to fit the in, to fit right in

She came to walk you through your wild streak.
You say, “It’s about time.”
He wants to place you on his Christmas tree.
When finding the right find.

Did you ever think for a moment
that we’re all love songs?
Did you ever wonder why you’re placed here, oblong?
Will you ever hope and pray for someone that will feel the same?
Do we really need to fit right in?

This Is All

Written By: Cameron Blake

If this is all the journey,
if this is all the race.
This is all worth living if this is all the case.

In all the ways I struggle,
in all the ways I fall.
If this is all the meaning,
than tell me this is all.

This is all the failure
if this is all the blood.
If this is all the bruising,
than this is shitty love.

In all the ways I’m hurting
In all the ways I’m wrong
If this is all the meaning then tell me this is all.

This is all the passion
if this is all the pain.
If this is all the comfort
then we are all to blame

If this is all the freedom
and this is all the crime,
then this all confusion
when this man is left to die.

Take it all
Take it all on
My weary song.

Take it all
Take it all on.

Give me one more chance to breathe,
one more chance to believe
that this is all the journey,
this is all the race.
This is all worth living if this is all the case.

Never Taught Much

Written By: Cameron Blake

Momma never taught me to sing
Daddy never taught me to cry
Now you tell me that I must go
And learn how to leave things behind

Momma never let me walk home
Daddy never took me to swim
The old road is open, my hand’s on the wheel
but I’ll never touch you again

Chorus 1
Where did you come from?
Who do you know?
When all of the world is dying alone
You say you’re my lover, my sister, my friend
But you’re just like the others, protecting your skin

Chorus 2
The sun burns for sinners,
it rises on saints
and all your inheritance is lost in a blink
The costume was ugly, the mask bit my lip
You were quick to the punch, now I’m drowning in it

Momma never taught me to lie
Daddy never taught me to shave
Now every time I picture your smile
I shake and I can’t hold the blade

Momma tried to help me grow up
But daddy chased the monsters away
and as I see these tears leave your eyes
I face that monster I clearly became.

Chorus 1
Chorus 2

Someday you’ll hear I’m coming back.
With all that I own and all that I lack
I will hand you a seashell, a pinecone, an evergreen needle
to pin down the fact

that momma never learned how to sing
Daddy never let himself cry
Now it’s time for us to run free
and live off the land for awhile.

Discography

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

Set List

45 Minutes, original songs (up to 3 sets)