Highly prolific and still relatively unknown outside the Northwest, Karl Blau released a stunning album of country-soul songs this year. Titled “Introducing Karl Blau,” the record was actually Blau’s 43rd release over a 20-year career. Long affiliated with Olympia label K Records, Blau’s huge catalog includes low-fi and folk records that pair his warm baritone voice with off-kilter songs and flourishes of soulful sweetness. Blau has also toured in Laura Veirs’ band. For “Introducing,” he drew from the well of classic 60s and 70s country songs, by the likes of Bob Dylan, Tom T. Hall, Tom Rush, The Bee Gees, Layng Martine, and Link Wray. Nashville songwriter Martine is the father of Portland producer Tucker Martine, who produced Blau’s record. Martine’s song “Let the World Go By” (in the video above) is one of several classic rainy-day songs on the album. “Fallin’ Rain” is a 1971 song by Wray, with the same weighty sense of despair as Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” - released the same year.
Karl Blau plays the Neurolux in Boise this Thursday, October 20th.
Audio recording and mixes: Steven Kray
Videographers: Sam Smith, Nathan Quigley
Executive Producer: David Christensen