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May 24th, 2007

J. Emery Blatchley


I half expected my brief residence in San Diego to be met with a lack of any real music going on and no concerts in sight. I was always dying to get out when I grew up here and had no real plans on returning. However, I figured it would make a nice and relaxing mid-point to save up some money before moving up to San Francisco and that would be that. Luckily my plans for lackadaisical insouciance were interrupted last week by an unexpected performer opening for one of the first truly good shows to roll around in quite some time. The Lineup: Entrance, Astra, Earthless and a one J. Emery Blatchley. A chance encounter before the show introduced me to J. Emery Blatchley, at the time I had no idea that he was even performing but it set the right tone for his warm and endearing solo folk guitar that would later follow. It wasn’t until after Astra had finished their set, that I wandered into the smaller back stage area that I saw him readying his guitars. He first finger picked his way through a song that hearkened back to the style of one of my favorite early jazz guitar players Lonnie Johnson. I was completely taken back by it all, I hadn’t ever heard anyone play the style live before and the last place I expected to first hear it was here in San Diego. Before I could pigeonhole his style as only being influenced by one era he quickly moved on to playing some the finest blues guitar I’ve heard in quite some time. A few songs in he asked if anyone had heard of Elizabeth Cotten and without hesitation, I unconsciously lifted my hand. Briefly explaining the original tuning she would use because of her lack of formal knowledge about traditional tunings, he then set into a song in the same tuning Cotten used. I was completely swept over and convinced of J. Emery Blatchley’s ability to not only tap into that timeless sound, but add his own flourishes that made the songs stand out on their own. All one needs of convincing is to listen to one of the tracks off his (possibly) forthcoming LP. So without further ado, I highly suggest giving one of these tracks a listen:

[download] J. Emery Blatchley – Vestapol

Stream the others at his myspace


  1. […] also wanna give a big shout out to the Naturalismo blog (link here) for turning me on to the wonderful J. Emery Blatchley. Check him out, […]

  2. […] J. Emery Blatchley […]

    Pingback by J. Emery Blatchley « naturalismo — May 25, 2007 @ 5:02 pm
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