Introducing Karl Blau by Karl Blau
|Raven Marching Band|
Blau is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and DIY icon who helped turn his hometown of Anacortes, Washington, into an indie-music mecca. He has released more than 40 records in 20-odd years, many self-released in handmade packaging and mailed to subscribers, and others on iconic indie Northwest labels K and knw-yr-own. Blau has also toured and recorded for years with Laura Veirs, The Microphones, Little Wings, D+, and Earth.Martine, known for his distinctive production work on music by My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, and Laura Veirs, recalled first being introduced by Veirs to Blau’s early music. “I was transfixed by Karl’s voice and completely absorbed by the world of sound he had created. I felt like I had been shown one of the great hidden treasures of music.”A few years later, Martine recorded an instrumental version of “That’s How I Got to Memphis,” the 1969 Tom T. Hall hit. Blau, whom Tucker had come to know in sessions with Laura Veirs among others, asked if he could try singing it. The collaboration, pairing Karl’s deeply sonorous voice with Martine’s warm, modern arrangements, recast the Nashville hit in a new light. The result was the single and, now, Introducing Karl Blau.The record, all covers, is a crate-digger’s feast of forgotten hits and deeper cuts, most of them from the Nashville country-soul renaissance in the late 1960s and early 70s ‘ Tom T. Hall, Bobby Bond, Allen Reynolds. Other songs are from the Bee Gees (To Love Somebody), Link Wray (Fallin’ Rain), or Townes Van Zandt (If I Needed You).