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Lakewood musician John Blek

 

John Blek

Blek is an artist with a story to tell. With his timeless emotive voice and layered fingerstyle guitar you will be transported from scene to scene as his expansive songbook unfolds.

quote
"One of Ireland's best kept secrets", The Irish Times.

info

Origin: Ireland

Guitar model: M-14, M-32

Homepage: johnblek.com

Artist image John Blek
Blek is an artist with a story to tell. With his timeless emotive voice and layered fingerstyle guitar you will be transported from scene to scene as his expansive songbook unfolds.
 
John Blek is Cork City born and bred currently residing only a mile or two from his childhood home but listening to his music you can hear the influence of travel and experience. His parents, both of whom were primary school teachers, had to bribe him to stay in school after his 16th birthday with the promise of a new guitar on the completion of his final exams. Such was John’s belief in his ability and chosen path in life that he was willing to forgo the more traditional education sought by his peers. This conviction carries through to his art.  His music is written from such a personal place that it creates the sense that he grew up with these songs, that they are in his blood – and in a way he did, they are his thoughts, his words, his sounds and his stories. Though not all autobiographical, like many of the great painters, an element of the artist exists in every portrait.
 
It all began for him in the passenger seat of his father Hiace van. Parked in the driveway running the battery down listening to cassettes from Jim Croce, Willy Nelson and The Beatles. These formative musical experiences unknowingly laid the foundation for John’s self lead musical education. Later the discovery of Bert Jansch, Bob Dylan, Nick Jones and Neil Young added more fuel to his fire. He began writing his own music at 15 for no other reason than that he found it frustrating and false trying to learn and imitate other musicians' work. That was the start of his pursuit of his own unique voice.
 
Blek has a love of music in the real sense, he creates to create. Although only 34 he has a catalogue of music that would represent a life’s work for many musicians. Blek is a career musician, and has dedicated his working life to developing his music. He began his solo career in 2014, and over the last six years has created a reputation as a singer songwriter who is sure to leave a legacy of timeless music that will speak to generations. He has released 7 albums to date [On Ether & Air (2021), Digressions #2 Grounded (2021), The Embers (2020), Thistle & Thorn (2019), Catharsis Vol.1 (2017), Cut the Light (2016), and Cutting Room Floor (2014)]. He speaks about his craft as passionately as he performs and has a dedicated fan base, meaning he has a well-worn path returning to play venues across Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and the UK as well playing to sold out venues in Ireland like Triskel Arts Centre, Whelan’s and The Black Gate Cultural Centre.
 
In an age when it would be easy to become disillusioned with the music industry John has remained steadfastly positive and unyieldingly creative. Known for being one of Ireland's hardest touring musicians the Cork based creative tours relentlessly in Europe and the UK as well as his native Ireland. His live show is thoughtful and entertaining, littered with stories and showcasing his arresting vocals and intricate guitar playing. 


Writer: Markus Hoppe