“Greg Blake has been a country singer since the day he was born.”
Well, that may be an exaggeration for the sake of emphasis and illustration from a handful of well-meaning reviewers and critics, but it is true that Greg will tell you he can’t remember a time when he didn’t sing. His repertoire, from as far back as he can remember, has been straight off the LPs of the classic country vocalists: Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Lefty Frizzell, Webb Pierce, Bill Monroe, the Louvin Brothers, Charley Pride, the Chuck Wagon Gang, Lester Flatt, etc. He received his first guitar at age 7 in order to accompany his singing and performing all of those radio hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s at church socials and county fair talent shows.
When it was obvious that music would continue to be a part of the rest of his life, “Country” would always be at the foundation of Greg’s interpretations of songs and lyrics. Even classical voice training in college did not deter him from continuing in the rich traditions of Appalachian twang that you’ll hear underlying his phrasing, and though Greg loves bluegrass, and considers himself a bluegrass singer, those audiences not as familiar with Monroe and Flatt love to hear the warmth, resonance and clarity when Blake delivers a ballad.
Having the privilege of traveling and performing with several different musicians, young and old, near and far, famous and yet to be discovered, Blake has found a stellar group of young musicians that have the same interest in and passion for preserving, promoting and performing an interesting marriage of musical genres. Greg, Nico, Miles and Isaac will be seen at any given time, traveling literally around the world performing a 45-50 minute set of blistering and/or mournful traditional bluegrass, and then turn around and dawn a Telecaster, sit down at the pedal steel and deliver an hour long set of Cash, Haggard, Jones and Buck Owens classic country music that will bring back memories of AM radio and Saturday night dances.
Whether its traditional bluegrass or classic country, either performance will be marked by superb artisanship on whichever instrument and a distinct, authentic voice that, although smooth and mellow, will pierce through the crowd and into your heart and down to your feet. After you’ve heard no more than three songs, you’ll probably agree with those who write the reviews as well as the person standing or sitting next to you in the audience and say “Now, THAT is real country!”
Miles Zurawell - Dobro / Banjo / Vocals
Raised in small town Alberta, Miles Zurawell was immersed in a wide range of music from an early age. A pianist and self-taught guitarist in his formative years, he fell in love with bluegrass when he was inspired to pick up the banjo by a university biology professor. Soon after, he also picked up the dobro (resonator guitar). In 2018, he left behind the golden handcuffs of his government biology career to focus intensively on learning the dobro, and has travelled all over North America seeking out the best teachers.
Now armed with the technical skills acquired from intensive study of the bluegrass genre, along with his eclectic taste in music, his musical focus is to help bring the beautiful timbre of the dobro to other genres of music apart from bluegrass.
Nico Humby - Bass / Vocals
Spry, energetic and coming to you from the Albertan Prairies of Canada, Nico Humby is a bass player and singer who’s dipped his fingers in a multitude of genres ranging from R&B, Funk, and Swing to Folk, Bluegrass, and Classic Country. With this experience he is able to bring a new groove and flavour to the existing world of Bluegrass. He is currently spending the bulk of his road time touring the world alongside Greg Blake in both Jeff Scroggins & Colorado and in the Greg Blake Band. Nico received his Bachelor of Design in Photograhy from the Alberta College of Art & Design in 2015. With a degree in design and photography, he is putting his multiple skills to work offering musician portraits and design work while touring on the road.
Isaac Callender - Fiddle / Mandolin / Vocals
Isaac began his musical career as a contest fiddler winning titles all over North America. As a teen he had the great fortune to be able to study and travel with Western Swing Hall of famers Dick and Lisa Barrett as well as playing bluegrass and country music with various local bands. Isaac joined the US Army National guard at eighteen and served for eight years during which time he performed with the 133rd Army band. During his tenure with the band he formed the Lewis and Clark Period Music Ensemble. This group performed across the United States in support of the Corps II expedition. He also served on a USO tour in the South Pacific and Asia with Nashville Songwriter Jerome McComb.
Isaac's music continued to develop after leaving the military when he joined renowned Canadian fiddle and step dancer April Verch on the guitar and mandolin. With April, Isaac not only toured the world and performed on stage with some of folk music's greatest talents but he also began developing his songwriting and singing skills. After leaving the AVB Isaac performed with many bluegrass, country, folk, Irish, and old-time groups on multiple instruments. He continued honing his singing and writing skills while living in Oregon completing a degree in Music Performance and opening a music store.
These days you can find Isaac touring, writing, singing, and just loving music all over the world. He has produced three albums, multiple tune books for both guitar and fiddle, and continues to write, teach, and perform with some of the greatest musicians in the world.