Norman Blake (born March 10, 1938 in Chattanooga, Tennessee)) is a Grammy-nominated instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter who has played in a number of folk and bluegrass groups.
When Norman was one year old, his family moved to Sulphur Springs, Georgia where he was raised. Although known as one of the most prominent acoustic guitar flatpickers of his day, Norman Blake is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Other instruments he plays include the mandolin, 6-string banjo, fiddle, dobro and banjo.
Blake is best known for his work with John Hartford, Tony Rice, and his wife, Nancy Blake. He has played backup for June Carter, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and Joan Baez. Blake also played on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken.
Blake is listed in the credits of the Bob Dylan album Nashville Skyline and the Johnny Cash album Orange Blossom Special. He was featured on the multi-platinum O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, which ignited new interest in bluegrass music. Blake participated in the "Down from the Mountain" tour which resulted.
Blake has written songs that have become bluegrass standards, such as "Ginseng Sullivan" from Back Home in Sulphur Springs. He has produced 32 albums, sometimes teaming with Tony Rice, fiddler James Bryan and at other times with his wife, Nancy Blake. He has recorded on the Rounder, Flying Fish Records, Country, Takoma, Shanachie, Western Jubilee, Red House Records, and Plectrafone labels..