Award-winning novelist and singer/songwriter Mike Blakely has published 18 books, released by major New York City publishers.
As a performing songwriter, Mike has released 12 CDs, performed all over the U.S., and made 16 tours to Europe. His songs have been recorded by Alan Jackson, Gary P. Nunn, Red Steagall, Flaco Jimenez and Raul Malo, John Arthur Martinez, Randy Brown, Geronimo Trevino III and Johnny Rodriguez, Johnny Bush, Pauline Reese, Debbi Walton and others.
And now he has a new CD release which I had the pleasure of reviewing.
KEEPSAKE – MIKE BLAKELY
Nothing describes Mike Blakely’s vocal and songwriting style better than straightforward and genuine.
Listening to his new CD, Keepsake, is like going on an easy rambling trail ride. Mike’s “no frills” music touches something deep inside.
Larry Nye (Guitar), Kurt Baumer (Fiddle), Duke Davis (Upright Bass) and Shane Lively (Drums) accompany Mike on Keepsake, while Annie Blakely, Walt & Tina Wilkins and Larry Boyd sing backup vocals.
The album begins with a poignant song, “A Town Called Paradise,” written by Blakely and Ken Garrett. It is the perfect escape song. “My Same Old New Mexican Dream” is a clever play on words. “Easy Ramblin’” is all about slowing down.
Annie Blakey joined Mike in writing “Keepsake,” and it is a beautiful love song that fits the couple perfectly. “I missed you before I met you/I loved you before I knew you/Before we found each other/I was yours/you were mine.”
“Moonlight Colorado,” captured me completely. The melody and words weave a tantalizing dance.
Walt and Tina Wilkins lend their perfectly synced background vocal harmony on “I am Nobody.” The message carried in the lyrics is uplifting. “I am nobody/Nobody’s perfect/Therefore I’m perfect/Perfect for you.”
Written by Jeff Posey and Walt Wilkins, “Skipping Stone” is sweet and tender.
“Miranda’s Warning” is a haunting melody. He should have heeded Miranda’s warning. “The Island with No Name” has a Mexican flare and features Larry Nye on the acoustic guitar.
The album ends with “Don’t send Flowers” and is the longest track on the CD at five minutes. Wistful poetic lyrics weave a wish. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard a more authentically beautiful song about death.
If you enjoy listening to lyrics that have meaning, tell a story or carry a message while the melody flows like a cool mountain stream, you will enjoy Keepsake.
AND, Mike Blakely will be our speaker and entertainment at the Texas Authors Institute of History Fundraising Gala at The Main Street Gardens in Dallas on October 6th!