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    Blake Mattingly
    Photo by Carlalyn Bieniek

    Blake superior

    Blake Mattingly (that's a band, not a guy) updates classic rock, soul and funk in polished songs with hip-swaying, midtempo grooves full of pent-up energy.


    Blake Mattingly is a good bet but far from a sure thing. The band — with a great big sound, polished originals and two charismatic frontmen — is still one of many musical projects for Denny Blake and Patrick Mattingly, along with drummer Wylie Wirth and bassist Malcolm Gold. After a couple of shows this spring — concluding with one this Thursday (May 3, 2001) at the C-Note — competing gigs will keep the band members apart for the summer, so the fall is when we'll really find out what Blake Mattingly is capable of.

    Denny Blake (guitar, vocals)
    Patrick Mattingly (vocals)
    Wylie Wirth (drums)
    Malcolm Gold (bass).

    Related links: Official site
    Climb Back Down   RA  MP3
    Hero No More   RA  MP3
    Insinuation   RA  MP3
    Molly   RA  MP3
    © 1999 Blake Mattingly. Used by permission.
    The band "can't be called a main project right now," says Mattingly. "In the fall, when Denny and I get some writing done and put out the new album, it will be the main project."

    This collaboration started a couple of years ago when the two bandleaders were introduced at an ASCAP-sponsored songwriting workshop and quickly found musical brotherhood. Mattingly was a recent arrival from Washington, D.C., while Blake was already a seasoned pro who started touring at age 18 and plays in Broadway orchestras.

    The band specializes in hip-swaying midtempo grooves with a big bass and guitar sound and an irresistible beat. They smoothly combine the sounds of '60s rock, '70s funk and soul, and '90s country singer-songwriters (plus Blake and Mattingly both say they're crazy about Radiohead). The result is songs like "Insinuation" (hear it on RealAudio or MP3), with country strumming and scratchy wah-wah guitar behind fluid "Revolver"-era harmonies, and "Molly" (RA, MP3), on which Blake's blues guitar licks play peek-a-boo with the increasingly nasty funk-style vocals. It's "Red House" and "Our House" and "Brick House" all in one.

    It's not easy to make rock and roll that packs this much energy without always hitting the gas, but Mattingly says the medium-tempo tunes win people over even if it takes a few listens, which he attributes to the band's songwriting approach. "I think it all starts with the songs; it starts with people clicking, too," he says. "Those things all started with acoustic songs — they don't start with a drummer, which will change the way a song sounds." So before the music goes electric, it's already got an emphasis on writing, singing and harmonies. It just gets bigger and better when they get in front of a crowd, kick in the drums and turn on the juice.

    APRIL 30, 2001

    Reader comments on Blake Mattingly:

  • BlakeMattingly   from Doug Hoyt, May 3, 2001
  • BlakeMattingly   from ONEILL, May 4, 2001
  • BlakeMattingly   from Paul Corazzo, May 4, 2001
  • Blake Mattingly have endurance   from ROBIN, May 4, 2001
  • BLAKE MATTINGLY   from Hot Bet, May 10, 2001
  • Re: BLAKE MATTINGLY   from Peter DuBose, May 31, 2003
  • Thats my uncle   from Brianna, Dec 30, 2002
  • You Rock My World!!   from Candy Baby!!!, Mar 17, 2004
  • [no subject]   from eamon, Sep 10, 2005
  • Missing you guys !!!   from Miranda, Sep 13, 2005

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