Live at McCabe’s was a landmark in the career of Norman Blake. This first West Coast appearance was the occasion of one of the only live recordings by the great multi-instrumentalist. Norman’s engaging vocals, exceptional songwriting skills, and charming stage manner are all on display, and there are a couple of duets with his wife, Nancy, that indicate the greatness these two would attain over the years of their association. But what has made Live at McCabe’s legendary among Blake’s fans is that it is the best showcasing ever of his flatpicking guitar skills. So much of Blake’s attention over the years has gone into other aspects of his music that it is possible to wonder why he is mentioned in the same breath as Doc Watson, Clarence White, and Dan Crary as one of the finest flatpickers ever. The reasons can all be heard on this great record.
Introduction by Nancy Covey, Nine Pound Hammer, Sweet Heaven When I Die, Introducing Nancy Blake, Border Widow, "G" Medley: (Green Leaf Fancy/Fields of November/Fort Smith), Dry Grass on the High Fields, John Hardy, Arkansas Traveler, Medley: (Bully of the Town/Bonaparte’s Retreat/Richland Avenue Rag), Harvey’s Reel