Adam ‘Bottleneck’ Blake is in for the long haul. After deciding to become a musician at the age of 12, on seeing Steve Winwood’s Traffic and John Martyn at London’s Rainbow Theatre, he got himself an electric guitar for £5 and got to work.
Nearly 45 years later, he can look back on many gigs on many stages throughout the world, many artists played with (some quite famous, some not at all), some records made, some TV appearances, a lot of travelling – but the one constant throughout all of this has been his love and appreciation of the blues.
Starting with Peter Green, working his way back through the history of the music, Blake has absorbed all the major players in order to find something approaching his own take on the tradition. Playing a selection of open tuned bottleneck slide numbers – drawing from his love of Elmore James and Mississippi Fred McDowell – and then switching to standard tuning to deliver a selection of his own devising, Blake draws the audience in to the stories that the blues have told him, sharing the humour and pathos of these timeless human situations.
Blake is a regular busker on Portobello Road and has recently released a CD – “Portobello Blues” – recorded live on the corner of Elgin Crescent and Portobello Road.