Milton Blake releases new single ‘Looking for Love’. Produced by Pickout Records, the new single is available on Deezer and other popular streaming platforms. Milton Blake’s music is reggae in that purest form. He’s from Jamaica, his band plays in a classic style and his lyrics are about social justice and Rastafarianism. Blake’s songs resonate with similar vibrations to the work of the pioneers: Bob Marley, Culture and Burning Spear.
Blake moved to the U.S. 10 years ago and is currently based in Cleveland. Last November, he released a new album for Pickout Records, “Temporary Obstacle,” and he’ll be featuring cuts from it heavily during his concert Saturday at Vegetable Buddies in South Bend. His backing group is called the River Nile Band, and they’re bringing along a secret weapon in fellow Jamaican J.R. Blessington, a guest singer-songwriter who will get plenty of time in the spotlight as well.
Blake’s mentor in Jamaica was Luciano, one of the most popular roots reggae artists of the last 25 years. The two of them met after Luciano moved to the Central Village section of Spanish Town, where Blake grew up.
“We attended the same church, where his brother is a pastor,” he says by phone from Cleveland. “We grew up in the Adventist church. We’re Sabbath-keepers. That’s how we were linked together, and we started to go to the studio together, taking the bus to town. We both sang with the sound system in the community. At that time, his name was Stepper John, before he was called Luciano. After developing our talent, we decided to find producers in Kingston.”
Luciano hit the big time and Blake made a series of excellent records of his own on Jamaican labels including Henfield, Jobeshill and Qabalah. Blake’s confidence soared under Luciano’s approval, and Blake continues to be thrilled for his friend’s success.
“It was a joy,” Black says. “Trust me, it was like ‘yes!’ It was like he’d won the lotto, man.”
Blake released a full-length album, “People Need Jah,” in 2013, and “Temporary Obstacle” is his second release since moving to the U.S. Initially, he visited America for short trips, but a decade ago he realized that a permanent move was in order.
“I finally decided to sit tight and learn more about America, the root of the structure and the mindset of the people. Before, I had just been in and out, in and out,” Blake says. “Shortly afterwards, I’d found new love, gotten married and all that.”
Now that he’s fully acclimated, Blake has had time to focus on his new music. Tracks such as “Trumpet Sound,“ “The Signs” and “Nuclear Age“ are unaffected by trends, and Blake’s feeling for all eras of reggae — especially the classic roots reggae sound — is impeccable.