Jake Blount unearths Black history through folk music, using its sounds as a bridge to the future.
You’ve seen him play live once, an incredible performance that set a new bar for folk music in a single night.
You’ve seen him perform live hundreds of times: on TV and the radio, in documentary films, and countless YouTube clips. He’s performed at colleges and universities, and at festivals across the country.
You’ve seen him open for countless artists; performing alongside Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Hornsby, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Rosie Flores, and the list goes on from here.
And yet you’ve never heard of him before. Not a drop of his music exists in your iTunes or Google Play. Not a single song on his self-released EP, This is No Life, is even visible on Spotify or Pandora (which is what you’ll find listed on his Twitter, Facebook, and website accounts).
The reason? Blount is a black man. And he’s been holding it all in.
When you go online to explore the vast catalogues of black music, you can find his music as a young man, his music as a teen, his music as a young man again on YouTube.
And if you’re curious about him, his music is out there, in part thanks to his own efforts to create some visibility for himself.
He created this.
“Most of it is my own ideas, and the ideas from other people who have already done it,” he says. “I’m not trying to take credit for it, but it’s always been very clear to me that there are already people who are doing it.”
The internet was created on the premise of anonymity. To give the public this new world that would allow them to explore new ideas and exchange ideas.
But that changed with the dawn of the internet. Anyone with a computer and the Internet can publish these kinds of stories. Because of that, we all get a taste of their ideas.
The story of Black History, like many stories, took off because of its message.
This is the story of