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Mike Blakely
©2010 Swing Rider Records
Review by Lucky Boyd

I’ve been writing about Mike Blakely’s music for more than four years now, and it would be an understatement to say that his music has been wonderful from the first note.  Blakely’s writing is emotional and insightful, moving and inspiring.  Every release from Blakely has further solidified him as one of the greatest songwriters anywhere.  It wouldn’t be a stretch for him to be touted as the finest writer in Texas today.  As a performer, Blakely is comfortable and entertaining.  He has always strived to offer fun, exciting, and moving performances in recording just as he does during his live shows.  Artists are known by an array of monikers throughout their career.  Some are destined to be songwriters, some are great entertainers, some are crooners, and some are great musicians.  It might be a less-often respected title to be called a recording artist, but that might be simply because few performers ever really embrace the art of going into the studio and creating a masterpiece.  With this release, Blakely has crossed over from all his previous designations and has become a true recording artist.  This is Blakely’s finest recording.  From the song selection, to the performances, to the production and arrangements, HOMEMADE SERENADE catapults Blakely onto another plane.  He is no longer just one of those really good Texas musicians who make really good records.  Blakely is now eligible to hold the title of superstar.  His collection of albums will live eternally, but fifty years from now, music aficionados will argue that this was his breakout album.  This, they will say, was the album that poured the concrete in which Blakely’s  footprints would forever reside.  Surrounded by fellow MTM members John Greenburg, Shan Kowert, and Annie Acton, Blakely reaches new heights with his latest release. Blakely pens the entire baker's dozen of masterfully produced tracks and each one is better than the last as you lose yourself in Blakely’s best work to date. Few releases this year speak Texan like this one. Close your eyes and experience Texas for an hour through the sounds of Mike Blakely, one of the best recording artists anywhere.

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Mike Blakely