More People Really Should Know About: Judy Blank

I first had the pleasure of catching Judy Blank at the Americana Music Association festival in Hackney in January 2020. Hailing from Utrecht, a Dutch female artist was a first in the americana genre, so far as I knew, but she made an immediate impact in her short half-hour set. Playing both acoustic and electric guitar, accompanied by a second guitarist on electric and lap steel guitars, her self-penned songs were both fresh and steeped in the americana tradition.

Making a particular impact was ‘1995’, with its charming melody and refrain “maybe I’m too young to grow old with you”, which came to the notice of none less than Elton John, featuring on one of his playlists, and doubtless opening new doors to her. 

Her 2018 album ‘Morning Sun’ represented Blank’s first foray into the americana genre, recorded in Nashville, featuring the aforementioned ‘1995’ and a successful single release ‘Mary Jane’, with a retro country soul vibe, hinting at a future direction for her work.

Her 2021 single release, a duet and co-write with Dylan Earl ‘Never Said A Word ‘ was nominated for Best International Song at the Americana Music Association Awards in London in 2022, and songs on her EP ‘Saddies’ released on cassette in 2022 were a highlight of her show at London’s Slaughtered Lamb in July 2022. 

Blank is a confident stage performer, but revealed through the six songs on ‘Saddies’ the tough time she’d endured during the Covid years, including a cancelled festival appearance at Black Deer. A fine example of her performer chops was the sight of a chaise longue beside the stage —which was a cue for her to perform her cover of Wet Legs’ song of the same name, from a reclining position on said chaise longue! She liked it so much she performed her next song from the same place—pronouncing it very relaxing.

With a new album expected soon, and hopefully tour dates in the UK, Judy Blank is definitely my leading ‘more people should really know about’ tip!

About David Jarman 111 Articles
Long time fan of Americana genre, from early days of Ry Cooder, through to today's thriving scene. Regular visitor to USA ( Nashville/Austin/Memphis/LA ) live music junkie, I play guitar, mandolin, harmonica, plus vocals, run monthly jam session in Broadstairs
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