The studio voice …
Karen Blake began her singing career while studying at the Athenian School in Northern California. Launched by the sudden and unexpected applause of her classmates while she was absent-mindedly singing along with a Joni Mitchell song on the radio, Karen progressed quickly to weekend gigs in Berkley CA playing guitar and singing with one of her schoolteachers. Moving back to her stomping grounds, Karen continued to sing all over LA with a trio called Souvenirs, creating tight three-part harmony to Andrews Sisters songs and other tunes from the 30’s and 40’s. During this time Karen began singing songwriting demos for publishing companies, becoming the singer of choice for many of LA’s top songwriters.
It was during this time that Philip Giffin fell in love with Karen’s voice as he had the job of transcribing the music to these songwriting demos that Karen was singing. Giffin immersed himself in Karen’s beautiful performances for over a year before having the opportunity to finally meet the singer in person. Soon after their introduction, Giffin not only became Blake’s producer, but her husband as well.
Karen’s first album, “Just One Heart,” was co-produced by Philip Giffin and Kyle Lehning. She had the privilege of working with such musicians as James Newton Howard, Steve Lukathur, Peter Wolf, Dan Huff and Nathan East aswell as vocalists such as Christopher Cross, Karla Bonoff and Wendy Waldman.
Karen pursued not only a solo career, but a sucessful studio singing career as well. Some of her credits include: Singing with Michael McDonald on Christopher Cross’s album “Rendezvous” Singing with Kenny Edwards on Karla Bonoff’s “New World” Chris Hillman (of the “Byrds” ) “Like a Hurricane” Larry Carlton “Christmas at my House”
Karen has diverse accomplishments singing on national jingles, TV shows and movie scores. She has worked with a range of composers including Randy Newman, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, Mike Post and the list goes on.
Some of Karen’s TV and movies credits include: The Simpson’s, Family Ties, Star Trek, Cheers, LA Law, Strong Medicine, Boomtown, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, It’s a Bug’s Life & Beethoven’s 3rd.
Karen Blake’s latest CD, “Small Potatoes,” produced by her husband, Philip Giffin, was a labor of love. When their first child, Willa Grace, was born, they recognized that there were few records that could be enjoyed by a child but was also satisfying to the adult ear. “Small Potatoes” is a wonderful and sophisticated compilation of songs about unconditional love and hope. The sincerity, wisdom and vocal clarity of this CD have won it immediate success. It has sold out five times in Hear Music and was declared the fastest selling CD in their “new discoveries” section. “Dawson’s Creek” featured one of the selections from the CD, “Why Walk When You Can Fly,” on an episode in April, 2001, and Hilary Swank mentioned “Small Potatoes” in “In Style” magazine describing it as a CD she “really really loves”.
Picture and words from the official website.
KB Music 2002
Tracks: Fell From Grace, I´ll Dance, One Heart, On To Something, The Return, You Can Fly, I Love The Rain, Part Of You, Fields Of Gray, Gotta Be, Jumping Mouse, Love Me Still, I Will Be Everything, Hush-a-Bye.
Musicians on the Small Potatoes album: Karen Blake and others.
Just One Heart
Pony Canyon Records 1984
Tracks: I Want You Back, I'm Only Here For You, Anything At All, Just One Heart, Come Hell Or Waters High, Chain Reaction, I'm Not A Loser, Someone To Love, I'll Shine My Light On You & Time Heals The Wounds.
Musicians on the Just One Heart album: Karen Blake, Dave Loggins, Steve Lukather, Michael Landau, Dann Huff, Carlos Vega, Larrie Londin, Pat Mastelotto, Lenny Castro, Peter Wolf, Alan Pasqua, Robbie Buchanan, Kyle Lehning, Shane Keister, James Newton Howard, Neil Stubenhaus, Nathan East, Philip Griffin, Ernie Watts, Bill Puett, Mark Hatch, Christopher Cross, Kenny Edwards, Andrew Gold & Karla Bonoff.