Over the past dozen years, Blanton has been making music that personifies play. Her work
has been called “impeccably catchy” by critic Robert Christgau, with musician John Oates
admiring her songs’ “sly wit and urbane imagery” that remind him of Cole Porter. She’s toured across America and Europe, sharing stages with Madeleine Peyroux, The Weepies and others. Though based in New Orleans since 2012, the self-described “proud socialist” has been on the road since her teens. As a child in tiny Luray, Virginia, she began playing piano at age 6 and learned guitar at 13. The budding songwriter’s life was forever changed when her grandpa sent her a batch of jazz recordings for her 13th birthday. “Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong – that’s when it started for me,” Blanton says of the gift two decades ago that remains “the most inspiring to me as a songwriter and a singer. I’d started performing and he wanted to make sure my musical education was well rounded.” She was deeply smitten with Holiday’s recording of Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is the Ocean.” “I just love him,” she says of the composer, “and Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart. They’re all masters of music and words.” Such influences would surface as Blanton began crafting her own witty lyrics and using jazz phrasing in her vocals.
Blanton says, “If I died, and somebody came up to me in the afterlife and said, ‘What were the best parts?’ … I’d have to say songs, sex, creativity, raw oysters, bravery, small children and the feeling you get when somebody is utterly in tune with you, like the same spirit is kissing both your faces.”