Jack of Many Trades and Master of All

Blake Rave is a human of many talents.

You may know him from his band Blake Rave and The Unmentionables. Or maybe you ate some of his culinary creations when he was running kitchens at restaurants in Pipestone, MN, or Omaha. And still yet, he may have been your hairstylist.

Having gone to school for both cosmetology and French culinary arts, Rave gave it all up in July to pursue his music career full-time.

“It’s been fun, but it’s definitely a challenge,” he said.

Currently touring northern Florida on a solo singing excursion, Rave has been hitting open mics and meeting fellow musicians. Before he arrived in Florida, he connected with a promoter who got him hooked up with a couple of shows, one headlining a benefit show for the homeless on Dec. 17.

A native of South Dakota, Rave has bounced around the Midwest a bit living in Brookings, Sioux Falls, Omaha, Chicago and Pipestone. He said he moved around a lot when he was a kid.

“My history is a mystery, even to me,” he joked when trying to recall when he lived where and for how long. Currently, he’s been back in the Sioux Falls region for two years.

Living in Omaha when the pandemic hit, all of Rave’s employment opportunities were shut down. The salon and restaurant where he was working shut down and live gigs weren’t happening. Since the lease to his apartment was up, he decided to move to Pipestone to be closer to his grandmother.

“I figured I’d get to see her all the time and cook brownies and cookies for her, but the COVID restrictions didn’t allow for that in assisted living,” he said.

Play it by Ear

Rave is very much a go-with-the-flow type of person, who doesn’t seem to let adversity affect him. It almost seems fitting that he plays the guitar by ear.

A self-taught guitarist, Rave picked up a guitar about 10 years ago. Since doing so, he has recorded two albums, one in Omaha three years ago and one in London last July. During the pandemic, he got hooked up with an online music recording studio located there.

Initially, Rave was supposed to record his last album in Omaha, but it kept getting delayed. Itching to release some new music, he teamed up with the London studio where they all worked remotely to put together his song “Quarantine with Me.”

“You work with a producer and you all record your parts individually and then they put it together,” he said. “They were easy to work with. It was pretty cool.”

Still wanting to release a full album, Rave had some interest from Nashville. Ultimately, those deals were not what he was looking for and he decided to talk with the recording studio in London to see what they could do.

While Rave could have recorded his newest album from his bedroom if he’d wanted, he decided to travel to London to get the full studio experience, becoming the studio’s flagship artist for in-person recording.

But Rave wouldn’t be where he is without help of his drummer, Paul Brown, who has been integral at getting not just his band, but other local groups paying gigs at various dive bars around the area.

“Musicians here are really supportive and work together to help everyone succeed,” he said.

Rave’s goal is to start playing live gigs where people might not expect, think car washes, tattoo shops, and mechanic shops.

“I want to call it the Strange Places Tour,” he said. 

Coming up, Rave and his band will perform their “Christmas Spectacular” on Dec. 23 at Club David. He also has a remote radio gig in London on New Year’s Eve and will travel there to film a music video for the title track of his next album in February.

All photos © Sonja O’Steen/O’Steen Photography

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