William Franklin Blackmon, Jr.

I was born in Cornwall, raised in Fort Montgomery, Syracuse and Highland Falls and now live in Montgomery, NY. While growing up, I spent summers with my Dad in Syracuse, NY then Stewartville, MIN and Marietta, GA. I think I have moved more than anyone I know (the count now stands at 27 times). My Mom jokes that when it was time to dust, it was time to move.

Music has given me so many things – memories, happiness, tears and a burning inside that I can really feel. My earliest memories would have to be listening to the Mamas and Papas coming from my parent’s record player or maybe Gary Puckett and the Union Gap on AM radio in my Dad’s car. There was always a toy guitar with a few strings missing lying around the house and I would make whoever was visiting my parents sit and listen to me flail away at an instrument I couldn’t even tune. They must have been good-hearted, patient people.

At 14 I got a job washing dishes in an Italian restaurant and was able to save enough money to buy a real electric guitar. It was a wine red Gibson Les Paul Deluxe and cost only $350 brand new! Now that sucker is worth a small fortune and I have no memory of who I sold it to. A lot beautiful guitars have come and gone the same way and I wish I could have them all back. It was always because I needed some music gear and had to sell or trade something to get it. Extra money to buy a new amp or guitar was something I never seemed to have.

My influences are many and extremely varied, crossing all genres. The ones that stand out most would have to be Johnny Cash, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Steely Dan. I’ve been drawn to rootsy rock, country and folk music most of my adult life.

While in high school, I met a drummer named Pumper and we started a band called Maple Creek. Over time it morphed into a pretty decent band (for high school kids) named Lighthouse. I could write a book about this band and someday I might do just that! One anecdote I’ll share here is how Pumper and I tried to fool our parents into thinking we were sleeping over the bass player’s house so we could do a gig at a local bar called the Hilltop. That’s where all the cool guys hung out and we were too young to be there. I felt REALLY COOL walking in with my guitar and setting up all the band equipment. I felt like a REAL ASS when my mom found out and called the bar owner and told him to send my butt home. I’ll never forget how I felt taking down the gear and walking past those guys on the way out.

Many bands have come and gone since then and I would have to say that the most successful was Nuts in a Blender. I played lead guitar with them for 5 years. They were (and still are) a very professionally minded band that is serious about entertaining the crowd.  Throughout that time, the bass player Mike and I were filling in our off nights playing acoustic shows all over the Hudson Valley under the name of Mack Blackmon.

PS- We’re still doing it.

Now I’m venturing out on my own to share both my originals and the music I love to play and sing. Occasionally, you may see me joined by my beautiful wife Clare or my lovely daughter Carly on vocals.

For booking inquiries or showdates, please contact me via email.