February In the Know

Rockin' Across the Ages

By Alexis Warrington

Photos contributed by Blaze


What could a group of veteran rockers and a 17-year-old kid have in common? Rock n' roll, of course. The heavy rock band Blaze is made up of veteran rockers and Central Valley residents Jimmy White on drums, Jerry Baer on rhythm guitar, Chris Pierce on bass, Danny White singing lead vocals, Dale Baum on keyboard/guitar, and Blaze, the 17-year-old prodigy whom the band is named after, on lead guitar.


If you were to hear Blaze on the radio, not only would you never guess that the lead guitarist was just a kid, but you would swear that it was an undiscovered band from the decadent '80s. Blaze says, "Our music is definitely influenced by '70s and '80s rock." Their rhythm guitarist, Jerry Baer, says that the purpose of the band's sound was to "bring back the lead guitar." The band found their lead guitarist and old school sound in young Blaze, or rather, he found them.


After Blaze placed an ad to start an original project, the band was formed. Baer was stunned at the talent of the young guitar player saying, "It's like his musical soul is from that era [the '70s and '80s]. Blaze comes along at his young age and just shows us all how it's done."


Young Blaze recently performed with a cover band on KMPH's "Great Day," and was able to play all summer long at Fresno Grizzly home games. He was also involved in a television pilot featuring rock legend Pearl Aday (Meatloaf) and played guitar in Cassie Thompson's music video "Caught Up in You," which featured Taylor Lautner as the heartthrob. Even with all of these opportunities, Blaze is thrilled to be focusing on his band, saying, "I'm really happy to be playing in a band with such quality musicians. They're a great group of guys and we have a lot of fun times." 


Thanks to the unbelievable talent of their guitar player and their classic rock sound, Blaze has been taking over Fresno one gig at a time, with plans to take over the rest of the world soon after. This past November saw the band nominated for a Hollywood Music and Media award. This was a huge win in the upward battle that is the music business.


The Hollywood Music in Media Awards recognizes mainstream and independent music in all of its mediums. They give an equal chance to all participants by allowing anyone involved in music to submit their work for consideration in the awards show. Blaze was one of the artists who submitted their work and was nominated in the rock category for their song "Rock Gods," a tribute to all of the rock n' roll legends who came before them.


 The band hit the red carpet in Hollywood on Nov. 18 for the awards show held at the Kodak Theatre, where they were in the company of many musical greats. Blaze did not win the award, but for them it was more about the experience and opportunity to get their foot in the door. "We met a lot of cool people, it was really cool to be there," says Baer.


As for what the future will hold for Blaze, they want to "continue to pursue the rock n' roll dream with eyes wide open." The band has plans to audition for NBC's "America's Got Talent" next year and expand their fan base from local to nation-wide. They are also working on a video for a cover of John Lennon's "Mind Games."


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