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Long Island’s Michael Blum finds his voice with new album, ‘The Reservoir’

Great Neck native Michael Blum was inspired by

Great Neck native Michael Blum was inspired by a long-distance relationship to write his new album, "The Reservoir." Photo Credit: Andrew Blum

Michael Blum had chosen his path.

The Great Neck native was pursuing a career as a jazz guitarist and had already landed the prestigious title of “Rising Star Guitarist” from DownBeat magazine.

But then his girlfriend moved 3,000 miles away and suddenly Blum had a musical change of heart.

“It’s funny, I never had the motivation to write music with lyrics — until my girlfriend moved across the country,” the 23-year-old Blum says. “Then, I couldn’t stop.”

Suddenly, Blum became a singer-songwriter and that burst of creativity became “The Reservoir” (Michael Blum Music). And it’s a treat.

Blum has a gorgeous voice, channeling Chet Baker’s vulnerability for the delicate “Turn This Train Around” and the jazzier “Summer Snow,” where he plaintively sings at the top of his range. On “Show Me the Light,” he brings back late-’70s, George Benson-styled jazz-pop. But it’s the distinctive combination between his smooth, confident guitar playing and his fragile vocals that makes it even more effective.

Blum is clearly still finding his voice on “The Reservoir,” but his songs should stand the test of time, just like the ongoing relationship with his girlfriend that inspired them.

Contact The Long Island Sound at glenn.gamboa@newsday.com or follow @ndmusic on Twitter.

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