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Versatile musician finds niche with band
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Forsyth County native Blake Densmore, far right, is a member of the Ty Bates Band, including, from left: Lee Smith, Josh Denham, Bates, Seth Caldwell and Cason Neil. - photo by Daniel Southerland

On the Net

To learn more about the Ty Bates Band, visit

A Forsyth Central High School graduate is part of a rising, award-winning country music band.

Blake Densmore, a 2009 Central graduate and current student at North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega, plays keyboard for the Ty Bates Band.

Bates, originally from McDonough, was recently named the overall artist of the year for 2011 by, which promotes country artists and bands from across the state.

As part of the honor, Bates will receive a profile on the Web site, special show bookings by the organization and a professional photo shoot.

Densmore said he “fell into” playing with Bates through a connection at North Georgia.

He explained that Bates is the older brother of one of his Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity members.

“[Ty Bates] came up to do a concert for us one weekend, and we just hit it off,” said Densmore, adding that the two have shared musical interests.

“Out of the blue about a year later, he called me up and asked if I wanted to play with him,” Densmore said.

That was about two months ago. Since then, Densmore has played with Bates at small venues around north Georgia.

Bates was quick to praise Densmore.

“He’s a good guy to have in there,” Bates said. “He’s as dedicated as it gets.

“When you’re trying to really make a career, you want to have guys who are willing to do whatever it takes, because there’s a lot more to it than what most people think.”

Densmore’s talent and skills don’t hurt either. He’s been playing piano since he was 5 years old, and can also play guitar, mandolin and banjo.

“Ty asked me to be a utility player,” Densmore said. “That’s someone who can play multiple instruments, so I’m hoping to learn even more.”

Added Bates: “Having someone who can play a lot of different things is really important. It makes it a lot easier.”

Mother Frances Bates, who is also the band’s manager, said Densmore has been a strong addition.

“He’s multi-talented. He can play all the other instruments as well as the piano and he’s willing to learn more,” she said.

Besides musical talent, she said there are many other commonalities between the young men.

“Blake’s a lot like Ty,” she said. “He’s adorable. He’s cute as a button. But he’s mannerly, sweet and humble just like Ty has always been.”

While Densmore is enjoying being part of a successful band, he said he’ll leave the spotlight to Bates.

“I like more of the behind-the-scenes stuff,” he said. “I’m the type that likes to put in a lot of work, but then let the front man get the credit. I like being a part of a team.”

In particular, Densmore enjoys being a part of Bates’ team.

“He’s super laid-back and humble as hell,” Densmore said. “He’s got a great voice and writes all his own stuff. He works hard and wants to make a career out of music.”

Densmore’s father, Steve, said he’s proud of his son.

“It’s good to see it all come through and start going in his direction,” the elder Densmore said. “This is a great opportunity for him.”