Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Must Know Musician Monday (holiday week): Dan Blakeslee

If there is one thing I have learned being a part of a music community, rather than a 'scene' or a 'posse' or 'trying to climb the mountain' rather than 'just ride the current' it is that you will forge incredible relationships with the people you support, care about, and have the utmost respect for as artists. The best example I can think of this is Dan Blakeslee.

I first met Dan years back and we have seen each other off and on over that time. He has wowed me again and again each time I see him perform one of his songs. His energy is unmatched and his joy is infectious. If there was ever a person who could truly move you emotionally with a song, it is this man. I would certainly consider Dan a friend, though we probably don't know a huge amount about each other's past, he still manages to make me feel like a close friend, like family, like a colleague in the songwriting game (though I pale in comparison to his extensive library of amazing songs). He is a true songwriter's songwriter and a performer's performer. Easily the most humble and down to earth person I have met, he is happy playing for hundreds of eager folkies waiting in line for the ferry at Newport Folk, a crowded bar or a small room of listening ears. He simply exudes love for the craft of songwriting and performance.


When I first heard Blakeslee play this song, I immediately fell in love with the lyrics and cursed Dan for writing them at the same time (because, damnit I wanted that song!). I don't know what else to say about it. Check out this video by the Big Old Big One fellas for yourself and be sure to pick up Dan's new record when it releases later this year (this track is on it).

Owed To The Tanglin' Wind

If there ever was a perfect title for a new record for a ramblin' man playing his songs all over this fine land, I have not heard it yet. Dan's last full length (Halloween records not included) was 2011's Tatnic Tales. It has firmly cemented its place as one of my favorite local albums. OTTTW is a long awaited new record from Blakeslee that was recorded with friends (of which seem like family given Dan's friendships in this community) at the beautiful Columbus Theatre and sees host to a slew of his friends filling out his sound. You heard it here now, this will be one of the best local releases of 2014. Look for it in May (or so) of this year.

I urge, I plead with you, that if you have not seen or heard Dan before, then do yourself the biggest favor of your week/month/year and check out his website, buy a record, buy an artpiece/poster, and go see him live. He is one of the most decorated performers and talented songwriters I have ever met and I know you will enjoy his songs.


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