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Thursday
Jul272017

Dan Blakeslee - Album review / Song premiere: "A Golden Turn"

Ring Dan Blakeslee and you’ll hit a friendly greeting of Dan singing and playing his guitar, followed by a full mailbox. Maybe this artful dodge is a relic from Dan’s time more than a decade ago in Portsmouth, N.H., when he owed so much artwork to folks around town that he took to walking the alleys to avoid disappointed customers. This time in his life is the impetus for the title of Blakeslee’s latest album, The Alley Walker, and like with most talented artists, he rewards your patience.

Piecing together tunes and stories from as far back as 2005, the album was a long time in the making, but one well worth the time.

“I planned to make it seven years ago,” Blakeslee says via phone when we connect. “I ended up making two others in between. I knew I wanted The Alley Walker to be a little more explosive, take a few more risks.”

Those explosive risks are dutifully explored and artfully executed with the help of producer Chris Chase and the backing talents of the Callabash Club. Longtime Blakeslee listeners will recognize the tunes, but the songs come alive on the record, capturing the band’s propulsive energetic live sound and giving life to Blakeslee’s vivid storytelling.

The songs take seed from Dan’s wanderings, with references to his time in Somerville (“The Somerville Line”), New Hampshire (“Pride of the Picataqua”), and the road (“Lone Star”, written in New Orleans). The album’s title track closes the album, a fitting capstone to complete the album’s journey. But like a record on repeat, Blakeslee recently found himself in a similar mental state as when he first wrote “The Alley Walker” more than 11 years ago. In a scramble to pay for the studio time, Blakeslee again took on more and more art projects, leading to an eerily similar mindset as to his first writing and lending a prescient tone to his work in the studio.

The album now complete, Dan Blakeslee and the Callabash Club no longer need to hide and shirk in alleys. In fact, they sound ready for the spotlight.

We are honored to be the first to share “A Golden Turn” from "The Alley Walker". In Dan's words:

"I have been playing music for over two decades and have known both triumph and struggle alike. I wrote "A Golden Turn" in hopes of seeking a little more balance to finally get to a more fruitful place in my career. Every day I am so grateful to be doing music and art for a living... it's not an easy road but I wouldn't want it any other way!"

 

 

 

Words // Brian Hodge

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