B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Dan Blakeslee: A merman!
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it? How’d it come calling to you?
Blakeslee: I come from a family of musicians. Even on my days off I am compelled to write and play music… you could say it is an obsession. My music calling came at art school some 23 years back when I needed a diversion from making art. Music wasn’t calling me it was yelling!
B&L: What’s the making of a great show?
Blakeslee: The audience is as important to the show as the performer. And when they connect it’s magical.
B&L: Let’s talk about your impending release, “The Alley Walker.” This is an epic undertaking for you. What sort of goals did you have for yourself when you set out to make this record?
Blakeslee: Of course when making a new album the goal is to make it your best effort ever… and that’s exactly what it feels like we did to me. I couldn’t have made this record without my band Mike Effenberger, Nick Phaneuf and Jim Rudolf. I am forever grateful for those boys!
B&L: What’s life like sneaking around in the alley?
Blakeslee: Terrible. Every once in a while I take on too many projects and have to steer clear of the main drag as to not get hounded. To no fault but my own.
B&L: Is songwriting an easy or arduous process for you? Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants kind of writer, or do you schedule “office hours”?
Blakeslee: I only write when it hits me… while dreaming, while driving… Whenever it happens I don’t let it pass. I never force songs.
B&L: You’ve spent an awful lot of time in New Hampshire over the span of your career (maybe “awful” isn’t the right word…) What do you enjoy about the Granite State? You ever spend much time with the Old Man of the Mountain?
Blakeslee: I love the Granite State and always have. I’ve written many songs in the White Mountains, along the rivers and wandering the streets… I never take any of it for granted.
B&L: You recently moved to Rhode Island. I know it hasn’t been too long, but, how are things going?
Blakeslee: Things are well down here in Providence, RI. Still in the adjustment period but it is such a wonderful place to be. I have been playing shows down here for 20 years and have a lot of musical comrades and friends. And coffee cabinets!
B&L: What are you looking for folks to take away from the music of Dan Blakeslee when they place themselves in a position to experience it?
Blakeslee: A dip into my life, my stories, the twists and turns I weave into my songs from true life experiences. Hop aboard!
B&L: What’s one tune (or, heck, a couple) that exists out there in the ether that blows you away that you kind of wish you had written yourself?
Blakeslee: “Pool Hall Clickety Clack” – Michael Hurley. “So Long Marianne” – Leonard Cohen
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see you perform at the Word Barn on May 19th?
Blakeslee: I will be playing many new songs from my upcoming album, “The Alley Walker.” And just wait to y’all hear my friend Will Kindler… Hot damn!
B&L: Question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
Blakeslee: Welp… I do love eggs… Over hard please (with a little salt and pepper). This is very sincere.
Dan Blakeslee makes his Word Barn debut on Friday, May 19th. Eggs will be had. Songs will be shared. Come by? Information here.