The title isn’t for nothing. Dan Blakeslee‘s latest effort continues his tradition of meandering tales of his travels around the country and the signature finger picking sound that emanates from the octo-guitar slung across his chest, but the record as a whole takes on a warmer, full vibe…yes, perhaps ala the Band…this time around. And that, my friends is a welcome addition.
Songs like the fabled “Johnny and June”, which Blakeslee has previously told me he was able to sing on the steps of one of Cash’s homes during a tour, amongst members of his family, really engulfs that full sound. It echoes through other tracks like “Ready for the Cinema”with the keys playing an integral role in the sound of driving the songs to their peak points.
And where the record as a collection embraces the bigger sound of thumping bass and riveting piano and organ, its “The Bandit” that really captures my attention and locks me in. Perhaps its the way it is juxtaposed with the majority of the album that makes it stand out, but I think its a bit something more. Blakeslee takes on a beautifully brilliant sincerity. Bordering heartache and regret, but with the positive light that seems to surround this man at all points of his life. He, and his songs are a beacon…as the song emulates.
I hope you’re feeling better,
Not bitter in the end.
I only wanted love for you…
To be your beacon…
After a 3 year wait from his last record, The Alley Walker is out today, you can stream it below, but highly suggest getting something created by the man, the artist, the legend who is Dan Blakeslee along with your songs. A shirt, a print, or some vinyl? Do it.