Dan Blakeslee: Live at Laconia Prison

I’m about to walk out the door, Gershwin‘s Summertime is on the stereo. Stabarific and I are leaving the mainland for a weekend PaisleyTunes fact finding mission on Nantucket Island (remember our last Nantucket post?).

But before I go, because I love you, I am going to remind you about a great Boston musician, Dan Blakeslee. I serendipitously happened upon Dan in the Davis Square T-Train station and coaxed seven classic albums out of him (all for your listening pleasure, of course).

He instructed me to listen to them during their appropriate seasons and I am abiding. Luckily, I can still tell you about a few of them. In 2005, Blakeslee, following in one of his hero’s footsteps, took a trip to the Laconia State Prison, a facility that only a decade earlier was a hundred-year-old mental institution. Formerly known as the Laconia State School, the site has since been converted to New Hampshire’s sole facility devoted to the incarceration of the developmentally disabled (as mandated by a 1994 NH state law).

Live at Laconia Prison is a work of art. While it is difficult to capture the full passion of Dan Blakeslee on recording, of all his albums, I believe State Prison draws closest. Surrounded by criminals, aged masonry, and barbed wire, Dan subdues spirit & villain alike.

PaisleyPublishers are no mindless sycophants, Blakeslee is truly talented and deserving of far broader fame. And that, dear readers, is a chore I leave mostly up to you.


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