Dan Blakeslee has long been one of New England’s true folk treasures. Now, on the eve of his first-ever official* appearance at Newport Folk Festival this Sunday, the Maine native has released a video for his song “The Tattooed Man And The Saint”. Watch it below via YouTube.
We asterisk that “official” in the previous sentence (and “first” in the headline) because Blakeslee has played Newport Folk before, and the experience is what led him to pen “The Tattooed Man And The Saint” in the first place. Back in 2012, he attended the Rhode Island festival to see two friends perform, Joe Fletcher and Jonah Tolchin.
“At dusk the musicians stood atop Fort Adams after a hard rain, watching the arresting tangerine-colored sunset over the bay, the fire on the sea,” the story goes. “An impromptu jamboree broke out as Joe Fletcher handed Blakeslee his guitar. Overjoyed, he began to play.”
Fletcher serves as the “tattooed man,” and Tolchin as the “saint.”
And on Sunday, when he performs the Late July stage, Blakeslee plays the role of himself, 20 years in the making.
The video for “The Tattooed Man And The Saint” was shot in DIY fashion with a lo-fi approach in the various locations where Blakeslee began as a songwriter and performer some two decades: street corners in Ogunquit, Maine; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Boston, Massachusetts, among other spots. The “pinhole photo effect” was created by drilling a hole through a bottle cap and attaching it to the lens, filming with a zoom Q2 camera.