From the beginning up to Landmarks, Blade says, all of the group's albums have had journey-like aspects to them. It's "like a trip you're taking through songs and landscapes and experiences and memories all sort of coalescing along this ten-song stretch of land," he says. "I guess there is a thread in the title composition, which was written by Jon Cowherd. And Jon — ever since we met in 1988 in New Orleans at Loyola, he's just been an inspiration and such a great friend. The reason I started writing myself was because of Jon."

For Landmarks, "the title felt like, 'Okay, this is where we are now, marked by this," Blade points out. "All the themes on the record touch on that sort of, I guess, a place, a situation. 'Ark.La.Tex.' is sort of the tri-state region in northwest Louisiana where Shreveport is. I wanted to write about that, because obviously, it's just my roots, where I'm from."

Elsewhere on the disc, Blade pays tribute to his mother, Dorothy, on "Friends Call Her Dot"; two of his nieces, on "Bonnie Be Good"; and, on "Farewell Bluebird," a cafe that he used to frequent. While Blade says he can't recall where some songs for Landmarks were written ("It could be in a hotel room in Budapest"), he knows that some of them were written in Portland, Oregon, where he lived with his wife before they moved back to Shreveport.

Location Info


Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge

930 Lincoln St.
Denver, CO 80203

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Central Denver


Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band, 7 and 9 p.m., Saturday, February 15, and 6 and 8 p.m., Sunday, February 16, Dazzle, 930 Lincoln Street, $25, 303-839-5100.

"A lot of the songs that I wrote for this record were born there," he recalls, "particularly 'Embers,' I know for sure, because I remember the night when I overlooked the city from where we were living, and in the darkness [there was] this shimmering of light — it looked like coals had been raked over. I thought, 'Wow, this is feeding me something.'"

While Blade composes his songs on guitar (and he credits producer and songwriter Daniel Lanois as the main reason he started playing guitar), Cowherd writes on the piano. "I think it's mostly because of our bond, our friendship," Blade concludes. "With Jon composing for the band in his corner of the world and me in my mind, when they come together, they seem to coexist and hopefully create a listening experience that is connected."

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last nights sets were and are magical. so many friends were there on and off stage, thanks to all especially Kevin Lee, super genius!!!! tonite awaits us all for the transcending experience. question is: how can there be evil in the world ,when such beauty touched us all last night?????

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