Polaroid: Guy Blakeslee Puts Denver in a Trance

Growing up in a digital age, I learned very young that photography could be something used quite carelessly with the hopes that maybe one click out of several hundred would turn out half decent.

In high school I began messing around with disposable and old 35mm cameras I would find at thrift stores and garage sales. My mother gave me an old Polaroid she had, and instantly I was in love. Polaroids have a strange way of igniting a feeling of nostalgia that's difficult to achieve with any of medium. People, much like Polaroids, are flawed, and the two work together to create an image that is both familiar and relateable. In order to present a different view of Denver's music world, we'll publish a series of profiles accompanied by Polaroids here on Backbeat.

I first heard Guy Blakeslee's music years ago under the moniker Entrance and was instantly enthralled. Haunting bluesy psych rock fronted by a Syd Barrett look alike? Sign me up. Guy and I formed an unlikely friendship some time ago when I contacted him about guitar lessons, not knowing he was the man behind the project I loved so much. Guitar lessons never happened, but Guy's been busy playing and recently released Ophelia Slowly, his first solo album in ten years.

This new album touches on a different sound, quite distant from previous albums, and it's probably the most personal and raw of Blakeslee's work. After plans for an interview were thwarted by a field trip to Guitar Center, I wandered over to the Gothic Theater, where he was playing last week.

Everything faded when Guy came on stage, clad in a wool pinstripe three piece suit, guitar, and hand bells. While he typically relies solely on live instruments, Guy's subtle use of a laptop didn't take away from the vocal-heavy songs of the new album. Opening with "Year of the Dragon" and playing just about every song from Ophelia Slowly, Guy's passionate live show put the audience in a trance. He brought the night to an end in the most perfect way possible with "City in the Rain," a moody ballad, complete with shirtless twirls and make-shift amplifier podiums. Whether performing as Entrance, the Entrance Band, or his own name, Guy Blakeslee's show is not to be missed.

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Taylor Boylston
Contact: Taylor Boylston