Baltimore native Guy Blakeslee moved to LA years ago, but he still returns regularly to perform in his home city, and on Tuesday last week he played a solo set at The Crown. Blakeslee began his solo career in the early 2000s performing under the name Entrance, changing it to The Entrance Band in 2009 when he was joined by Paz Lenchantin on bass and Derek James on drums. In 2014 he released his first solo album in a decade (and the first under his own name), Ophelia Slowly, and just this month he released an album of instrumental pieces titled The Middle Sister.
Though The Entrance Band is well known in psychedelic rock circles, Blakeslee’s performance at The Crown was an entirely acoustic affair that drew its inspiration from folk, blues and gospel, as interpreted through his warbling falsetto. While it focused primarily on new material, with songs such as “The Avenue,” “Our Time (Baltimore),” and “The Answer Within” which have not (yet) made it to a studio recording, one Entrance track, “Prayer of Death” (from the 2006 album of the same name) made an appearance, and Blakeslee ended the show by putting his guitar down for a spirited a cappella cover of Fred Neil’s “Green Rocky Road” (with some modified lyrics of his own).
Though Blakeslee received top billing for the night, he actually played the middle set. Before him was Peals, the instrumental project of William Cashion of Future Islands and Bruce Willen of Double Dagger. He was followed by a set from Baltimore indie pop band Other Colors to round out the night.