Looking for a local and inexpensive activity that’s fun for all ages on Monday? Visit Holcomb Farm for a spooky, funny, “odd folk” concert featuring Halloween troubadour Dr. Gasp, the alter ego of Boston musician Dan Blakeslee.
The one-man show, called the 10th Annual Halloween Special, features a full band sound, an elaborate costume and stage show and Blakeslee’s original works, which recall novelty horror and Halloween-themed songs from decades past, along with a few covers of those popular Halloween songs including the enduring “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett.
“That’s one of the big inspirations for what I do,” Blakeslee said.
Blakeslee is on a 31-stop tour of New England, which was painstakingly arranged to create a jack-o-lantern on maps of southern New England when the dots are connected. Granby helps form the mouth of the jack-o-lantern and allows Blakeslee to visit his aunt, uncle and cousins, the Blakeslees of Granby. Besides the barn of Holcomb Farm, Blakeslee has performed at seasonally appropriate locations including a swamp and in front of a castle and a covered bridge.
Blakeslee, a veteran singer-songwriter whose regular works are more contemplative, serious folk songs that do feature some comedic twists, created the comic persona about 10 years ago. He decided to perform an original, Halloween-themed song and although he apologized to the audience afterward, the reaction from the audience was very positive.
“If you mixed the ‘Monster Mash,’ Tom Waits and Tiny Tim together, [that’s the Dr. Gasp sound],” Blakeslee said. “It’s definitely odd folk.”
Blakeslee said that kids gravitate towards the Dr. Gasp sound and the spooky show isn’t too intense for children. Blakeslee pays a lot of attention to his audience — easy to do in an intimate setting like Holcomb Farm —and makes sure everyone has a good time and doesn’t get too frightened.
You can see Dr. Gasp perform at Holcomb Farm (111 Simsbury Road, West Granby) Monday, Oct. 15 starting at 6 p.m. Tickets cost only $5. To learn more about Dr. Gasp, visit his website. You can see the music video for his song “Vampire Fish” in the YouTube video attached to this story.