Dan Blakeslee sure is one prolific synesthete. A stroll through Blakesleeland reveals illustrations of deeply colored characters with flowing forms while gentle, warm-hearted folk float along in the background. Think of the early Wilco album you love on a June evening.

Blakeslee also once played Cash-style for hundreds of inmates at Laconia State Prison. For a humble guy with a whimsical portfolio and a soft alt-country sound, this and other stories provide all kinds of extra intrigue to a true New England artist.

GO recently interviewed Blakeslee to peel back a couple more layers.

How has (the latest CD) “Tatnic Tales” been received so far? Why was it important to you to have a limited edition silk-screen release and number each of the prints?

“Tatnic Tales” has had a good response locally. I am looking forward to seeing what people from across the map think of the record.

I almost feel like it’s my debut, and in a way it is, as this marks my first recording together with my band, the Calabash Club.

When I did the cover art, I made it to LP specs without thinking about CD format. I wanted to make the art intricate so you can really get inside the gatefold cover. I am a collector of anything silk-screened, so I was compelled to do it.

Also, when someone puts a handmade touch on a record, I always pay special attention to it.

You’re going on a New England island tour this summer, which is a pretty unique approach to hitting the hot spots in the area. What prompted the idea?

I had been trying to do this for the past few summers with snags here and there and being anchored (pun intended) by responsibilities at home. So this year, I am spreading it out a little bit over the summer, as lining up consecutive tour dates on the mainland is hard enough without an ocean in the way.

I hope to perform on at least seven islands in New England between June and August.

Whom do you count among your top songwriting influences?

My influences change quite a bit. I am really into Michael Hurley, Leonard Cohen, Iron and Wine — a guy named Dylan, too.

How does your experience as an illustrator inform your music and vice versa?

I listen to a lot of records while illustrating, which then inspires me to play music, which eventually ping-pongs me back to the drawing board. Repeat.

What was it like performing at a prison a la Johnny Cash?

A couple hundred men in bright-orange suits waiting to hear a skinny white kid tell his stories was intimidating and exhilarating. When I was packing up, a few of the prisoners made the kindest remarks about the performance. It was a complete honor playing at Laconia. I never intended to follow in the footsteps of the Man in Black — I was offered the gig and didn’t seek it out — though he did enter my mind when I hit the stage, and my heart was racing to catch up.

In what ways will the next record try to achieve something different from “Tatnic Tales?”

The new album will be more of an electric record, though I won’t abandon the acoustic vibe completely. It will be called “The Alley Walker.” I still want to use the same engineer, Ron Harrity, as he captures the very life of the room in his recordings. I am not thinking about it at the moment because, honestly, I want to give “Tatnic Tales” a chance to steep.

Who inspires you most among Maine musicians?

Slaid Cleaves, Micah Blue Smaldone, Phantom Buffalo, Harpswell Sound.

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland and Boston.