Fresno Beehive

Rogue Review: ‘Chelsea > Blake’ is a quirky family-art show about being a dinosaur, or maybe not that at all

The set list from “Chelsea  Blake,” playing at the 2017 Rogue Festival.
The set list from “Chelsea Blake,” playing at the 2017 Rogue Festival. The Fresno Bee

If you want to get deep with Blake Jones’ latest Rogue Festival outing, you certainly can.

There are themes that run through the 45-min show, which the musician performs alongside his daughter Chelsea, with the help of friends Jeff Bowman and Terry Barnes.

The show opens and closes with songs about dinosaurs, specifically people as metaphoric dinosaurs, which could be a comment on an aging artist/musician finding his place in a world where they increasing feel obsolete.

Or maybe not.

Jones put together the show with his daughter, and the name, “Chelsea > Blake” (or Chelsea greater than Blake), suggests (at least jokingly) a father and daughter competing (while being totally supportive) as artists/poets/musicians.

Or, again, maybe not.

But both those ideas struck me during Jones’ introduction of “And the Ghost Ship Sails On,” a song about the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland. Chelsea was affected directly by the fire, she knew people who were there and died. That affected Jones enough to write the song.

Of course, one doesn’t need to pull deeper meaning to get something from the show.

On its face, this was an entertaining collective concert. Jones did a few songs (including one of my favorites, “Andy Story”) and Chelsea did a few songs and they did a few songs together. At the end, they did the requisite sing-along (with Jones in an adult-sized Dinosaur onesy to boot).


And then this happened and it was magical. @roguefestival #roguefestival2017

A post shared by Josh Tehee (@joshuatehee) on

Stray observations:

▪ Chelsea’s songs were particularly raw, powerful and poetic. She needs to be playing more around town, so let me encourage that here.

▪ Jones and Bowman did two theramin/steel drum numbers, during which it looks like Jones was humming along, almost as if he was making the noise, ventriloquist style. They did a Chopin number and a slow-pace version of Dick Dale’s “Miserlou.” It should not be understated how interesting and cool the songs were.

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee

Chelsea > Blake

  • 6:45 p.m. tonight; 3 p.m. March 11
  • Veni Vidi Vici
  • $5