Feel These Blues
American Showplace Music
Raised in Alabama, Slam Allen played drums in his families soul band “The Allen Brothers”, led by his father and uncles. Therefore Allen was schooled in the music of Otis Redding, Albert King, B.B. King, James Brown and Wilson Pickett. It wasn’t long before Allen picked up the guitar. Allen’s last studio recording was 2010’s “This World” released on Soul Working Man Records.
For nine years Allen was the front man for The James Cotton Blues Band. Super harpist Cotton who no longer sings utilized Allen as vocalist, lead guitarist, and sometimes co-writer. Allen’s T-bone Walker styled guitar and vocals are featured on Cotton’s “Giant” album, on Alligator Records, which received a nomination for Traditional Blues Album of the Year at the 2011 Blues Music Awards.
Allen’s band includes long time associate Jeff Anderson, bass guitar; Dan Fadel, drums and percussion; and John Ginty, Hammond B-3 organ and piano. The album is produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Ben Elliot at his American Showplace Music Studios in Dover, N.J.
Allen has written eleven new songs. The title track opens with a guitar riff as he is quickly joined by Fadel’s drums and Ginty’s B-3. Allen’s vocal clarity helps accentuate the words that tell us his story. “I been around a long time and you know I’ve paid some dues, come on and “Feel These Blues”.
Allen’s Otis Redding influence can be heard on two Memphis styled soul tunes. “In September” and “Can’t Break Away From That Girl”. My other favorites are the emotive “That’s Where You Are” and “You’re Wrong”. Bassist Anderson is featured on “35 Miles Outside of Memphis”.
Allen closes out the album with his only cover. It’s his version of Prince’s “Purple Rain”. Ginty’s organ playing is highly evocative.
Each of the songs on the album could be considered for airplay as this is the break through album we have been waiting for from Slam Allen. This is highly recommended.