If you miss the straight-talking side of Jeff Tweedy, get to know Chris Allen

by Woody on April 8, 2008

Chris Allen

Now that you know what Paste Magazine has to say about Chris Allen, let me give you my two cents. This guy is a really talented singer/songwriter capable of great things. I’m not so sure I fully embrace the Tweedy analogy; I’d say Chris channels more of a Paul Westerberg vibe, but in the end it doesn’t matter. A few Friday nights ago, I was lucky enough to catch him play a showcase at a dive bar in the middle of nowhere. Technically it was in Chicago, but I’ve never trodden down any of the trails around WeeGee’s Bar before┬Žit definitely was off the beaten path.

My friend Jon turned me on to Chris when he was still a member of Rosavelt and I’ve loosely followed Chris’ career ever since. His last album, Good-Bye Girl and the Big Apple Circus, had its share of stand out tracks (Tilt-A-Whirl, Back to Zero, Girls of ’91) and always seemed to be a mainstay on my iPod. So when Jon invited me to the showcase that he helped organize I happily went.

Things started off with a bang. Chris opened the show with the rollicking title track to the new album, Things Unbroken, and I found myself bobbing my head and tapping my toes from the first note. I was hooked. The vocals had just the right amount of grit to withstand the counterpunching harmonies from a very competent backing band. It was a great start to an evening that featured lots of new rockers”Renegade, Like We are in School and the mid-tempo, Lou Reed-ish Welcome to the Bigs”plus some stuff off his first solo album, including the aforementioned Tilt-A-Whirl and Back to Zero. Overall it was a highly enjoyable show. I didn’t hesitate buying the new disc and have already given it a few spins. I have a feeling it too will be a mainstay in my library for some time.

Chris is definitely a guy more people should know about. His new disc proves that point (it was produced by Don Dixon of early REM fame). Check out his website for more info.

Chris Allen – Things Unbroken

Chris Allen – I Am The Enemy

Chris Allen – One Day Our Bad Luck Is Going To Save Us

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody April 8, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Moish, thanks for inviting me to the showcase. I had a great time. Oh wait, I didn’t go. But I do appreciate the heads up. This is a good stuff.

Scott May 3, 2008 at 10:12 am

Chris Allen greatly desrves NATIONAL recognition.
Chris can write and perform with the best of them: Josh, Paul, Jeff, to name a few.

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