COLLABORATION - Lunch At Allen’s

Lunch at Allen’s includes Red Deer on current tour

Tour features four top hitmakers in a single performance

BY MARK WEBER

Lacombe Express

Lunch At Allen’s is a musical powerhouse comprised of four remarkable Canadian talents Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas.

And they are on their way to Red Deer with a performance set for Oct. 21st at the Red Deer Memorial Centre. Showtime is 7:30 pm.

As individuals, they have written for or sung on over 25,000,000 CDs, penning hits for such stars as Josh Groban, Chicago, Bonnie Raitt, America, Santana, Cher and Rod Stewart, as well as McLauchlan’s Farmer’s Song, Jordan’s Marina Del Rey and Thomas’s Painted Ladies, just to name a few.

These artists have come together adding the incredible voice of Church (Quartette, Great Western Orchestra) to form Lunch At Allen’s.

Their stage show is intimate and humorous, featuring many songs familiar to anyone who has turned on a radio in the past two decades.

“It’s the four of us and we’re all singers/songwriters in our own ways, but we do the show like we are a band,” explained Jordan during a recent chat. “We all play together, and so there’s a lot of songs that people will know. Between me, Ian and Murray, we’ve had a lot of hits.

“There’s also a lot of interaction with the audience,” added Jordan, who is married to gifted Canadian songstress Amy Sky. Meanwhile, the group also recently finished a new CD which will be released at some point in the coming weeks. Tunes from that project will be featured during the show as well.

As to their history, the group was originally meant to embark on a single tour together. But there was such a remarkable chemistry to their shows, that it became not only an ongoing thing but also a collaborative efforts on several recording projects as well.

“Murray used to have these lunches at Allen’s Restaurant here in Toronto. A lot of people came, and one time there was Ian and a few other people,” Jordan explains. “Murray was saying that he’d been asked to do this songwriting circle and that he didn’t want to do it, but he said, ‘I’ll do it if you guys will do it.’

“He also said, ‘I don’t want to do it as a songwriter’s circle I want to do it like a band’,” said Jordan, who is probably, according to his web site, best known for penning Rhythm of My Heart which of course Rod Stewart took to extraordinary heights of popularity. To date, the tune has racked up a cumulative global sales in excess of 15 million units.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Canadian singer Charles Jordan, Marc grew up in a musical household in Toronto after his father returned to Canada. “I was born in New York because he worked a lot in New York.” As to his knack for penning hits, he simply noted that, “It’s kind of in the gene pool.”

Marc is also dyslexic, which of course makes his creation of music that much more impressive. “So I developed a good ear. And I was born at the right time because really, it wasn’t so much about reading music as it was about making music up when I starting to write music in the late 1960s.

“Nobody told you how to do it. And it certainly wasn’t note taking it was done with chord charts which I could handle.

“But what I’ve learned is that all of these so-called handicaps you just find a different way to do what you want. I’m dyslexic, but I make my living out of writing words.”

But back to the inception of Lunch at Allen’s. “There was an agent in the audience, and he said, ‘Do you want to do a couple more?’ And we said okay. That was 10 years ago, and we’ve just kept going.

“We’re all veterans, and we don’t have any egos,” he said, adding the experience of performing live is something each of the artists has a lengthy history doing.

Meanwhile, he’s certainly had a rich artistic journey all his own.

He’s had countless tunes covered by everyone from Bette Midler and Cher to Bonnie Raitt and Josh Groban. “It’s really gratifying. The people that have done my songs have been wonderful singers and they’ve brought something to it.

“Ninety-nine per cent of it has been great. I’m grateful and <span class="n_