On the heels of releasing his debut solo CD When The Demons Come, Toronto singer/songwriter Dave Allen is including Red Deer on his current Canadian trek.
He performs May 9th at The Funhaus (Unit 6, 4940 54th Ave).
For tickets, check out www.shows.sidedooraccess.com. They will also be available at the door.
Fans have come to know Allen’s artistry via his involvement with the collective Stonetrotter, but his solo work has provided him the means to funnel his country, folk, blues and gospel influences into a compelling collection that was recorded over the course of a year.
Allen had an early introduction to the magic of music via his folks.
“My mother played violin in school when she was a girl back in England,” he explained during a recent interview. “And my dad was a guitar player. When they got together, mom was really shy and she didn’t play the violin in front of anybody. But eventually, dad convinced her to start jamming with him. I grew up in that environment.
“They loved jamming, so they’d hang out together doing Jimi Hendrix covers or the campfire songs of the time. So that was probably my first foray into performance music.”
When he was in Grade 2 or 3, he also knew he had to learn to play guitar.
“Just like many others, you see it and when you really want to start playing it, you just start doing it,” he said. “I was also fortunate enough to have a mother and father who loved it, and we had the instruments around the house. So from that early age, you just sort of start hooking onto these things.”
By high school, he felt confident to start writing his own tunes and launching his own bands.
As his own unique creativity took shape, opportunities kept coming his way.
“At the time, it wasn’t so much about thinking, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It was more, this is what I want to do right now! It was also a good outlet for me, dealing with whatever issues you deal with as a teenager.”
He did attend college, but passion to write and perform music was always never far from his thoughts.
“The music kind of took over while I was still in school.”
He moved back to Barrie when his dad passed away in 2012, and that’s also the time when Stonetrotter essentially came to be. “I met some other musicians – I’d go see their bands play, and they were just fantastic.”
Allen would fill in from time to time in various bands, and eventually, the collective came about.
From those experiences, Allen grew in his own confidence to record his own material his way.
“I was always writing and recording things myself, but I didn’t necessarily have the confidence to perform it in front of people.
“But being in the band and working with five other people – we could build something together and go out there and perform it. That helped significantly, and it also made me a better musician, too.”
For When The Demons Come, Allen was also determined to apply the technical skills he had learned along the way to making his first solo effort.
“I’ve always been a fan of DIY culture and I’m naturally inclined to take on projects where part of the creation process is also learning to create,” he said. “For When The Demons Come, I used everything I knew, and relied heavily on my ear.
“I enjoy working this way, and right now, at least, I plan to approach my next record with the same DIY mentality, and further develop my skills in terms of home recording and producing.”