Even a casual glance at www.allermanmusic.com will tell you he’s performing all over southern Ontario with his guitar and harmonica.

For his albums, though, he usually adds some old friends from his Fathead days. The proceedings don’t get too loud as these players like to keep it intimate. Al has nine songs ready and one updated traditional one plus a guest of note. I would imagine the woods near his home don’t look quite like that cover at the moment but swampy is still a good descriptor of the music. “Down to the River” is a welcome addition to the songs about the pleasures of fishing. Chuck Keeping is at the drum kit, Alec Fraser is on double bass & harmony vocals, and Lance Anderson tickles the ivories. Some Chicago blues colour his “You Think You Know Me” featuring some of his fine harp work. They speed that sound up a little and add a little country flavour for “Dirty Little Secret”. “Red Maple Road” borrows a little bit from John D. Loudermilk’s “Tobacco Road” in this version but its doom-laden lyrics make this Fathead song something else entirely. The guest of note is old friend Morgan Davis, a duo partner for many years. The harp instrumental “Delta Stomp” is credited to everyone and may well have been created on the spot. I hope more was recorded as everyone is clearly having a very good time. Deep Elum was the blues section of Dallas TX where Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lead Belly hung out. This take on the traditional “Deep Elum Blues” is a highlight among highlights for me. Al picks up his tenor sax for some soul blues with “A Few More Miles to Go”, a road song from someone who knows the road. One of his most attractive melodies graces “What’ll I Do (Without You)”. Alec Fraser adds a most effective 2nd guitar part. He concludes with a plea the break the chains and stop the “Hand-Me-Down Hate”. Musically a little different but heartfelt. The official release date is April 12th. He doesn’t have any shows in town in the next while yet but if you’re out of town, check out the web site, he has many new songs to play for you.

April 2019 - Murray Porter
April 2019 - Harpdog Brown