Bukka Allen

Bukka Allen
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Seven damn years. Thats how long the lucky few who happened upon and fell in love with Bukka Allens quietly self-released gem of a debut, 1998s Sweet Valentine, have had to wait for a follow-up. Seven long years in which the Los Angeles-born, Berklee-certified, Austin-based and road-tested singer-songwriter busied himself as an in-demand session and touring keyboardist for hire, a film and commercial composer, and, most recently, a producer all the while squirreling away the work and life experiences that would, at long last, coalesce into a new tableau of hauntingly beautiful songs dubbed Confidante. Bolder and, startlingly, even darker than its predecessor (which might have been more accurately titled Bittersweet Valentine), Confidante chronicles Allens ongoing artistic search for, as he puts it, "some beauty in the darkness." It's a quest all but hardwired into his DNA as apt a description of his own music as that of his father, maverick songwriter and acclaimed visual artist Terry Allen (of Juarez and Lubbock on Everything fame). But make no mistake: Confidante, like Sweet Valentine before it, reveals the younger Allen to be an artistic voice unique unto himself. His songs are marked by a dreamlike quality as full of mystery (and yes, beauty) as the shadows and lost souls lingering in Confidante's "Cadillac Hotel," albeit always shot through with an undercurrent of palpable tension that breaks through in full, jolting force on the new album's unapologetically aggressive and apocalyptic title track. "This record, more than anything else, represents an independence that I didnt have during the time Sweet Valentine was made," says Allen. "I think its a natural progression, an extension of who I am and where I stand these days." As to where he stands on matters of love, the human condition and even politics, the lyrics speak (or, in the case of the aforementioned "Confidante," roar) for themselves. Musically, Confidante reveals a pronounced leap in confidence for Allen, honed by more than 13 years as a professional musician working with artists ranging from (most recently) The Bodeans and David Baerwald to fellow Texans like Ian Moore, Joe Ely, Jack Ingram and, naturally, his father. Apart from Confidante and his roadwork, much of Allen's artistic energies of late have been channeled through Screen Door Music, the Austin-based instrumental trio he formed five years ago with guitarist Robbie Gjersoe and cellist Bryan Standefer. Ostensibly created to compose film, theatrical and multi-media scores, Screen Door Music was also the driving instrumental and production force behind 2004's exemplary 13 Ways to Live, a striking collection of life-during-wartime songs by such acclaimed songwriters as Alejandro Escovedo, Butch Hancock, Patty Griffin and Terry Allen. In the wake of 13 Ways to Live, it was only natural for Allen to decide to record and produce his new solo album with his Screen Door Music cohorts, along with friends and fellow Austin music scene veterans Chris Searles (drums), George Reif, Chris White and Paul Bryant (bass), Pam Miller (background vocals) and Will Sexton (guitar). The result? For those whove long wondered if Bukka Allen would ever deliver in full on the promise of Sweet Valentine, Confidante is both vindication and sweet reward. And for newcomers to the twilit, narcotic dreamscape of Allen's music, well, here's hoping you don't have to wait seven years for your next fix.
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Average Rating : 5              Total Reviews: 1

Bukka Allen  02/11/2006            
Ms Avery
I grew up knowing Bukka & his family..saw nothing but talent from each and everyone of them!!! Love their creativity, uniqueness and drive! Have always been a fan and will always support this amazing person & his family! 5stars! Ms DAnn NoHo/CA
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