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I am an American musician. I live in Southeast Ohio. The new single, “All the Way”, is a full band production recorded in studio in early 2012 and is the first record available to purchase.

In these recordings I tried to marry a fresh, vibrant, inspiring sound with heavy current topics. Primarily globalization, it's effect on America and Americans and also to try to encourage people to be excited for the future and the possibilities that are opening up for people around the world. The title track, “All the Way”, is about the journey taken by America since the Revolutionary War and the dominant forces that define modern day. It’s about the major influence of the industrial age giving way to the new world order and the effects of globalism on the general population. It’s about taking advantage of the opportunities given to our privileged generations and adapting to imminent change.

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The second song on the record is called “Believe”. “Believe” is a song aimed at declaring the new ideals possible in a world that was never imaginable in the generations upon which we base tradition. It’s about redefining the goals of society based on new possibilities introduced by new technology, a greater understanding of and respect for world cultures, and a highly educated enlightened global population. “Believe” is about declaring the politics of the future based on ethical ideals and not religious dogma and about championing pluralism in all facets of society.

The final song on the new release is called “Askin’ ya Plain”. This song a thinly veiled love song that sounds on the surface like a story of reluctant love and the fears associated with forming a new relationship, but below the surface is really a story about civilization decline and how quickly time can change what once seemed iron clad into nothing but a memory. The song is asking the listener if they’re going to try to adapt and change to a new way of doing things or will they fight to preserve tradition.

I am working on several other projects, as well, with the goal of presenting myself as a dynamic artist worth paying attention to. In my rawest form my sound is acoustic; bluesy and folky, with a heavy emphasis on rhythm and scales intended to frame and lay a backdrop for powerful vocal arrangements. In an attempt to broaden my appeal and attract a diverse audience I have several ongoing side-projects with different producers. We attempt to fuse my traditional Americana songwriting with different pop styles and to explore new avenues of creation.

  • Michael Linder has a background primarily in writing beats for hip hop musicians. We combine our musical talents to create songs that are upbeat and fun, but we try to retain something of a grounded, acoustic sound. We call the genre beat-folk, examples of which are the songs “Oil” and “Bootleggin”.
  • Bryan Lewis has a pristine, vanguard approach to recording that is clean and tight, highly produced and beautifully stylized. He is extremely talented at producing a variety of well crafted songs that present a range of instrumentation and balance of sound. Examples of our collaborations are the songs “Chains” and “Armor”.

I am working on projects with both Michael and Bryan independent of one another, wherein they act as producer. Both albums will soon be made available. In the meantime, please enjoy the free listens from those projects as well as my solo work.

I am also working in the studio on a full-length album that is mostly a stripped down solo presentation with minimal instrumental support. The overall mood will be mellower than “All the Way”, it will be available later this summer. Most of the songs on this album ask questions, rather than suggesting answers, to some of the major themes in our ever-changing, highly complex world. Some of the topics I explore in this album are globalization and world politics as I do in the songs “Eastern Wind” and "iandI".

“Eastern Wind” is a plea to the leaders of a burgeoning global society to lead the world rather than rule over it; to use reason, logic, and compassion when making decisions and not bias their decisions based solely on personal interest; to include rather than alienate, and to inspire and motivate rather than suppress. It’s about hope for the future and about merging East and West into a union that serves both sides of the world in the interest of peace and mutual prosperity.

“I&I” is a term borrowed from Rastafarian culture that recognizes that humans exist as both individuals and universal beings. It’s a recognition that we are not just ourselves, but also a piece of something larger. The story in the song is mostly borrowed from Daniel Quinn’s “Ismael”. The song starts by describing the formation of human life, then humans become self aware, then split into progressive society as opposed to primitive society. It’s about what’s lost and what’s gained by the taking of fate into the hands of man.

“Stand” is about the depths of the human psyche. It’s another song presented as a simple love song, but just beneath the surface is a story of the different layers that make up the characters’ personality. The song starts when the main character becomes aware of their own complacency. They try to reconnect with their Id after realizing that the comfort they’ve grown to enjoy has to be shed in the interest of self-protection. They must reconnect with their animal instinct so that they can fight for survival in a world rising in chaos.

The album has several other songs that range in themes from exploring morality, as in the song “Pandora’s Box”, to discovering a new definition of pride as a global citizen, as in the song “No Time to Grieve”. Overall the album, and most of my writing, is an attempt at approaching large ideas and topics in a way that is fun and exciting; to limit the inherent intimidation that comes from such complicated and multilayered topics and to find ways to approach topics in a way that inspires thought in practical terms rather than confuse and confound.

Throughout my childhood, in central Illinois, I obsessed over the abundance of music that was available to me. I discovered music through word-of-mouth, random discoveries (mostly at the Urbana Free Library), my parents old records, CD’s bought at the record store, movies,or songs downloaded mostly through Napster or Kazaa.

I am inspired by many artists, specific genre or style has never been a prerequisite for my interest, and those who mystify me range from many varying backgrounds. Some of my favorites include; Van Morrison, Smoky Robinson, Doc Watson, Bob Marley, Richie Havens, Culture, Peter Gabriel, Toots, Jackie Wilson, The Faces, Gene Krupa, Abdulla Ibrahim, and Cat Stevens. I like international artists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn and Demis Roussos, I like the Mexican pop musicians Joanne Sebastion and Juan Gabriel, I also like classical and modern classical work by Terry Riley, Phillip Glass, Saint-Saens, Bach, Copeland, and performances by Kronos Quartet. I like current groups and artists like The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens and Shugo Tokumaru, and I have several musician friends linked below whose music I recommend. My greatest inspiration, far beyond comparison, comes from Bob Dylan. Dylans range in style and massive body of work has kept my curiousity turning and my imagination soaring since I was around the age of twelve.

I want to add to the rich body of music that is alive in the modern world, to inspire hope and joy, and to be a part of something that is greater than myself. I hope that you enjoy my work; that the music is good and the message is right.

www.allenstrongmusic.com
Contact: allenstrongmusic@yahoo.com
Streaming music at: http://soundcloud.com/allen-strong