Sue Allen | As I Am

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CANADA - Ontario

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Folk: Singer/Songwriter Easy Listening: Ballads Moods: Solo Female Artist
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As I Am

by Sue Allen

A songsmith and performer whose music is worth savouring.
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Are You Thinking of Me?
4:20 $1.99
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2. Japan Encore
5:17 $1.99
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3. Gift of Goodbye
4:54 $1.99
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4. Blues Not My Colour (For Golly)
3:08 $1.99
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5. Solid Ground (For Monteith, Hoffman, And Me)
5:12 $1.99
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6. Baby Why?
3:39 $1.99
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7. No End in Goodbye
5:13 $1.99
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8. I Never Saw You Coming
4:12 $1.99
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9. Perfect Promises for Jess & Ryan
4:18 $1.99
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10. Perfect Promises
4:14 $1.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Sue Allen is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who played her first coffee house at age 14, four years after she had started jamming with her Mother's Wednesday night 'Music Group'. Music is noticeably part of her DNA as she lives and breathes a connection to vibration and sound, one part subtle, one part profound, all parts nuanced.

During her early teen years she fronted what she lovingly refers to as, "...a bad country blues band". They performed in hotels through-out central and near-north Ontario, where the smell of beer and cigarettes permeated everything and everyone. Only the deeper sense of sadness and aloneness was capable of overshadowing the aroma and was why, ultimately, Sue stepped on stage each night. Whether for a single evening, a week-end, or an all-week gig with a Saturday matinee thrown in, there were many musical lessons learned, as well as some essential survival techniques. For instance, when the tables and chairs and fists inevitably started to fly, the value of knowing how to unplug a guitar, jump off stage, run through an active kitchen with guitar in hand, out the kitchen door to the safety of the -- strategically parked -- Band Van, was an essential life lesson. On the heels of these lessons, and, after Coming Out in a town of 208 where her family ran the local general store, it would be her journey from Ontario to Alberta at sweet seventeen, which marked a new beginning in Sue Allen finding her voice. Hanging out 'in the middle of nowhere' in the Peace River Valley and eventually in Calgary, she played local coffee houses in an era when The Rocky Mountain Folk Club, The Soup Kitchen and the Kensington Deli, held deep and abiding places in the hearts and ears of people looking for alternative voices. There was a lovely welcome mat for those who were mixing genres and exploring musical possibilities.

After two years in the west, Sue returned to Ontario and it wasn't long before she was back on stage. Eventually settling in Peterborough, she was fortunate to know that when she went to hear Rick Fines or David Ramsden perform, that they in turn, would be at her gigs to lend support. Whether at one of the infamous Peterborough pubs like the, Under Dog or the, The Hangman, or whether playing concerts at the acoustically brilliant, Art Space, there were always great places to play and an enthusiastic fan base. It was during this time, in the mid-eighties; Sue dropped the last of her cover tunes and went on to perform exclusively from her rich catalogue of original material. Many parts political at the time, and always most parts, about love, connection and the human condition. Her songs became well-known among faithful followers and were easily requested by name as she continued to grow her fan base by playing stages between Peterborough, Kingston and Toronto, eventually settling in Toronto full-time.

In her early twenties the need for a ‘real career’ and a way to make a living, saw Sue, a self-described, "...non-traditional gal", pick up her tractor-trailer license. When she wasn't making music, she was driving rig through-out Ontario and Quebec. She gladly inhabited the term, ‘fair-weather-driver’, because it meant she hauled in the good months and toured through-out the winter months. She was a main-stay on the University circuit where students were a guaranteed audience. Over time, her love and commitment to opening doors for other women in the skilled trades, combined with an in-the-bone feeling of road and stage weariness, saw Sue leave the public eye. She worked for many years as a Tractor-Trailer Trainer and Examiner at Humber College, training students and road-testing other instructor’s students for a license to driver 18-wheelers. She also spent years in Hollywood North's film and television industry, where she cultivated connections with wonderfully creative people who deeply affected her journey as an artist. During that time she also became the first woman member to be voted into the Transportation Category of I.A.T.S.E. 873, again opening doors previously closed to women. Eventually, she chose a career as an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Expert (aka Socioeconomic Advisor) or, perhaps more accurately, the career chose her during a time when university degrees in Diversity had not yet been created. And although from time to time, she could be coaxed back on stage for a fundraiser near and dear to her heart, or for a Gay Pride event, she primarily performed only for those lucky enough to be invited to the House Concerts she continued to play and which served to keep her limber and engaged.

Through it all, Sue Allen has continued to write and play and learn and grow her talent which is why her decision to record and release her first CD, as part of her 50th birthday celebration, is so fitting. It’s a Guerilla music making affair to be sure. Nonetheless, the 10 original tracks she serves up live off the studio floor, clearly expose her range as a songsmith, guitarist and performer.

The disc, aptly entitled, As I Am, covers a range of musical styles which depending on whom you ask, ranges from folk, roots, indie, alternative, country and jazz to pop-rock. She has also included what is sure to become, according to many, 'THE' perfect wedding song. Perfect Promises for Jess & Ryan, was written especially for the wedding of her niece Jess, and her partner Ryan.

The recordings, as varied in style as they are, allow for Sue’s voice to take many different avenues of expression, showing a natural willingness and affinity for meeting and delivering on the depth of any given lyric line. Her guitar and vocals, as always, work as one. Each as their own unique strength and each in their own way, pushing and pulling and supporting one another toward the best possible musical end. Sue was clear in her choice to record her first CD as a solo project because for the most part, she's always been a solo performer. It's also an acknowledgement and a thank you to the loyal fan base who have still managed to follow her, even before the advent of social media.

Sue Allen has been performing for 40 of her 50 years and yet her first CD, having found its own way and process, has arrived completely on time, all parts organic and authentic. Given there has never been an interviewer or a reviewer who has said, "Sue Allen sounds like Artist X or Artist Y” as Sue so simply puts it, "...means I'm doing something right." Please join her in celebrating her love of creating and performing music, and wish her well on her continuing journey. She's clear there is a lot more where this came from, and next time she says, “…will be with the company of family and friends.”

Sue Allen, As I Am, is meant to be savoured. It's entirely worth the time, and completely worth the wait.

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