Desmond Allen is a singer songwriter who crosses several genres: Blues, Country, Ballads, Folk-Rock, and 50’s Style Classic Rock.  He is primarily a guitar player with several decades of experience.

Desmond also plays bass and other stringed instruments, as well keyboard and harmonica if needed. Although Desmond is semi-retired, he does perform at various local gigs.  He doesn’t play bars, but is open to play parties and dinner houses.  Desmond mostly performs solo, but when necessary has a collection of very good musicians available.  He plays his own songs but also cover hundreds of others songs from various genres.

His musical interests, even at a young age were very diverse; with the likes of The Beatles, Doris Day, Jimi Hendrix, Dean Martin, Mozart, Walter Brennan, Janis Joplin, and various country artists.  He wrote his first real song in 1976, “Rodeo Cowboy”.  Since then he’s written more than 50 songs in different genres: blues, rock, folk, country, jazz and his own singer-songwriter style, which he finds hard to define.

Other than his blues and light rock compositions, Desmond’s songs are largely in the style of singer-songwriter.  He feels the song is all about the lyric and the melody.  The “music” if you will (the beat, the rhythm and the fills provided by various instruments), is there merely to support the “song” (i.e. the lyric and melody).  For some reason, blues songs are the one exception to this general rule of thumb, which he confesses is of his own making.  His favorite song writers are Lennon & McCartney, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Jim Croce, Johnny Cash, John Denver, and various old timers like Hoagie Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, etc.

Desmond realized as a teenager that he did not want the life of a struggling, traveling musician; as such he took a different career path.  However, making and studying music has always been a high priority.  Now that he’s retired, it’s his desire that his songs might be picked up and covered by other musicians.  He continues to record, give guitar lessons and do small local gigs.  His songs are available for download at BanCamp.  

Websites or Social Media Pages:

What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?

Some of my songs are flat out blues, a few are rock, a few are country; but most of them are hard for me to place in any genre. They are hybrids between folk/county, or folk/rock, or folk/jazz

How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?

I was named after a family friend.

What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?

The Beatles of other 60s bands, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Jim Croce, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr, John Denver, Gorden Lightfoot, Dean Martin, BB King, Robert Johnson, and various old timers like Hoagie Carmichael, Johnny Mercer,

What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?

I just released an album and know I am working on videos so I can post to YouTube.

What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?:

Now that I am retired, my goal is to have other touring and recording artists cover some of my songs.

What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?

As I mentioned I am retired, however, my wife is still working; so I wrote a lighthearted songs in a 50s rockabilly format called “My Sugar Momma”. We’ve been married 46 years and she has a good sense of humor, especially since so many of my songs are inspired by her and her perfection.

What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?

As I mentioned, I took a different career path and music has really been a hobby. Getting my songs to performing artists would be the biggest challenge.

What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?

Sometimes I will have a riff or a chord change that I like and I will eventually put lyric to it. But generally, I have a get phrase or a thought in my mind and begin to make a story out of it. Sometime the story is based in truth (i.e. my life), and sometimes it is total fabrication, but it is always about life situations. For example, one day I was playing the guitar and a riff and the phrase “The Mother of My Children” popped into my mind. I started writing and before I knew it I had written the story of our life. Another time, my wife and I were at the market and I overheard a woman in front of us tell her friend how hard is was to love her husband. I leaned into my wife (speaking with a bad grammar I never use) and whispered “There ain’t no shortcut to love”. As soon as I sad it I said, “That would be a good song title”. I came home and immediately, in short order, wrote a very nice ballad.

How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?

Very little.

What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?

I really don’t listen to much music; but when I do I’m a creature of habit and I listen to the old timer BB King, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Johnson. I did just go to a Lyle Lovett concert.

What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?

As I mentioned, I started playing as a teenager when I realized I didn’t want to pursue the struggling life of a traveling musician so I took a different career path. I became a respiratory therapist; then I went to seminary. I complete a MDiv and PhD and spent decades moving between medicine and ministry.

Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?

There are thousands of very good musicians out there all vying for the attention of the same audience. With the advent of online downloads, for which the artist gets very little, it seems that to make it in today’s world of music, even more than before, it requires a lot of traveling and gigging, which takes tremendous dedication. I know many very good musicians who have traveled that road and failed; many of whom are even better than a lot of artists that have made it big. It’s a tough road out there; you have to play because you love it not because you want to be a star. Musicians have always been undervalued; even Mozart was not appreciated by the monarch that employed him; not was he paid very well.

What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?

I don’t have an answer for this.

How Do You Feel About Originality?

I appreciate originality, but it doesn’t have to be a new musical genre. When I think of originality I think more of artists like Doris Day, Billie Holiday, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, and Lyle Lovett, who I just say in concert. Each of them had their own style of phrasing and delivery that was not forced but came very naturally.

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