Mad Left Music – 2015
12 tracks; 52 minutes
Drummer/vocalist/harpist Dave Allen and singer Laura Lamun have been playing together for some time and this is their second album as the Allen-Lamun Band. They recorded this album of all original material on home ground in Nashville with Randy Coleman on bass, Kenne Cramer, Steve Boynton or Donnie Miller on guitar and Jake Hill or Larry Van Loon on keys; Miqui Gutierrez adds sax to one track. Dave wrote six of the songs, Laura five and one was a joint effort.
The pair shares vocals on the first three tracks: “Half Of Me” is a solid blues with Steve’s guitar to the fore; title track “Maybe It’s A Good Thing” is the longest cut on the album with a soulful chorus and plenty of solid piano work; “I Don’t Love My Baby” is a shuffle featuring Dave’s harp and Kenne’s guitar and the vocal combination works particularly well here. Laura is the sole vocalist on her impressive “Still Too Soon”, a song full of angst as Laura realises that the time is not right to declare her love when “someone else is the way”. Laura has a strong voice well up to delivering a song and both Steve and Kenne are on hand to add some guitar drama to the tune. Laura sticks to backing vocals behind Dave on “This Ain’t A Game” and they reverse roles on “Breath Of Fresh Air” with the sax adding some highlights to the funky tune.
“I Don’t Get The Blues” is interesting with Laura’s strong vocal sitting above some piano work from Jake that takes the tune in a slightly different direction to the rhythm section and Kenne adding some good slide work. Dave claims “I’m A Good Man” over a great riff from Donnie who also double tracks some steamy slide. After a song on which he has stretched his voice to its limits Dave shows a more relaxed style on “I Love You Pretty Baby”, Randy switching to double bass on a gentle ballad with some jazzy undertones. Laura returns on the fast-paced and rather repetitive “Hightailin’ It” which is a short tune with a frenetic solo from Kenne. “Good News Channel” adds Matt Workman’s background vocals to those of Laura and Dave in a ‘choir’, Jake adding strings from his keyboard, Laura singing excellently in a gospel style as she urges people to take a positive stance: “You write the story – chaos or glory, be a good news channel today”. The album closer “Santa All Year” is also mid-paced, Steve playing the tricky guitar solo and Dave’s lyrics revealing a sense of humour and imagination as Santa is asked for his help in mending a broken romance.
Whilst there is nothing exceptional here it is always good to find artists prepared to write their own material rather than covering tunes that we have all heard many times before.