When he sits down at the piano to sing “Your Mind Is On Vavaction (But Your Mouth Is Working Overtime),” he might look like a “Middle Class White Boy” (as he described himself with the title of his 1982 album), but once he opens his mouth there is no one cooler anywhere on the entire planet.
You may not know Allison, but you likely know his music. Despite the fact that he’s been recording great jazz and blues music for more than a half century, Allison himself is still something of cult figure and critics’ darling.
But it’s as a songwriter that he’s made his biggest mark on mainstream music. Allison’s songs have been recorded by the Who (“Young Man Blues”), Blue Cheer (“Parchman Farm”), the Clash (“Look Here”), Leon Russell (“I’m Smashed”), the Yardbirds (“I’m Not Talkin'”)and Bonnie Raitt (“Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy”). Other fans include Tom Waits, the Pixies, Elvis Costello, J.J. Cale, John Mayall, Georgie Fame, the Rolling Stones and Van Morrison.
So the opportunity to catch Allison in the intimate setting of Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs (where he’ll be performing on Sunday, October 3) is an opportunity that simply should not be missed. And as a bonus, he’ll be joined by bass master Rich Syracuse, on loan from the Lee Shaw Trio.
Here’s a bit of vintage Allison just to get you rollin’: