The debut full length self-titled/released CD new album from Minnesota guitarist Cole Allen “COLE ALLEN”, is set to be released today, June 25th. The bands 5 song initial EP titled “Headed for Hollywood” received great reviews, creating a following throughout the Twin Cities and the Midwest with his unique style of rock blended with blues and a lot of soul. The Cole Allen Band features studio and touring musicians Craig Williams on bass and Paul Peterson on drums. Cole embodies the definition of a unique talent with the major “It” factor that can’t be bought, taught or obtained in any manner other than simply being born with a musical gift that touches his fans deep in their hearts and souls. A video release of the Cole Allen Band’s first single, “Let Me Know” http://youtu.be/5-BHKh_FfeQ includes an on-screen cameo appearance from special guest, “Blues Award Winner” and personal friend, Sena Ehrhardt. Remixing a few of the songs and bringing in legendary guitar player Corey Stevens to guest on the album as well as adding new material the new album was created. Cole’s second video “You can have my heart” http://youtu.be/o-M8TPrZtpA exudes heart felt lyrics, emotion, and energy in this song. Known for his passionate vocals and guitar magic, Cole has toured extensively throughout the Midwest and has opened for such acts as The Bret Michaels band as well as legendary artist B.B. King.
Formed in 2008, Coles blues roots, influenced by such artists as Stevie Ray Vaughn, ZZ Top, B.B. King among others combined with a feral sense of rock and roll, have shaped the bands unique sound along with his love and appreciation of impeccable musicianship. Cole is scheduled to appear on local Minnesota TV Station Channel 12 May 31st, fans and viewers in the local area can watch it live www.twelve.tv.
The album will be available for download via iTunes and GooglePlay or via the bands website.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Cole and talk to him about the upcoming album and more….
Legendary Rock Interviews: Thanks for chatting with us Cole. Your music could best be described by comparison to other bluesy guitarists who have blazed a path but your three piece live act lends a definite band feel to the album. Was that important to you?
Cole Allen: Absolutely, I wanted it to sound as natural as possible because we really are a “live” band. Most of the tracks were cut with all 3 of us in the room recording at the same time.
LRI: Your video features a guest cameo and the album itself also features a couple of guest spots….was it an interesting experience shooting the video and how does that compare or contrast creatively with the finished track on the album?
Cole: The album features guest appearances from Corey Stevens, who lends a guitar solo to the song “Shoulda Known Better”, and Sena Ehrhardt who sings a duet with me on “Too Late to Ask”, she also made a cameo in the video for our song “Let Me Know.” Shooting the video was a lot of fun. I’m very happy with how it represented the song.
LRI: A lot of people remember the Twin Cities for its past alternative music scene and of course for the legendary Prince. What is the scene like in town these days for a blues act like Cole Allen Band??
Cole: The Twin Cities has a very strong blues scene, and I’m happy to be a part of it. The musicians really support each other quite a bit by coming out to shows and sitting in with bands. It has kind of a “family” feeling to it.
LRI: You have already established a reputation as a hot live act and a showman. What is it that makes the band or your playing come alive onstage and what about your gigs do you want people to remember other than the music?
Cole: It sounds so cliche, but I really get lost in the music. It takes me somewhere and I can’t fight it, I just have to let go let it take control. It truly is the highest of highs.
LRI: A lot of times bands sow their oats by playing covers but you have established a repertoire of originals and a fan-base who supports that. How difficult is it for a lot of artists to get past that point with their audience?
Cole: Since I started out, I always mixed my original songs in with the covers. I started out with a very small fan base and as time goes on you slowly start to build and you’re fan base gets bigger. I think playing you’re original music for people whenever possible is extremely important.
LRI: Guitar players tend to be quite particular with their gear, tone and amps. What type of rig have you gotten comfortable using and does it change from show to show?
Cole: I’ve been a Fender Strat guy since I started so that’s typically what you’ll see me playing. As far as amps, I switch it up depending on what kind of show it is or what kind of tone I’m searching for at the moment. When playing “live” I like Fender Super’s and Super Reverb’s. During the recording of this album I used my 100 watt Marshall Vintage Modern and Fender Super Sonic quite a bit.
LRI: You probably meet a lot of young and not so young aspiring players who look up to you or ask for advice. What do you usually tell them in terms of how to get better as a player or develop their own style?
Cole: You never really stop learning, I mean I’m constantly finding new ways to develop my style. I think what’s been most beneficial for me is just playing as much as possible, never stop. Take every chance you can to get out there and do your thing because with every show you do, you gain more experience.
LRI: In this day and age it is harder and harder for musicians to make money on recordings but necessary creatively for the soul and sometimes to give the live shows some structure. What are the different ways you plan on marketing your music to fans and where can they buy the album at this point?
LRI: How much touring has the band done regionally or nationally and do you prefer opening for seasoned acts or headlining your own evenings?
Cole: I’ve toured nationally both with my band and as a guitar player for the Sena Ehrhardt Band. Headlining your own shows are always fun, but opening for other bands is also very cool because you get to bring your music to new audiences that may not have heard of you before and hopefully gain some new supporters.
LRI: Thanks again for talking with us Cole and good luck out there on the road…last question…how does it feel meeting new people who are just now hearing and discovering your album and music?
Cole: That’s one of the most fulfilling things about being a musician, meeting new people that dig what you do and are touched by your music in one way or another. That’s what keeps you going.
Visit Cole Allen Online at http://www.coleallen.net