Stompin' Dave CD Reviews
STOMPIN’ DAVE & SAM KELLY
Live From The Sticks
Stompin Dave is a multi-instrumentalist of the highest quality along with his trademark stomp, whether on guitar, banjo, keys, fiddle or harp. This live release sees him join forces with the ubiquitous and far more widely known talent of Sam Kelly on drums, for a rampaging set of electric blues which amazingly is merely a single dimension of his incredible versatility.
Opening on bar room piano and then joined by Sam on drums, ‘Every Day I Have The Blues’ shows Dave’s powerful sharp edged metallic timbre vocals to the fore with a really authentic vibe. He turns to fluid and articulate guitar on the self-penned ‘Breaking Down’ before reverting to piano and harp for another original, ‘I Love You Baby’, a lovely boogie with some attractive deft touches from Sam.
Building in intensity, a scintillating and electrifying ‘Stomping Guitar Boogie’ does exactly that, and you can sense the dancers in the crowd reacting accordingly. His trademark stomp precedes a fast handed to pin drop guitar fade out. Dave’s drawling vocal and rolling piano sees him ‘Do A Little Boogie Today’ with super little vignettes of drum solos and riffs from the urbane Mr Kelly.
Another cover ‘Matchbox’ is a vehicle for that stonking honkytonk piano with a salacious “I’ll be your little dog when your big dog comes” refrain, complete with the appropriate canine impersonations from the band, clearly enjoying every minute. An original ‘Back Door Man’, not the standard cover, features compulsive and frenetic guitar work before Sam joins in with a cleverly synchronised section before first drums and then stomp precede vibrant chiming guitar.
One of Dave’s favourite pieces, ‘Mother Earth’ closes out the set with lovely piano and harp and the satisfied sardonic lyric “No matter who you are, we all go back to mother earth”. With no overdubs and minimal chatter between tracks this is a very worthwhile 50 minute listen and a splendid souvenir of just one facet of Dave’s diverse and myriad talents. It is also abundantly clear as to the rapport and sheer enjoyment of these two fine musicians operating in tandem.
Blues In Britain (September 2015)STOMPIN' DAVE & SAM KELLY
Live From The Sticks
Eight tracks recorded live at the turn of the year in Dorset, released as picked-up and without overdubs. The energy here is always positive with Stompin' Dave's keyboard skills well to the fore while Sam Kelly lends his magisterial presence on drums with support from Jules Bushell on bass guitar. Both Kelly and Bushell ensure a rock-solid backbone to the album giving Dave (Allen) plenty of room to enjoy himself on vocals, guitar, keys and, on a number of takes, harp; track three I Love You Baby, is a barn-stormer with Bushell's bass work solid and Kelly ripping it up good-style while Dave moves effortlessly from keys to harp and back throughout.
The album opens with a fine, down-low version of the old Memphis Slim standard Every Day I Have The Blues, one of BB's personal trademark tracks, here covered with passion and punch, Kelly clearly enjoying laying down an appropriately stomping rhythm while Dave's keys are barrel-house, honky-tonk at its best. Anything featuring the wonderful Sam Kelly on skins is bound inevitably to have a screaming, pounding backbeat that soars along with bags of guts.
Live From The Sticks could well be a direct, albeit slightly sly, reference to Kelly's input here or more prosaically the Wessex village hall where the album was recorded. Whatever, mostly twelve-bar driven the overall result cruises through a couple of Memphis Slim's old favourites with the addition of Mother Earth giving Chatman the credits to both top and tail this offering. In the mix, Carl Perkins' old early rocker Matchbox fair romps along with the remaining tracks in similar vein all written by Stompin' Dave Allen himself. This is nothing short of classic juke-joint blues from the sticks.
Blues Matters(December 2015)
Stompin' Dave is a man for all occasions and a popular attraction on the live scene. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, fiddle, mandolin, piano, harmonica, banjo and much more. He has his own electric Blues band and has also previously played with top British Blues band The Producers. For this latest solo album Dave features traditional American songs with fingerstyle guitar accompaniment and he kicks off with that old chestnut 'Rising Sun Blues'.
This old favourite is played in an old time country Blues style and comes up sounding as fresh as a daisy - lovely jubbly. Another old Blues classic 'St. James Infirmary' gets similar treatment and then we get 'Great Big Dog' which is a gentle, lilting lullaby with Dave crooning to rolling guitar accompaniment. For the England rugby fans amongst us we get a swift run through of that old spiritual 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot'. It's a great song but how it ever came to be sung at Twickenham beats me. The sound quality is excellent and recording was done just as it should be for this sort of music - live with no overdubs.
As always with Dave he manages to instil his bubbly personality into the music and this is particularly evident on my favourite track, the oft covered, 'Bottle Up And Go'. There is a touch of country, a smidgeon of bluegrass, a dollop of Blues, a hint of gospel and it all comes together in a tasty stew. The jaunty tale of 'Railroad Bill' is accompanied by some nifty picking and is followed by the swinging 'Down By The Riverside'. This lovely album closes with the story of 'Old Dan Tucker' who was a "fine old man, washed his face in the frying pan". As you do! I really did enjoy this album and can thoroughly recommend it to all lovers of acoustic Blues and Americana. It will bring a smile to your face.
Maverick Magazine March 2011
Stompin’ Dave’s Electric Band
LIVE AT THE R.P.A
Self released LATRPA 01
Stellar performances by all involved. To use the word ‘extraordinary’ about the British talent which comes in the form of Stompin’ Dave would be the understatement of the century. Joined here by Graham Bundy on drums and Chris Lonergan on bass, the sound which this trio creates is something I recommend to many having personally seen this band perform before to a packed house at the 2010 Southsea Folk & Roots Festival.
Recorded live at both the Royal Portland Arms and the Ship in Dorset, it always strikes me that no matter what recording is released under the name of this band, the album does not last nearly as long enough as it should do. One tune in particular which personifies this quality perfectly is Matchbox. A cover of the well-known Carl Perkins song, it is a rendition which I’m sure the great man wouldn’t have objected to being around. Stompin’ Dave’s harmonica sets the track alight and it is a damn fine tune to bop along to.
The opening track of the album, Stranger Blues, also impresses. With a smooth-as-silk beginning, Stompin’ Dave’s harmonica is more than capable of running the show by itself. It sets the record up so well that it gives a clear indication of the musical ecstasy the audience’s ears will soon be experiencing. A cracker of an album once more; I raise my hat to this band for music like this can only be met with rapturous applause. Russell Hill
Stompin’ Dave Electric Band - Live At The R.P.A.
May 2010 Blues In Britain
The RPA is the Royal Portland Arms in Dorset (although one track was recorded at The Ship in Upwey, a few miles up the road). Stompin’ Dave Alen has graced these pages before but for newbies, he sings, plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, piano and harmonica - and tap dances too! Here he restricts himself to vocals, electric guitar & harmonica, accompanied by Grahma Bundy on drums and Chris Lonergan on bass.
There is a strong DIY feel about this project. Simple direct cover artwork hints at the musical content, which is straightforward three-chord blues. Dave’s approach owes much to the folk tradition with its backroom, homemade atmosphere.
That’s not to say he’s not worthy of your attention, though. On the contary, he goes for it with the fire and enthusiasm of a bi-polar wizard who’s just discovered a new book of spells. His licks and solos are mainly fast and ambitious. So what if occasionally he doesn’t quite pull off a particulary frantic phrase? He’s never afraid to try and the evidence is here. No overdubs or digital manipulation for Stompin’ Dave! The tracks are mainly medium or up-tempo, with the only the original “Ain’t No Reason” and the cover of “Mother Earth” taking a relaxed pace. “What Am I Supposed To Do?” recalls early John Lee Hooker, setting up a vamp and letting it lead where it may. A homegrown original. Rating 7 - Kit Packman
Stompin' Dave & Dave Saunders Country Blues