DUAL TALENTS- Leslie Alexander and Jenny Allen bring their CD release tour to Red Deer Oct. 6.

Double CD release celebration coming to City

Alberta-based folk musicians team up to introduce fresh tunes

Two Alberta musicians have teamed up to launch their respective new CDs on ‘Allen and Alexander’s Dirty Laundry Dual CD Release Tour 2011’.

Leslie Alexander and Jenny Allen perform their ‘roots-based original tunes’ at The Hideout Oct. 6. The tour features harmony vocals, guitars, washboard, harmonica and other assorted instruments with the women playing everything from flat-out folk-rock to more intimate fare.

They actually launched the tour this past April and plan on performing straight through to next spring.

“We’ve already been to Montreal and back, and plan on some dates on the east coast next spring,” explains Alexander during a recent interview.

Alexander’s latest project, Nobody’s Baby, features the homegrown artist at her earthy best. She grew up on a sheep farm south of Calgary and although she didn’t come from an overly musical family it wasn’t long before she had a yearning to hit the road as a performer. Allen’s latest offering is called Blanket.

“I always loved music,” she recalls, adding her Grade 1 teacher told her she had a nice singing voice and maybe one day would be a professional singer. She chuckles at the memory, but remains grateful for the encouragement.

Through her youth, her parents encouraged Alexander and her siblings to plan on attending university – although they were a tad wary of their daughter exploring a career in music.

Looking back now, Alexander understands their early concerns as she spent time busking on Vancouver streets as she honed her musical talents. It wasn’t really until her first CD was released back in 1996 that the folks realized music could provide Alexander a living. She also credits accomplished producer John Ellis with helping her define her sound that much further.

Meanwhile, although the monetary rewards, such as they are, certainly aren’t what keep her in the business, she adds with a laugh.

“It’s really about the feeling I get when I write a song – it’s kind of like self-therapy. And then when you share that song with an audience and they clap, and you realize you weren’t the only one that felt that way, it’s great.”

What’s also making her path a delight is sharing the stage with her good pal Jenny Allen, who hails originally from Calgary and is also something of a folk festival favourite. The two had each been in the music biz for several years before their paths began crossing at various gigs and festivals.

At one engagement, Alexander recalls standing next to Allen on stage as part of a bigger performance, and it was clear their voices blended naturally.

A friendship soon formed, and the pair embarked on a tour together last year promoting their respective releases. It proved not just a creatively-rich time, but an absolute blast as well. Performing is indeed a rewarding experience, but when you get to hit the stage with a buddy, its all the more enjoyable, she says.

“We found that we have a similar feel for melody and composition.”

For the current tour, they’re both pretty much onstage the entire show backing each other up, with the first half being kind of ‘Jenny-heavy’ and the second half more ‘Leslie-heavy’, she adds with a chuckle.

With fans stretching across Canada and far into the States, Allen has opened for a range of artists from Taj Mahal to Shawn Colvin. Besides her latest CD Blanket, she has also released two roots-folk indie projects Something to Say and If I Fall to wide critical acclaim.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Innisfail RCMP respond to fatal vehicle collision

A 22-year-old driver was ejected and pronounced deceased on scene

Central Alberta Buccaneers pillage Vandals 64-19

Bucs’ notch second win of the season convincingly

Young man from Tees dies in tragic collision

The incident occurred early Saturday morning at Clive

WATCH: Lots of action this year at the Innisfail Pro Rodeo

Rain doesn’t stop crowds from cheering on some of the best in rodeo action

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

Amber Alert cancelled after girl, 7, found safe in Quebec

She was found shortly after Quebec provincial police issued the alert

Man, 21, charged in Toronto playground shooting that injured 2 young girls

Sheldon Eeriya of Markham, Ont., was arrested on Friday

‘It’s daunting:’ Family of paralyzed Broncos player preparing for next phase

Ryan Straschnitzki is undergoing physiotherapy in Philadelphia after becoming paralyzed in bus crash

Woman must pay musician ex-boyfriend $350K for sabotaging coveted opportunity

Ontario Superior Court justice lambasted Jennifer Lee for ‘despicable conduct’ against Eric Abramovitz

Most Read