Calgary International Blues Festival (2016)
Slam Allen: Ambassador of Blues and Soul
American Showplace Music recording artist, Slam Allen is one of the most dynamic and original blues and soul artists on the scene today. Growing up, Slam played drums for the family soul band, "The Allen Brothers," and later on learned guitar from his Dad, Harrison Allen and his Uncle, Cecil Allen. As he progressed in their eyes, the family knew they had a special talent to nurture!
More that just a singer, writer, and guitar player, Slam Allen connects with his audience like entertainers from a bygone era. Think Otis Redding, BB, Albert, and Freddie King, with a blend of Wilson Picket, James Brown, Sly Stone and a little George Benson and Jimi Hendrix thrown in to make a unique musical experience.
As he developed his own style Slam went to Chicago to learn the ways of traditional Chicago Blues. Once there, it didn't take long to do a fill in gig for the legendary harpist James Cotton, and subsequently spent the next 9 years (2001 through 2010) as the lead singer, lead guitarist, and band leader for Mr. Cotton. Slam is also credited with writing and singing on Cotton's 2011 Grammy nominated comeback album, Giant. Says Slam, "Cotton was directly connected to Muddy Waters who was a major factor in the blues world as well as being one of my all time favorites. Playing with Cotton was such a great experience for me! There are things that I learned from him that you can't learn from any school. It was a great honor!"
As a solo performer, Slam is the recipient of the prestigious Master Blues Artist award from the New York Blues Hall of Fame, a 2016 Blues Music Award Nominee and the proud sponsor of custom guitars made by Gerhards Guitarworks of Windham, NY.
Now on his own and internationally recognized as a seasoned touring veteran, Slam is dedicated to forging his own legacy in the blues and soul world. With seven original albums under his belt, Slam is here to bring back what the music world never lost, the love and uplifting honesty that makes for a powerful and entertaining musical experience. From B.B. King to Otis Redding, Slam has a way of making you feel the Soul of the Music. It's often difficult to tell if he's doing one of his originals or an old blues or soul cover. Regardless, he makes all the music his own.