Recording Artist, Composer, Performer
YOUTH: James "Din" Allen was born and raised an island boy. His first gig was at a local spot called Carnegie Hall, where he sang in a boy's choir a portion of Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" under the direction of Leopold "Fantasia" Stokowski. Stung by the realization that the path to success lay not through practice but rather through cleaving to proven Ivory Tower principles like hob-knobbing and brown-nosing, Jimmy resolved to remain anonymous for as long as possible, doing as little as possible. Inevitably swayed by the rebelliousness of rock music, he and his peers founded "The Apocalypse" in junior high. Yet with no major contract signed by ninth grade, and seeing no future in playing the repetitive bass part to "Light My Fire" while teen wannabee guitar gods flailed desperately and pointlessly on all sides, Jimmy retreated to his room to be alone with his own guitar. And Jimmy became the man known as Din. And all the way, it was Din, Din, Din...
SOUTH: In December, 1977, Din received a call from his brother Woody to do a gig with him in Key West , Florida. Much of the ensuing story is recounted in the liner notes to "The Survivors: the Original Grooves" CD, which you should buy. In briefs, the band was very popular. The band unofficially disbanded, abandoned by bandleader Woodman and brother of other band member Din who remembers the memory of banding together with Quint and brother Wood who would eventually leave the Keys, but not forget them, just misplace them from time to time, returning on occasion to reune for a few tunes, sometimes in June, or December, whichever comes first, but that depends on wherever you're at. As this text heads further south, we must try to stand firm, and hold our own. Isn't it all too silly?
SOLO SURVIVOR: Din returned to his room and his guitar in the late 1990's to prepare himself for transplant into the world of "single acts." Starting out at Ricky's Blue Heaven and slogging through lower Duval St., he made his way to his present showplaces, releasing his debut solo CD, "Solo Survivor", in January, 2001. This is also an excellent purchase selection, congratulations! He is currently appearing as "Solo Survivor" regularly in Key West and the Lower Keys, and is working on his next CD release, "The Progress of Solo Survivor". I know you are looking forward to adding these to your collection. Right?
WHITHER? before I wither... Having completed "the One Verse Variations" (fulfilling his Anne McKee grant), and seeing his son graduate from Key West High School, Din has come to the end of a chapter and is contemplating "riding off into the sunset" as have so many of his Key West friends. New goals: survive the 2018 Tourist and Hurricane seasons, find a place to continue the musical journey, raise baby greens, help humanity transition from assholism to loving kindliness, live lighter, and complete the show. For now.
Solo Survivor for Hire:
About the performance...yes, in addition to club dates I am available for special events, weddings, and such...any work north of Sugarloaf Key (mm 20, let's say) must pay really well and include stunning accommodations...for a start...so the 2 week gigs at the ski lodge or in St. Barth's are an option.
My presentation leans toward the atmospheric rather than the "party-in-yo'-face," towards the romantic rather than the "get drunk and screw."
I avoid Downtown as much as possible, preferring the waterfront dining, tiki-bar settings, hotels and pools, smoke and drunk free if possible, in the company of fun- and life-loving people. Isn't it all a bit dreamy?
Yeah, but it works for me!
Song list available on request. The Solo Survivor CD is a good sampling of the live show, which can get wackier or more introverted, as the scene demands... but I've said too much already...get in touch! Thanks, Din Allen