During the first six months of 2017, Lady Inspiration found me with time on my hands. I wrote a batch of 30 new musical ideas, along with reams of lyrics.
I picked a dozen of these new songs and spent the summer months recording, arranging and mixing. Working in daylight made a welcome change.
My previous effort (Fieldwork, 2015) was made using only acoustic guitars. This time around I decided to concentrate on electric guitars. Completed in October 2017, the resultant album is called Roads From Ruin.
Vocals, harmony vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar,
bass guitar, drums, cajon, percussion, ebow, lap steel, keyboards,
programming, harmonica, lyrics.
All songs written, performed, produced and mixed by Jason Allen.
Written January to June 2017. Recorded July to October 2017.
Thank you to friends and family near and far. We will always be young.
I escaped to the country. It had been a long time coming. It felt like the town was blotting out my sense of creativity.
The rural lifestyle inspired my guitar playing. A new wave of musical ideas emerged, each captured as voice memos on my iPhone.
Using my laptop and a cheap classical guitar, I began to arrange, record and expand the ideas into songs, painting layers of music and texture on top. The words were either stream-of-consciousness improvisations and/or developed as I went along.
I recorded a lot of tracks during this 18-month process. It was a very relaxed gestation period. There are no electric guitars, only nylon-stringed acoustics. I played every instrument, sung every note, did it all by myself.
Eleven of the songs from this time span make up Fieldwork. The album is available on all major digital platforms.
I originally intended my fifth 'solo' CD to be an album called Keep The Peace, which I'd worked on during the latter half of 2006 and early 2007.
Keep The Peace proved to be a tough project to finish, so I reluctantly shelved it and 'retired' from making music.
Then, later in 2007, my Brother died suddenly while I was overseas in Slovenia, not long after the death of my beloved Grandmother. I sought solace in music once again, wrote a whole new batch of songs and slowly crafted what would become known as Ghosting.
I took a very lo-fi approach to the recording, often using some of the cheapest equipment I could muster. Looking back, I think I was attempting to return to the simple ways of old, similar in approach to my original 4-track recording days.
The album was completed during a marathon eight-week session at the end of 2008. My laptop died on the very last day of recording. Luckily I managed to salvage the files and complete the album.
A Barn Owl flew inches above my head just after I bagged the cover image at 10pm on a cold and wintery February night. My work, it seemed, was done.
This collection of 15 songs was compiled and remastered in November 2016. It represents the best of a very prolific period in my musical history.
Following the death of Big Country mainman Stuart Adamson in December 2001, I began writing guitar-based songs once again. I'd spent the preceding three years making electronic-based music as Bluebottlegreen.
I wrote and recorded five albums in as many years, four of which were published. The fifth (Keep The Peace) was shelved after completion in 2007, though the song Gentle Folly originates from this 'lost' album.
All my albums are self-written, self-produced and self-recorded. I also play and sing everything.
This compilation album is available to stream or download on all major digital platforms.
I was the singer, guitarist and principal songwriter with Chances R during the first half of the 90s. Alongside me were Roy Harrill (guitar & vocals), Paul Jolliffe (bass), John Bidder (drums) and, eventually, Pete Jennings (keyboards).
We began as a Green Day-style power trio and ended up sounding like Marillion, via a brief spell where we turned into The Wonderstuff. The full story can be found on the website, along with songs, videos, information and photographs.
After the demise of Chances R in 1994, I started drumming with The Chill, Crank, Guy Charles and other bands. I also continued writing a lot of guitar-based tunes which failed to make any impact. Eventually I opted to immerse myself in studio work.
In 1999, Bluebottlegreen became a pseudonym for my electronic-based musical doodles. I made several albums of non-songs, some of which made it to Televisionland. Eventually I went back to releasing 'proper' music under my own name.