Allensworth have been recognised for their contribution to Southern California music with awards as diverse as Best Live Band, Best Soul and R&B Band, Best Acoustic Band and Best Jam Band from the Orange County Music Awards which recognises artists from LA to San Diego. They’ve also shared the stage with the James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock. This rock and soul duo are joining forces with some northern NSW artists to bring their new album Against the Grain to our fair shores next month and we caught up with them before they arrive.
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What’s your most vivid musical memory?
Would have to be the time I put my fathers framing hammer through the skins of his Rogers drum kit. I was five years old and didn’t think the drumsticks were loud enough. Even then it was all Rock and Roll!
What brought you to this career?
Art is the only thing that calms me whether it be music or carpentry. I love to finish things and look back at a project then scratch it all up and make it dirty. Now there’s a bit of momentum/urgency with a new born baby girl and music label (United Family Artist) signing Allensworth and fronting the new album. All the years of hard work are finally coming to fruition.
What are your thoughts on the GC music scene?
It’s thriving with amazing, original talent. Everyone seems to be fluent and very original in their songwriting. Beautiful music always seems to emanate from beautiful places. We have had the pleasure to share the stage with such artists as Felicity Lawless and Julia Rose and we are fortunate to have Scott Frenchy backing us this run.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give an aspiring musician?
Never give up. It’s the best advice that was ever given to me from the bass player of Bad Religion – a punk rock band from LA. No one was interested in Bad Religion, there was no market so they built a label that is now a multi-million dollar company and made their own market. Even when times are bleak as long as you stay true to your craft people will listen as your art evolves.
The most under-rated musician right now?
James Hunter, a soul artist out of Berlin. He has a belt that screams Little Richard and James Brown and has an unorthodox approach to the guitar that is all his own. His band is very loyal and extremely tight. His last album was recorded in Brooklyn with the Daptone team and though he’s made some noise and played on some of the late night shows in the states as well as constant touring and festival appearances, he still barely sells out small venues. I still think he’s a genius.
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Jamie Allensworth and Anthony Gonzales will be joined by well known northern rivers musicians Tracy Stephens on bass, Scott French on guitar and Guy Anderton on drums to perform as a five-piece band when they land at the Soundlounge on Friday 3 October. They’re supported by Felicity Lawless who’s launching her new album. Local songstress Julia Rose completes the bill.