Deborah Allen - The Best You've Never Heard : Vol 1
Delta Rock Records
Deborah Allen is one of the most talented singers, songwriters and performers in country music not to have made the breakthrough into major stardom. Don’t get me wrong, in a music career that stretches back almost 50 years, she has penned more than 2,000 compositions for hundreds of artists, including smash hits by LeAnn Rimes, Brooks & Dunn, Patty Loveless, Conway Twitty, Tanya Tucker, Janie Fricke, John Conlee, Isaac Hayes, Diana Ross, Sheena Easton, Fleetwood Mac and more. Among her most notable songs are Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me Baby (Janie Fricke), Can I See You Tonight (Tanya Tucker), Hurt Me Bad (Patty Loveless) and I’m Only In It For The Love (John Conlee). Deborah has also scored her own hits on the charts including I've Been Wrong Before, I Hurt For You, Rock Me, If You're Not Gonna Love Me, Wrong Side Of Love, Break These Chains and Baby I Lied.
I first came across Deborah Allen in 1979 when her vocals were added to some classic Jim Reeves’ recordings to create new duets. Soon after this she started making waves as a songwriter, often co-writing with Rafe VanHoy, who was to become her husband. Many of those songs connected with me for their powerful emotional edge. I eagerly grabbed TROUBLE IN PARADISE, her 1980 album debut and have followed Deborah’s career ever since. DELTA DREAMLAND from 1993 remains, in my humble opinion, one of the finest country-rock-soul albums all time. One that I reach for often when I want a little uplift. This new six-track EP is a collection of some of Deborah’s songs that have never been heard before. That songs of this quality can have remained dormant in her publishing catalogue for even a year, is a tragedy, they are that good.
A product of the deep south, Deborah channels swampy soul, delta blues, intense gospel and sensual country through a voice that aches with raw emotion. She has rare grit and the kind of courage they don't manufacture on Music Row as she opens up her heart and soul for all to see and hear. The sublime Leavin’ Comin’ On has something that's going to draw you in and keep you there, hanging on to every word, every phrase, every guitar lick or cracked note.
On the opposite end of the love spectrum is Someone Like You, a wilfully loose, swampy country-soul track, her sensual, humid singing smack-dab in the middle of it all, rather than out front. Her voice soars over the swirling melody of What A World, as she wryly laments the current situation of life today and neatly ties it into a romantic tiff.
The Art Of Dreaming is classy country-soul with a hefty dash of gospel to send a shiver down your spine. A standout vocal performance this shows the kind of rich, soulful sound that Deborah crafts for her songs. Even on One Night Closer that flirts with pop-rock power balladry her tremendous voice shines in its remarkable range, as she hits both piercing high notes and deep, low tones with grace and ease. This half-a-dozen songs show that Deborah Allen has deep wells of memories to inspire her writing. She is among country music's most dynamic vocalists, capable of hushing a room with the power of—or vulnerability in—her voice. She's a true artist, dedicated to the songs and true to her heart and her art with a noted country influence, meshing well with the pop and soul vibes throughout the album.