June 1st marks the release of 'Dead Man's Suit' the debut long-player from South Devon's finest, Jon Allen. Sitting comfortably with contemporaries such as Ryan Adams, Jose Gonzales and Damien Rice, whilst being unmistakeably evocative of the folk-rock scene of the late 60s/ early 70s. A confident performer - opening for the likes of Mark Knopfler, Emmylou Harris, KT Tunstall, Jose Gonzalez and Damien Rice has not fazed him - wowing audiences in the process in venues from the miniscule 12 Bar all the way up to Wembley Arena.
The critically acclaimed first single 'Going Home', championed by Radio 1's Jo Whiley, featured on the worldwide Land Rover TV commercial in 2008 achieving a respectable 20,000 downloads from Jons website off the back of the advert. The proceeds gave Jon the freedom to self-fund the recording of his album and media campaign. This track was also made record of the week by Absolute Radios drive time host, Geoff Lloyd. 'Dead Mans Suit' shows an eclectic range of influences, from early Rod Stewart and the Faces to the legendary and lamented John Martyn in his 'Solid Air' era. Jon echoes Martyns spirit and reflectiveness and at the same time shows that he knows how to pen a good hook The album kicks off with 'Dead Man's Suit', which despite the name is an uplifting melodic tune in which Rod Argent (Zombies)-style organ plays a significant role throughout the song. This contrasts with the soulful ballad 'In Your Light', which has achieved significant praise at BBC Radio 2, riding high on the A list, having been championed by the likes of Ken Bruce, Johnnie Walker, Dermot O'Leary and Bob Harris, with a session booked with Bob for May 30th.
Other songs like 'Take Me To The Heart' subtly echo a James Taylor-esque, West Coast 70s singer-songwriter acoustic atmosphere, complementing the more groove- based bluesy rock numbers such as 'Young Man Blues' and 'Happy Now'.
'Dead Mans Suit' is a testament to the art of quality songwriting - Jon studied at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts founded by Paul McCartney, who has praised Jon on his penmanship and offered up help in the form of writing sessions with the great man. That experience helped Jon find fans in the likes of songwriting heavyweights such as Guy Chambers amongst others. James Morrison is also a fan, having found time off whilst touring to catch Jon at a show.
Jon Allen has already achieved a lot in his short career and has been praised by some of the music industry's great and good. Just like his growing audience, they've all seen the prospect of Jon as a long-term, career- sustaining artist, whose authentic songs will not go out of fashion.