Dave Allen / When The Demons Come
Release Date: Nov. 3, 2017
Label: Independent / Bandcamp
Produced by Dave Allen
Genre: Alt-Folk, Americana
When The Demons Come – Liner Notes
Lord, forgive me, but redemption can be a tricky thing. Sometimes it means saving yourself, and sometimes it means saving someone else. Sometimes it simply means clearing your debts. The songs on this album bear a heavy burden, the kind that has motivated singers from time immemorial to turn to a higher power, because that’s all that was left. It’s what gave birth to gospel and the blues, laying the foundation for a century of lamentation on record. However, it’s often tempting to think that the so-called progress we’ve made in our current century has actually diluted music’s power to ease the burdens of both the artist and the listener. When everything we ever wanted is at our fingertips, where is the struggle, and, by extension, what is the point in trying to find meaning in any of it? Of course, the meaning is still there, but only if we choose to expose it.
Embracing this task is something Dave Allen does naturally. Anyone who has been aware of his previous projects knows this, although then it was shown only in flashes, intertwined with the equally convincing voices of his collaborators. Now he has paid his debts and can tell the full story by transporting us to a place that to our modern perceptions will seem uncomfortably foreign, or conversely, all too real. At the same time it is an inclusive place, a place where dead voices gather—the voices that Hank Williams and Johnny Cash also once heard. The message is summed up in the song that shares the album’s title: Will you love me when the demons come? It’s a question we are all forced to ask at one time or another, and the answer we receive can mark us forever, for better or worse. Dave Allen’s answer is within this brilliant collection of songs, whose haunting performances accomplish the seemingly impossible task of trying to see the demons, live with them and accept them as they are. Dave is neither a country singer, nor a blues or gospel singer. He is all three, which makes him utterly suited to this moment in time. A moment in which we all need to be redeemed.