“Across the Sea should be required listening for anyone who thinks they know music. I love it!...among the best I’ve heard this year.
-Tom Saunders, https://www.tradebit.com
“Allison and John are the complete package…skilled musicians, engaging storytellers, and songs ranging from thoughtful to flat out hilarious…our audience loved them.”
-Andy Baker, Northwind House Concerts
“Downey has a sweet, clear voice and writes melodic, character-driven songs that, on Downey''s CD, ''Wind at Your Back,'' recall Natalie Merchant''s solo records."
- Andrew S. Hughes, South Bend Tribune
“Allison Downey, … the singer with a honey-coated voice is also a playwright and writes songs that appeal to all of the senses. It’s as if she’s creating a scene on stage…”
– Christian Czerwinski, Lansing NOISE
“Allison can really smoke! Take me back to the late 60''s on Highway 61”
- Eddie Stout, Malaco Records
“Downey''s smooth, lyrical, soaring voice is a splendid instrument.”
- Mark Bretz, KDHX radio, St. Louis
“Allison Downey is one soulful bitch!”
- Miss Lavelle White, Antone''s Records Recording Artist
BIO & NOTES FOR ALLISON DOWNEY (Little Ditty Records) https://www.tradebit.com
Audiences readily connect with Allison’s sense of humor, touching lyrics, and intimate and earnest performing style. With a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre (now a Western Michigan University professor), Contemporary Folk Singer/Songwriter Allison Downey is a captivating performer and natural storyteller whose songs range from traditional folk to more rhythmically and dynamically complex arrangements. Her material includes whimsical pop songs, rocking love songs, social commentary, and melancholy laments. Often considered “a cross between Natalie Merchant and Judy Collins,” this native Washingtonian (DC) honed her craft in Austin, TX before bringing her style of music to her current home of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since 2004, Allison has been performing with her partner in music and life, John Austin. Allison’s “Midwestern Urban Folk” originals are complimented by the dynamic grooves of John’s six-string bass. Allison’s newest recording, Across the Sea (2008), produced by Michael Crittenden of Mackinaw Harvest Records features her husband, John, Annie & Rod Capps, and Michael Crittenden & Brian Morrill of “Troll for Trout.” The songs from the new album have already produced accolades for Allison, including the People’s Choice Award for Texas’ 2007 Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival Performing Songwriter Contest. Allison''s debut CD, Wind at Your Back (Little Ditty Records, 2002), produced by veteran performers Christine Albert & Chris Gage, has been heard on radio stations around the country.
BIO for JOHN AUSTIN
When he is not playing his 6-string electric bass with Allison Downey, John Austin plays in the jam-based jazz-fusion electric trio Jam-Lab (https://www.tradebit.com). Jam-Lab plays original music and interpretations of songs by artists including John Scofield, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Sting, The Greyboy Allstars, and others. John attended the highly competitive Victor Wooten’s “Bass & Nature Camp” in 2005. With over 15 years of live music experience playing everything from funk to jazz to heavy rock in various regions across the country John Austin melds together these wide musical influences to form his own unique style that captivates audiences in a wide range of venues.
• 2007 Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival Performing Songwriter Contest – People''s Choice Winner!
o “All that Matters” & “Almost” – Across the Sea
• 2005 International Songwriting Competition - Quarter Finalist
o “Wind at Your Back” – Wind at Your Back
• 2004 Susquehanna Music & Arts Festival Singer-Songwriter Contest Finalist - ** “Wind at Your Back” & “Cate’s Cradle” – Wind at Your Back
• 2004 South Florida Festival Performing Songwriter Competition Finalist
o “Wind at Your Back” & “Cate’s Cradle” – Wind at Your Back
• 2003 Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival Performing Songwriter Contest - Semi-finalist –
o “Wind at Your Back” & “Fallen Angel” – Wind at Your Back
SELECTED VENUES PLAYED
The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI)
Miller Auditorium (Kalamazoo, MI)
The Living Room (NYC, NY)
The Livery (Benton Harbor, MI)
The Continental Club (Austin, TX)
Vic''s Music Corner (Rockville, MD)
Barker Concert Series (Austin, TX)
Moore House Music (Rockville, MD)
International Folk Cultural Center Concerts (San Antonio, TX)
Channel 3 News - Grand Rapids, MI
Channel 41 News - Kalamazoo, MI
Fox 7 News - Austin, TX
Austin Music Network – live shows "Breakin'' In" & "What''s the Cover"
SELECTED RADIO PLAY
KGNU - Boulder, CO WEBR – Fairfax, VA
KOPN - Columbia, MO WETA - Washington, DC
KRLC – Salt Lake City, UT WFMT – Chicago, IL
KUT - Austin, TX WIUJ - St. Thomas, VI
KZMU – Moab, UT WMNF – Tampa, FL
WDCB – Glen Ellyn, IL WMUK- Kalamazoo, MI
WDET – Detroit, MI WUWG – Carollton, GA
Allison’s Extended Bio:
An Assistant Professor of Theatre and Creative Arts Education, Singer/Songwriter Allison Downey is a captivating performer and natural storyteller who weaves together heartfelt lyrics and melodic compositions into compelling narratives and image-rich songs. Allison enchants audiences with her expressive vocal power (her soaring vocals have been called a cross between Natalie Merchant and Judy Collins.) With songs ranging from traditional folk to more rhythmically and dynamically complex arrangements, her material includes whimsical pop songs, rocking love songs, social commentary, and melancholy laments. She captures with precision the ambiguities of relationships and the nuances of raw emotion. Allison''s commitment to social causes is evident in much of her material, inspired by her experiences as an educator, as a theatre specialist working with juvenile offenders, and as a traveler of cities and wilderness. Since 2004, Allison has been performing with her partner in music and life, John Austin (a fellow WMU professor). Allison’s Contemporary Folk/Rock originals are complimented by the dynamic grooves of John’s six-string bass. Audiences are mesmerized by Allison''s intimate and earnest performance style, sense of humor, and touching lyrics.
A native Washingtonian (DC), Allison left her home in Austin, Texas to become a professor of Theatre and Creative Arts Education at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has performed in national and international venues including Canada, Spain, Italy, and Mexico. She caught the performing bug at age 10, when she sang for then-President Jimmy Carter at the Kennedy Center and a year later at RFK Stadium. Although Allison now performs in considerably smaller venues, and prefers the more intimate atmospheres, on September 11, 2002 Allison performed for thousands of people at Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo, MI, "On the Day", her moving response to the terrorist attacks of 2001.
With an MFA in Theatre, Allison continues her work as a performing playwright. She performed a run of her one-woman show, Connections, in St. Louis, Missouri - a City Players Theatre Company production. Her original songs weave together the 7 different elderly characters she portrays. In her current musical performances, some of her “alter-egos” appear, on occasion, and command the stage to give the audience a wild ride.
Allison''s debut CD, Wind at Your Back has been heard on radio stations around the country. Across the Sea (2008), Allison’s newest recording, produced by Michael Crittenden of Mackinaw Harvest Records features her husband, John Austin, Annie & Rod Capps, and Michael Crittenden & Brian Morrill of “Troll for Trout.”
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