29 August 2018

The Allen Family Reunion (CAN): coming home to Omagh this weekend

The Allen Family Reunion: (l-r) John P. Allen, Paul Hickling,
Beverley Allen, Julie Allen, Joe Allen

The Allen Family Reunion bluegrass band, based in London, Ontario, will be playing on all three days of the coming weekend at the 27th Annual Bluegrass Music Festival in the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone. It will be a special event for them, as the family originally came from Omagh; they emigrated in 1849 to Canada and since then have farmed in Lambeth, Ontario.

The original Allen Family Reunion was formed in 1980 on the family homestead, and still includes three of the founder members: Juno-Award-winning musician John P. Allen (fiddle, mandolin), his sister Julie (bass), and his brother Joe (banjo). John is a member of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame group Prairie Oyster, and has played with a long list of Canadian music icons over the past forty years. His daughter Beverly (autoharp, lead vocals) and his nephew Paul Hickling (guitar, lead vocals) — the sixth generation of Allens on the family farm - complete the present Allen Family Reunion.

Beverley and Paul wrote the song 'Lonely and blue' (combining bluegrass instrumentation with a pop-song structure), which has just been released and will appear on the new Allen Family Reunion album, Strawberry social. The band is excited about the forthcoming launch of the album in concert at the Aeolian Hall, London, Ontario, on 14 September. Strawberry social uses bluegrass standards, as well as originals, to tell stories of life in the country. Paul says:

Growing up on the farm, music was something I was constantly exposed to. My grandpa was always an entertainer, and was a big influence on this album.

You can hear the new single 'Lonely and blue' on YouTube. Thanks to Paul Hickling for information and photos; for requests and more info, contact Paul by 'phone (+1 519-872-6842) or e-mail.

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At 5:18 pm, Blogger Unknown said...

Glad to be related to this great family with roots in Ireland


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