Perry Michael Allen – I’m Gone
ARTIST NAME: Perry Michael Allen
SONG TITLE: I’m Gone
ALBUM TITLE: Tracks Vol. 1
RELEASE DATE: 2019
GENRE: “New Easy”/Jazz Funk
Perry Michael Allen was born and raised in Memphis U.S.A., the heartland of Soul. Allen’s musical roots run deep into the contemporary music marketplace.
His father Perry Allen, an educator and Memphis’ foremost jazz radio disc-jockey left a lasting impression on the young and talented musician.
During high school, Allen was awarded the unique opportunity to study the art of record making with some of Memphis’s greatest session musicians. Under the wings of master producer “Papa,” Willie Mitchell, and Stax hit writer David Porter (of “Soul Man” fame).
Allen sharpened his songwriting and production skills and later became an artist/writer and arranger for both Stax Records and the legendary Hi Records where he worked for many years with Mitchell and soul legend Al Green, during their chart-topping careers.
Since then, Perry Michael Allen has collaborated on numerous successful albums. Berklee College of Music has recognized Master Perry Michael Allen as a Music Production Specialist.
As a composer and arranger, “Session-Man” Allen has received many awards including RIAA Certified Gold and Platinum Albums and the coveted Memphis Blues Foundation “Blue Note Award”. His songs and tracks are also licensed to many movies and TV shows. Some are: “C.S.I.” -“Dr. House MD” -“JAG”, “Ally McBeal”, and for movies “Pulp Fiction”, “Munich”, Mickey Blue Eyes and many more.
In addition to his own records for Stax, Hi, and other record companies, Allen penned three hits for Al Green; “Hanging On”, “So Good To Be Here” and “Soon As I Get Home” as well as recording and arranging for other well-known artists such as Bozz Skaggs, Albert King, Wilson Pickett, Anita Ward, The Memphis Horns, Bobby Rush, The Soul Children, Syl Johnson, European groups Wet Wet Wet, Axelle Red, Zucchero, and many others.
During his first term at Stax Records, Allen recorded “The Sweet Inspirations” … the legendary backup singers of Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley and also recorded David Porter’s album “Sweat and Love”, accompanying Porter at the famous WattStax concert which was the subject of the groundbreaking film of the same name. He later was songwriter/arranger vocalist with the Stax / Fantasy records group “KILO”.
During his early years at Hi Records Allen made many recordings with The Hi Rhythm Section and worked for years alongside Willie Mitchell and the legend of soul Al Green; co-writing, arranging, and appearing with Al Green as musical director in Las Vegas, on Broadway, and a host of theatres and television programs including The Tonight Show, The Late Show, Soul Train, and The Midnight Special.
Allen also worked on projects at Fame Records (Muscle Shoals) with writer George Jackson and performed as keyboardist/vocalist on Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell” tour.
Allen later was called to work as producer/arranger/musician for Willie Mitchells’ new record label “Waylo”. For Waylo, he arranged and recorded the works of “Lynn White”, “Lanier & Co.”, the European group “Wet Wet Wet” (The Memphis Sessions), David Hudson’s album “Night & Day” and others as well as his own singles “Music All The Time”, “Turn On The Music”, “Ooo Wee” and “Highway”.
For the A&M record label, he arranged and recorded the album of Al Green (He Is The Light).
Perry Michael arrived in Europe for the first time touring as music director and road manager for superstar and friend Al Green.
Later that year, he decided to return to Europe. Since moving there he has written, produced, and recorded his own work, including the CD “Deep Inside” for Irma Molto Jazz, and “On The Radio”, “Push Push Push” and other singles for Tabloid / Polygram.
Working with acclaimed house producer Gianni Bini, Allen released several mixes including “Ride” and “Back To My Roots”. Also during this time his EP “Simple Things” was the first release for his independent label Nugen Music.
“Tracks Vol. 1” is the second album released on Nugen Music and precedes the Album “Now and Then” which will be released later in 2019.
Allen is now a major contributor to the revival of Soul Music in Europe where he now lives and has reunited and worked with many friends and mentors including Isaac Hayes, The Blues Brothers, Solomon Burke, Booker T., and the MGs, the late great Rufus Thomas and countless others.
Adding to an ongoing career Allen now offers “Session Man” courses and Music Production Counseling to emerging artists/musicians and European music institutes and studios.
When asked why he wanted to offer his courses, Allen replied: “I was lucky to be inspired by great artists and producers and to have them as mentors. I want to convey inspiration and knowledge to musicians and artists who feel they are on the outside looking in. For me, there is nothing more rewarding than the feeling that you get when someone tells you that their success is due to what they learned from you and the things you’ve been able to convey to them.”
State your reason for choosing music as a career.
Well, I knew and decided at five years old, like a calling or a curse…I couldn’t think of anything else, it came to me before any of the kid’s stuff.
I was born in Memphis at the right time as far as I’m concerned. During that time my father was a junior high school teacher but more importantly to me: he was a hot radio DJ.
Every Wednesday or Thursday promotional 45s and LPs from record companies would arrive at the house. I would play A and B sides then my father would ask me which artists and songs I liked best, I also had to explain why and he’d point out other things that hadn’t got my attention. It made me think of music as something more than just a fun thing for passing time… maybe I was being trained for production…
There are a lot of great stories about that period of my life.
Tell us how you write the music to your song.
Either a musical idea, the lyrics, or poetry could come to me first, then I build-up from there. What’s important is that they merge together, lyrics telling a story and music creating an atmosphere in which the story can be expressed.
It’s like choosing or mixing the right colors for a painting.
No matter what type of song.
Share your press release and reviews with us.
“TRACKS VOL 1” is a first edition collection of instrumental tracks from Perry Michael Allen’s songwriter archive – A perfect example of his genre-bending approach.
Allen makes his own space in the Indie arena and says “I call it “New Easy”, the indie / underground version of Adult Contemporary… How about that? I just want that listeners enjoy these musical journeys, they all were inspired by people I’ve met and places I’ve visited around the world.”
There is Soul, Pop, R&B, Funk, Jazz, and Hip Hop, and more put into one seamless blend, all listeners will hear something that will make them move, touch their hearts and stimulate the imagination.
It’s obvious that Allen has a long background in making this kind of music; it’s clean and catchy without ever sounding over-produced.
You can hear his Memphis roots and the influences of some of Soul and R&B’s greatest musicians. For example, early in his career under the wings of master producer “Papa” Willie Mitchell and Stax hit writer David Porter (of “Soul Man” fame), Allen sharpened his songwriting and production skills and later became an artist/writer and arranger for both Stax Records, and the legendary Hi Records where he worked for many years with Mitchell and soul legend Al Green during their chart-topping careers. The style and personality reflected in “Tracks Vol 1” are very refreshing.
This collection of instrumentals is a unique mix of groove, arrangement, and melody, a breath of fresh air … Worth adding to your playlist.
Maxine B. The Nugen Group
NBT MusicRadio Germany
“We are VERY keen to playlist it across our 24 hr. NBT streams which go out to listeners all across the world.”
Jazz Bay Radio New Jersey U.S.
“We gave your music a quick listen – good stuff!”
Cruise N Jazz WPMJ Pennsylvania U.S.
“Great! Your music will begin playing within forty-eight hours.”
Soul Survivor Radio California U.S.
“I am interested in airing your music. Your sound is quality production and performance. Your songs will be played with records from Teena, Luther, Steely Dan, and other classic artists.”
Scorp Radio Network Ohio U.S.
“Great music! Looking forward to hearing back from you soon!”
Discuss your life outside the music world.
Now I really had to think about this one. As it’s always been a major part of my life. Actually, next to being a proud father and now grandfather, I’ve been very fortunate.
I’ve lived and traveled around Europe for the past 29 years. Here I’ve been socially active, meeting, learning from people of different cultures, and observing their traditions; I also enjoy nature, gardening, health-conscious cooking, reading, watching movies, and living in places I’d only read about.
My life has been a continued learning experience and still is…
Discuss your music career.
Ongoing, thank goodness!
The musicianship started in elementary school and at seven years old, I got my first piano (along with threats about what would happen to me if I didn’t finish what I’d started.).
My first experiences in a recording studio began at 13, where I saw how ideas come to life and become something real and loved by millions of people.
That power… How do they make it?
I listened and learned, played piano, and analyzed songs I heard on the radio during my high school years. By my last year, I was playing in a band and backing local Memphis recording artists on their promotional tours. I changed my college major from biology to music composition because by that time I had my first record contract with Hi Records and was writing charts for my teachers who at night would play on recording sessions.
The rest is too long of a story to discuss here but imagine growing up meeting, working with, and being mentored by your idols, hit-making producers, and music business icons… Heaven!
At an early age, I knew that I wanted to make these things called “Records” and I’m fortunate to have been able to live my dream.
Elaborate on your artist’s name.
I had always been known as Michael Allen until the 80s when so many celebrities named “Michael” arrived on the scene (Jackson, Jordan, George, Buble, etc.) and in the media.
So I decided then just to be myself and use my full name, Perry Michael Allen.
Why not… It’s honest; it gave my career a new face and separated me from the crowd. My father’s name was Perry Allen; I was now carrying a flame!
List your favorite music videos with reasons.
That’s a hard question for me; I don’t look at many and don’t have a favorite.
I enjoy the work of all that have context, communicate a message, and where I can appreciate the quality of the filming techniques.
Tell us your source of inspiration.
Books, the news, movies, conversations, emotional and personal stories, locations, and other songs I feel.
Tell us your experience of dealing with fans.
My “fans” for me are new friends… In my mind, these are people who like my work for one reason or another. To have fans following me is the highest compliment, so I give my best in return. There have been some disappointing experiences but I guess it’s part of the deal.
Elaborate on the recording of this song.
I wanted to record an instrumental and I had an image in my mind of someone walking away with a decisive stride after making a serious decision, not smiling.
The first thing was to choose the right tempo, then the instruments and feel for the song. I wanted to give the listeners a suggestion and space for them to let their imaginations go for it…
Tell us about your future projects.
I plan to release two singles and an album in 2019.
I’m searching for the right sound and working on the right subject material, inspirational themes, sharing life experiences. I always push to make the next one better than the last.
I’m also starting my Production Counseling Service, “The Clinic” which offers instruction, counseling/coaching to musicians, groups, and individual students interested in analog or computer studio recording theory from the “Session Man”-“Session Singer” perspective. I feel this could be of use to them and complementary to any current project, program, and/or study curriculum.
List the names of those that have supported you so far.
I’d have to begin with my aunt Roberta who loaned me the money to join the Memphis Musician’s Union when I began to play professionally. From that day on I never looked back.
I met and worked with Stax Records’ David Porter of “Soulman” fame, who remains my close friend to this day.
I also worked closely over two decades with Willie Mitchell, The Hi Rhythm Section, and other labels and icons of the Memphis Sound including Al Green during his chart-topping career.
I received support and business advice from people like Walt McGuire of then Decca Records, Mentor Charles Graziano, manager and booking agent for Motown and Queens Booking agency. Joe and Silvia Robinson of the All Platinum Studios where they say today’s rap was born; Nick Pesce and John Navarrese who were part of one of the largest record distributor companies in the U.S., in fact, an impressive list of top recording artists and musicians which is too extensive to be complete here.
Also, I would add close, anonymous, and intimate friends who often supported me behind the scene in more ways than one.
Tell us your point of view on vocal tuning.
I have to say at this point, I’ve accepted it like I accept lip-syncing, overdubbing, processed instruments; a great crutch and money maker. It’s here to stay.
Tell us your thought on quality and quantity for the release of songs.
Well, both have gone through changes over the years.
Briefly, although you have to be good at what you do, less interest is put on quality in today’s market. People are now taught to think of listeners as customers rather than lovers of the art.
It’s now important for record companies to have a large catalog available to the public, being artistically unique…
Tell us your viewpoint on comparing a music career to a non-music career.
As “career” goes, they both are very similar, what’s different is that a non-music career is more defined. Most are easier but some are equal and just as creative, the Sciences and Engineering, for example. It depends on your focus and goals.
Tell us your opinion on categorizing music into genres and sub-genres.
It’s supposed to be for convenience but now it has become careless, often offensive, confusing, and detrimental to artists and musicians who are accustomed to the original titles of genres and their meaning (ref.: the Grammy’s 2019).
State the genre you despise most with reason.
Music of any genre has a negative influence on the younger generation.
List your favorite movies with reasons.
I do like Classics, Thrillers, Black and Whites, Documentaries, Space and Futuristic Films. Mostly anything that has a good script and interesting filming techniques, whether Action or Drama.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
I supplied the focus, the direction of thought by naming the song “I’m Gone”.
The image I had in mind was a person turning and walking away or driving away calm, convinced, and decided.
I gave the listeners the suggestion and space for them to let their imaginations interpret the music.
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
I wanted to do an instrumental album and decided to keep it simple, so the album is called “Tracks Vol. 1”.
No grand concept title because the album is a collection of different songs with different meanings for me.
I just want listeners to enjoy these musical journeys, they all were inspired by people I’ve met and places I’ve visited around the world.
I didn’t think about category rules and regulations; I wanted the music, the experience to be the point not referring to a specific genre. There is Soul, Pop, R&B, Funk, Jazz, and Hip Hop.
So as to avoid confusion online, I invented my own category: I call it “New Easy”, the Indie / underground version of Adult Contemporary. How about that!
And why “Vol. 1”? I plan on doing it again.