!
!
Dobb, Allen
!

Allen Dobb Horses and Hills

Released: 1998

Label: Resource Records/Ragged Pup
Producers: Daniel Ross and Allen Dobb

Horses and Hills, Allen Dobb's debut solo CD, takes us into a rich musical heartland, spanning folk, country/rock and soul. From the first raw, swollen bars of "Mirage", to the liberating pop refrain of "Magnolia", Dobb’s textured and expressive voice carries the listener over an earthy, but varied musical terrain. The acoustic guitar based arrangements are salted with mandolin, banjo, electric slide guitar, piano and haunting percussion.


These songs reveal Dobb’s highly detailed and often poetic sensibility: "Horses are standing all bunched in the corner/Steam riding their backs like ghosts in the morning," he sings in the moving "Forty-Five Years". Horses and Hills is a landscape of broken farms, wild west shows, travelling salesmen and backwater spirits. These are honest songs about living, loving and leaving.

The Kingston Whig Standard's Greg Burliuk wrote, "His exceptional songwriting skills make Dobb's CD, Horses and Hills extraordinary." The Georgia Straight's Tony Montague wrote, "Dobb skirts deftly past the temptation of cliché to create a highly individual album."

Allen Dobb Bottomland

Released: 2002
Label: Skipping Stone Music / Pacific Music
Producers: Blair Calibaba / Allen Dobb

The path leading to Victoria-based musician, Allen Dobb's latest CD, Bottomland (Skipping Stone/Pacific Music), has been a long and varied series of adventures. His quest has led Dobb from his youth in rural Alberta farm country, to several years in southern Africa using his agriculture degree from Washington State University and another land management stint on an Apache reservation in Arizona, to singer-songwriter showcases on stages of roots music hotbeds in Austin and Nashville. Dobb has documented his path of eclectic experiences with several recordings including a pair of CDs with his brother Cameron as Dobb and Dumela and 1998's Horses and Hills (Resource/Festival), his acclaimed solo debut.

The Kingston Whig Standard's Greg Burliuk wrote, "His exceptional songwriting skills make Dobb's CD, Horses and Hills extraordinary." The Georgia Straight's Tony Montague wrote, "Dobb skirts deftly past the temptation of cliché to create a highly individual album."

For all of Horses and Hills' lyrical gifts, it merely laid the groundwork for Dobb's musical achievements on Bottomland. Stony Plain Records' Holger Petersen, one of the world's most knowledgeable roots music authorities, enthused, "I'm a huge fan of Allen's work. His writing, arrangements, playing and singing have taken a big step forward with Bottomland."

Co-produced by Dobb and Blair Calibaba at Vancouver's Mushroom Studios, Bottomland features a host of Canada's finest musicians (drummer Pat Steward, bassist Rob Becker, Luke Doucet on electric guitar and pedal steel, organist Dave Kershaw, Jesse Zubot on mandolin, and harmony vocals by Robyn Carrigan), to produce a muscular, powerful soundscape reminiscent of Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen's most compelling work.

Finely-drawn characters like Della the two-step queen and "that ole hayseed Jimmy Roy…the hippest cat in Hollywood" populate Dobb's lyrical narratives, but the most fully realized writing are the descriptions of the vivid landscapes that frame the songs on Bottomland. Dobb takes the listener deep into those varied worlds, from the dusty Sonora desert, to the Canadian prairie's "big wide open", to the title track's broken and littered shadows.

It's an exquisite song cycle, fueled by a rich and varied life and a poet's eye for detail. The songs feel lived in and real. Roots music never sounded better.

Dobb's sophomore release Bottomland (Skipping Stone/Pacific Music) was released to great critical acclaim. Stony Plain Records' Holger Petersen, one of the world's most knowledgeable roots music authorities, enthused, "I'm a huge fan of Allen's work. His writing, arrangements, playing and singing have taken a big step forward with Bottomland." The album features a host of Canada's finest musicians (drummer Pat Steward, bassist Rob Becker, Luke Doucet on electric guitar and pedal steel, organist Dave Kershaw, Jesse Zubot on mandolin, and harmony vocals by Robyn Carrigan), to produce a muscular, powerful soundscape reminiscent of Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen's most compelling work. ". Indeed, the word has spread. Bottomland is slated for release in the UK through Pinnacle on October 14, with a major promotional push from Frontier. The album has also recently been released in the USA through Burnside Distribution. A rigorous fall tour schedule will see Dobb perform across Canada, the Northwest US and the UK to further support the release of Bottomland. For the WISE Hall show Paul Rigby will accompany Dobb on guitar, lap steel and mandolin, and Rob Becker on bass and vocals.

Allen Dobb Rosetown

Release Date: April 19, 2005
Label: Skipping Stone Music/Pacific Music
Producer: John Ellis

Allen Dobb’s recently produced CD, Rosetown, conjures-up the Canadian landscape and even deeper, more personal realms.  Credit producer/engineer John Ellis, who also plays guitars, mandolin, banjo and pedal steel on Rosetown, for mixing an evocative soundscape that showcases Dobb’s well-crafted lyrics and hook-laden, eclectic music.  

“Some of the songs kind of wrote themselves,” Dobb explained. “We were all in the same room when we recorded, and I think it helped create Rosetown’s intimate, laidback narrative flow.”  In addition to John Ellis, those in “the room” and laying it down live off the floor, were long time Dobb bassist Rob Becker, and drummer Harvey Kostenchuck.   Another beautiful circumstance of the Rosetown sessions was having Katrina Kadoski come in to add her stellar vocal harmonies to four songs.  The timbre, and the emotional attachment combined with restraint was exactly what I was looking for”. 

On Rosetown, Dobb’s vocals inhabit a cast of characters with a master’s grace. One exemplary performance is his reading of “Next Year Country”. On that song he sings both sides of a rural partnership’s longing and caps the tune with a line punctuated with hope. Like the greatest blues, it transcends heartache. Dobb carves to the core of this bond on “Reasons Why”, singing passionately, “I don’t know the reasons why/ Some things live and some things die/ And if I did/ Every one I’d give/ To see our love survive.” “Maggie O’Donnell” is another tale of loss and longing. A simple, hypnotic, acoustic guitar melody frames each finely etched image in this haunting, multi-layered narrative. 

Among Rosetown’s strengths is the recording’s flawless sequencing, and “Maggie O’Donnell” flows like a magic trick into “Magnetic North’s” passionate, dreamlike, CD-capping vision. The eleven originals and a wise reading of Peter Case, Bob Neuwirth and Tom Russell’s classic collaboration, “Beyond The Blues” are rich with piercing, poetic images and hard-won wisdom.  Dobb has created a powerful suite of songs that captures the grandeur of the west and the mysteries of the heart.