Jim Allyn

Hey thanks for coming by!  My  new album

Backyards of the Brave is now available

everywhere through iTunes,  here on CD Baby, 

 on Amazon and streaming services like Spotify.

Thanks to my co-producers and musician

friends who contributed their amazing talents!

 The title track hearkens back to 1968.

So when  my design team found this photo 

from that summer long ago, well - there it is! 

This month my song Lindytown

(track five on the album) has been 

named finalist in the folk category of 

the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. 

I'll be posting a video of that track soon.

Here below is  an updated video of Priority Gal 

with the new album audio.

Upcoming shows:

June 28th at Reverie Brewery in Newtown,

September 7th at the CT Folk Festival in New Haven,

September 28 Flagpole Radio Cafe in Newtown,

November 9th  and Dec 7th Flagpole Radio Cafe,

Feb. 8th and March 21st Flagpole Radio Cafe

 Hope to see you there! 

1/10
 

VIDEOS

Priority Gal  (from the new album) 

With Jonathan Edwards  - Sunshine
With Livingston Taylor -  City Lights

With Livingston Taylor - City Lights

 

LIVE

This summer I'll be celebrating the new album release at several upcoming shows including
Friday May 3rd with a set at Reverie Brewery in Newtown and also one of the major folk festivals in
Connecticut soon to announce their lineup.
 
Flagpole Radio Cafe Orchestra, with my bandmates Francine Wheeler, Richard Neal, Rick Brodsky, Howard Bujese, and Cadence Carrol looks forward staging another local concert soon - so stay tuned!
 
 
Video by Robert Moran 

BIO

 

New England singer-songwriter Jim Allyn is known for his freewheeling improvisations on mandolin, guitar, piano and harmonica.  “He plays a lot of good bluegrass too,” according to the legendary Bill Monroe.*

 

With a musical compass forged in roots, rock, country, blues, and gospel Allyn writes songs that cut a path straight to the heart and keep moving. 

 

This past year marked the release of his first full length album Backyards of the Brave, featuring all original works: true stories from train yards, backroads, battlefields and coal mines (see review below).  Recent years have included multiple tour dates with folk legend Jonathan Edwards  as a member of Edwards' band. Allyn has also performed extensively with Peter Yarrow  (of Peter, Paul, and Mary) and at venues and festivals over the years including onstage jamming with Bela Fleck, Livingston Taylor, Dar Williams, Tom Chapin, Guy Davis, Christine Lavin, Vaneese Thomas,  Chris Hillman of the Byrds,  Newgrass Revival, Vassar Clements, legendary fiddler Kenny Baker, and many others. Allyn's multi-instrumental work and vocals are also heard on recordings by numerous regional artists. 

 

As Music Director and co-creator of the Flagpole Radio Cafe in Connecticut (2008-2014)  Jim and the house band/ensemble garnered rave reviews: a "hit" show, according to the New York Times. The band, featuring Francine Wheeler, continues to do concerts each year and the show itself plans to resume soon.

Pianist Tom Snow offered this recent praise for Backyards of the Brave:

 "This album is a treasure. The amount of sonic and compositional variety is really quite incredible. One of the many wonderful attributes of this creation is that it stands up to multiple listenings.  There is so much richness on many levels that I find myself hearing new things on successive listenings.  Priority Gal and Lindytown and This Old Guitar and Jazzbo are real stand-outs for me.  I love the compositional subtleties that inform the songs, especially chord choices! "

 

- Tom Snow  (check out Tom's site at www.tomsnow.com)

 

 
 

CONTACT

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Friends, Photos, and Links

Scroll Down.

Links are highlighted

With Jonathan Edwards and Rick Brodsky - our first show   at Fairfield Theatre. Check out Jon's site and new album Tomorrow's Child here

With Francine Wheeler,  Richard Neal, and Howard Bujese of Flagpole Radio Cafe

With Francine Wheeler at Flagpole Radio Cafe

With Tom Chapin

 

With Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary 

Francine and Howard

Flagpole Radio Cafe

photos courtesy

Greg Van Antwerp

Mark Barden joined us for an incredible show

Left to right: Tom Snow, Jerome DeGey, Grace, Jonathan Edwards. Rick Brodsky and I.

Jamming with Alex Lampel and Greg Padovona at the Meeting House Pub.  

With Ramblin' Jack Elliot

 

With Jonathan Edwards at Mohegan Sun.

With Howard Bujese, Richard Neal, and Rick Brodsky.

 

Media Kit

For a complete media kit please contact

me through this site or call 203-270-9659

Lyrics

This Old Guitar

(Words and Music by Jim Allyn and David Shugarts)

This old guitar drifted up a delta flood

and this old guitar was souped up,

painted and plugged in

drenched in the dust and the tears of a train yard

sung her lullabies deep in a graveyard

 

This old guitar been traded pawned and stolen

got some scars from bar stools and car wheels rollin’

handed down and tossed out of second floor windows

she’s been around, been down to the crossroads

 

So pick her well my son, he said,

You might find she’ll choose you instead

treat her right, she’ll take you far

remember me when you get to be a star

 

This old guitar, signed here by Jimi and Django,

it came down hard on a drunkard’s head in Durango

sticker on the back says Panama City

fell for a girl down there, man she played it pretty

 

This old guitar rang through the walls of a prison

rang like a bell, she’ll give you songs if you listen

deep in the wood she remembers a forest

where the stream and the meadowlark

all sang in a chorus

 

So pick her well my son, he said,

You might find she’ll choose you instead

treat her right, she’ll take you far

remember me when you get to be a star

remember me

when you play this old guitar

Train Calling Your Name

Better get on board, better get on board

this train is bound, she’s heading for

the land of glory on rails of gold

got a silver engine and a light that glows

 

Better get on quick, better get on quick

she’s pickin’ up steam, you don’t want to miss

that freedom ride to the land of bliss

 

this old train is calling your name

calling your name, calling your name

 

See the old box car with the door ajar

if you reach your hand and let your feet fly far

you can be on board this train to glory

 

this old train is calling your name

calling your name, calling your name

and it sounds like this

and it sounds like this

this old train she’s callin’ your name

Priority Gal

Twas in the year of '44,

the last day of   July 

Twenty thousand feet and falling

over German countryside 

the plane they call Priority Gal

was spinning in dive

and out jumped eight brave souls

as one remained at the controls

Here's to all we knew so  well

the Bride of Mars, the Memphis  Belle

Jack the Ripper, old  Maxine  

Careful Virgin, Sweet Seventeen,

and to you old friends and pals 

and the man who flew Priority Gal

There's a little town in Austria

where they drink all night long

and there's one they make called the Henry S.,

and they make it good and  strong

for long ago, as that plane dove,

'twas Henry at the wheel

spinning as he gripped it tight

somehow he set those wings aright

five hundred feet above the ground 

with one last turn he spared that town 

He spared that town

Here's to all we knew so  well 

the Bride of Mars, the Memphis  Belle

Jack the Ripper, old  Maxine  

Careful Virgin, Sweet Seventeen, 

Lady Luck, the Nine-O-Nine,

Desperate Journey, Bachelor's Bride,

Just Plane Lonesome, Red Wing, Nightmare,

Anxious Angel, my Baby, My Prayer

and to you old friends and pals 

and the man who flew

Priority Gal

Hear the People 

 

For one day, one day,

may our voices all be heard

and harmony hold sway

to quell the noise, to end a curse

 

Bird on a wire sings out

and over the street I hear the people

nothing can turn us now

and nothing can stop the day

those we have loved and lost

near as the heart are here beside us

here today, oh hear

 

For one life, each life,

this our sacred freeborn right

is to live in peace and grow

and to ban these brutal tools of war

So tell me what you will

and how much more this blood must spill

before it all sinks in

the thickest heads and hearts and skin

 

Bird on a wire sings out

and over the street I hear the people

nothing can turn us now

and nothing can stop the day

those we have loved and lost

near as the heart are here beside us

here today, oh hear

 

For one day, our day,

is soon to come we won't give way

'til reason she prevails

in common sense we cannot fail

 

Bird on a wire sings out

and over the street I hear the people

nothing can turn us now

and nothing can stop the day

those we have loved and lost

near as the heart are here beside us

here today, oh hear

Lindytown

 

Close to Twilight,

down this old Appalachian road

night falls black as the coal

over Lindytown

1895, my great-grandfather

waded through those streams

crystal clear flowing through

the green hills and down

over Lindytown

 

Now  there’s no one at all

at the old union hall from the mines

and scattered on the floor

from a lifetime before

all the papers for wages and lost time

 

But I remember that old school bus,

the kids, and everyone,

and a church bell ringing out

when day was done  over Lindytown

Before Massey started blasting

all these mountaintops away

The dust falling day after day after day

over Lindytown

 

Now there’s no one at all

‘cause when mountains fall

it’s hard to stay

Mister Cook, I’ve been told,

says we got to have the coal

But I believe with all my heart

there’s a better way

 

Now Mama she’s got

memories in rooms she can’t unlock

Now and then one opens

for a moment as she walks

here in Lindytown

 

Close to Twilight,

down this old Appalachian Road

night falls black as the coal

but there’s one light still burning

in the place she calls home

over Lindytown

 

Jazzbo  

(Words by Jim Allyn, music by Jim Allyn and Richard Neal)

 

Jazzbo was a boxer 1929

made the rounds from New York town

way down to Caroline

and when they raised the winner’s hand

it was Jazzbo every time

he was king of the bareknuckle ring

when he was in his prime

Jazzbo, where did the good times go?

 

Now he had a manager,

Mister Reginald Arthur Tate

took all the money to the bank

put it down in his own name

fast women, pretty cars,

Jazzbo was feeling fine

and when the fight was over

Mister Tate would buy the wine

Jazzbo, where did the good times go?

 

It was late one night in Memphis

he was up against Two-Ton Lou

Jazzbo sees Mister Tate

sneaking out of Louie’s dressing room

he says, “hold on Mister Reginald sir,

something here ain’t right.”

Tate just smiled, “can you believe it Bo?

They want us to throw the fight.”

Jazzbo, where does the money go?

 

“Have a sip of water son,

before they ring that bell.

Teach them boys a lesson.

Old Louie don’t look so well.”

But when Jazzbo got back into the ring

the room began to spin

and he woke up three hours later

in the alley by the Salvation Army bin

Jazzbo where did the good times go?

Sweet New England  Home                                                                                                                           

From my front door

you can see for miles across the valley

to the east lies morning skies

smiling on my home

 

On these old streets, farms and factories,

backroads and places there

and on this blue porch facing true north

I can breathe the morning air

 

Right there is where I want to be

in the hills I’ve roamed

right there with you in my

my sweet New Enland home

 

I’ve been down south

I’ve been way out west

I’ve been out on the wide Atlantic

I’ve flown up high and looking down I

I knew just where my heart was planted

 

And see that old tree, for centuries

blooming on the fence line

in the sweet summer air

she still gleams there

and on this quarter in the moonshine

 

Right there is where I want to be

where deep waters flow

right there in the harbor of my

my sweet New England home

 

From my front door

you can hear for miles across the valley

every rain song, every train gone,

down the Housatonic line

 

Right there is where I want to be

when that whistle blows

right there as evening falls

on my sweet New England home

 

Honeybee

Hey my honeybee

won’t you stay awhile with me?

‘cause if you fly away

you might not find your way

back home across the sea

 

The flowers blooming in the field

are calling you away to steal

all the sweetness of summer deep in love

drifting light along your heels

 

They know how it feels to be

waiting for you my honeybee

spread your wings and let your soul fly free

 

The ragged winter came and went

the tides, the hurricane, the rent,

swept across the floor,

yesterdays and more,

fade away the good times spent

But you, you’ve got it laid in store

the sweetest honey and I want more

so when you take your flight

I’m hoping you just might

find your way back to my door

You know how it feels to be

waiting for you my honeybee

spread your wings

and let your soul fly free

You know how it feels to be

waiting for you my honeybee

spread your wings

and let your soul fly free

Backyards Of the Brave

 

Johnny took his first step 

as they walked across the moon

grew up with Nixon 

just a little bit too soon

cops and robbers,

GI Joe and the Viet Cong

running through the backyard

where the battle lines were drawn

 

in the long hot summer days

rolling by like a motorcade

on the block where the kids all played

kick the can and blind man's bluff

hit the ground with your guns held up

learn to drive you just might

fall in love one day

in the backyards of the brave

 

Mama sat at the tv screen

all that summer long

Liddy, Mitchell, Magruder and Dean,

one last wave from the White House lawn

and we raced our stingrays

on the driveway after dark

Daddy's still on a Mekong Hill

all we got was the purple heart

 

and the long hot summer days

rolling by like a motorcade

on the block where the kids all played

kick the can and blind man's bluff

hit the road with your head held up

call it home you just might 

find it's enough these days

but something always stays

in the backyards of the brave

Lighthouse

 

Gazing on the water

a bright and golden beam

guides the weary sailor

home across the sea

safely into harbor

standing on the shore

singin’ oh my lighthouse

shine forever more

 

And the sun will light your windows

and the moon bring all her jewels

and the waves will sing to the watchman

and I’ll be watching too

I will watch for you

 

Bright across the water

steady through the storm

oh my lighthouse

shine forever more

 

And the sun will light your windows

and the moon bring all her jewels

and the waves will sing to the watchman

and I’ll be watching too

I will watch for you

Lighthouse

 

Gazing on the water

a bright and golden beam

guides the weary sailor

home across the sea

safely into harbor

standing on the shore

singin’ oh my lighthouse

shine forever more

 

And the sun will light your windows

and the moon bring all her jewels

and the waves will sing to the watchman

and I’ll be watching too

I will watch for you

 

Bright across the water

steady through the storm

oh my lighthouse

shine forever more

 

And the sun will light your windows

and the moon bring all her jewels

and the waves will sing to the watchman

and I’ll be watching too

I will watch for you