Paul Allen, “Everywhere At Once” (Legacy)
There probably isn’t a budding guitarist in the world who doesn’t dream of being able to jam with their idols one day. And if you’re billionaire/philanthropist/music fan Paul Allen you’re well positioned to make those dreams come true; over the years, Allen’s performed alongside a number of notable names, including Bono, Carlos Santana, and Mick Jagger.
“Everywhere at Once” is Allen’s second album (his first, recorded by his band Grown Men, was released in 2000) and he’s invited a number of his celebrity musician friends to participate. Those songs with a big name attached are the album’s strongest tracks: Ann and Nancy Wilson underscore the blues quotient of the opening number, “Straw Into Gold”; Chrissie Hynde is well-matched with the slow country and western swing of “Rodeo”; Ivan Neville provides a lively dose of New Orleans-flavored soul on “Inside Out” and “Restless”; and Joe Walsh brings both his voice and his slide guitar to the gritty “Six Strings From Hell.” David Hidalgo, from Los Lobos, also plays guitar on most of the album.
The album’s 13 songs are all written, or co-written, by Allen, who doesn’t sing, but does play guitar on all tracks. He takes over on lead guitar on “Down Low” and “Big Blue Raindrops,” displaying a style that’s more classic than flashy; he isn’t the kind of guitarist who’s most interested in showing off.
Proceeds from the album will benefit the Experience Music Project museum’s educational programs.