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Laura and Dave have been playing music for a LONG, LONG time!
What follows is a short excerpt from their individual biographies, in their own words:
DAVE ALLEN: I started playing drums at a young age. My first gigs were as the host drummer at Blues Jams – where I learned how to improvise, think fast, and play many styles of music. Even back then, whenever a drummer would show up, I would grab my harmonica or a guitar, and get up front for a few tunes. After that I spent many years learning the studio, doing demos and recording friends and myself, until along came the “Whitfield-Ward Band.”
This band played our bar years, then private functions all over the country. Our first record was recorded in Nashville and Aspen, CO – produced by Jon McEuen, of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. A fun thing about this band is we were friends with Tanya Tucker – when she was in our town she would come to our gigs and jam with us all the time. This developed into Whitfield-Ward Band opening for her on several shows, and then she helped the band appear on television. The band was on “Hee-Haw” on primetime TV, got radio airplay all over the country, and we were written up in Billboard Magazine as the “best new act with a brand new sound.” Jim Guercio used to enjoy sitting in and playing with us a lot. He was the producer of Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears, and was the founder and creator of Country Music Television – and the owner of the famous recording studio Caribou Ranch in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. He is quite a guy!
That band became the “The Smokehouse Band” and went on to do 3 more albums, and collaborated and performed with Brent Rowan on guitar (multi-time awarded Guitar Player of the Year, by the Country Music Association).
Around that time I was also a member of “Diego’s Diner” a popular L.A.-based Blues and Rock band, featuring Tommy Mars on keyboards (long-time Frank Zappa Band member) and the band leader Ron “Diego” Johnston on guitar. Ron is an awesome, versatile guitar-slinger who played with everybody! Diego’s Diner recorded 4 albums, got some good airplay on the radio, and appeared on the feature film soundtrack of the Michael Keaton comedy “The Dream Team.”
I was also the orchestra pit drummer for the award-winning and internationally-known Missoula Children’s Theatre, and other major theatre companies. Here I performed many standards including, Evita, West Side Story, Music Man, etc. That work contributed greatly to my chart-reading.
About this time I wrote (along with my friend Ronny Lapine) and produced “Heart Full Of Rain” the title track to the CBS Television Movie of the same name. That project was a blast because we did it all at my home studio, and the Director accepted my mix exactly as I submitted it!
I began to step out front more playing the guitar and the harmonica. I have always dearly loved the blues, and began to get more actively involved with being in a blues band of my own. During this time I owned a recording studio, where I performed on and produced many albums over the years, from all genres of music and people. Having a studio really helped me develop into being in front of the blues band. The Allen-Lamun Band is the culmination of writing and becoming the blues band I always hoped for.
Most recently, in January of 2014 I was very fortunate and happy to get to do a recording project and concert with Philip Hernandez, Broadway star of Les Miserables, and Jeremy Wall the founder and piano genius of Spyro Gyra. Along with Tim Cunninham on stand-up bass, we created a concert and a studio CD in 8 days. What a week that was!!
I am very happy the Allen-Lamun Band is being well-received and we are getting a lot of airplay, both in the US and Internationally. Please check out my drum website, just for fun, at http://daveallendrums.com.
LAURA LAMUN: I loved singing as a child, and I was fortunate to have a Director-Mother who gave me performance opportunities starting at the age of 5, and had me making money singing by the time I was eleven. I also had a very supportive and talented Father, with this HUGE singing voice you just had to listen to! Singing was something our whole family loved to do together, and I practiced harmonies with them singing Peter. Paul and Mary in the car, and entertaining with my sister Lisa. I started writing songs at 13, collaborating with my Mother on children’s musicals, which won awards and were performed all over the country (coincidentally at the Missoula Children’s Theatre!). I played keyboards, sang lead and started my first band “The Turbo Three” at 14.
I had the great fortune of attending Interlochen Arts Academy on a voice scholarship, where I was classically trained and studied with world-class musicians. Interlochen was a mind-blowing, highly creative boarding high school where I learned so much about music AND life! Here I sang in my next real band – a punk outfit we called “The New-Faced Drones” – when I wasn’t practicing operatic arias or touring with the Dance Company.
I sang and danced my way through a BFA at Wayne State University in Detroit, where I was heavily influenced by the music scene and a fervent concert-goer. I went to grad school at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where I got my MFA in 1987, and moved to NYC. I made a living for many years singing lead roles in rock musicals from coast-to-coast in the US (Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors,” Luisa in “The Fantasticks,” Jetta in “Angry Housewives” etc). In 1992, I originated a role in the Off-Broadway musical “Beehive – the 60’s Musical” in San Diego, in which I sang The Shangri-Las, Brenda Lee, Dusty Springfield, Janis Ian and Joni Mitchell for 2 years, reprising the role in 2002 for the 10-year anniversary, and several seasons since.
From 1998 to 2002, I stood on a box and sang in the bluegrass band “Little Laura & the BrewGlass Boys” – fan favorite at RockyGrass Bluegrass festival. I was featured with many bands as a guest singer, opening for acts like Robert Randolph’s Family Band. I had the great honor of opening for my musical idol, Mr.Todd Rundgren at the Boulder Theatre, with Nick and Tom of Devotchka. I appeared on John Hegner’s album “254” and traveled all over the country singing.
A fated meeting with Dave Allen turned me in the absolute correct direction – TOWARD THE BLUES!! I co-founded our first blues band with DaveAllen in 2007 called “Little Laura & the Nude Blues Band” during which some highlights include opening for JJ Grey & Mofro twice. This band morphed over the years and would set the stage for our current inspiration as the “Allen-Lamun Band.” We have begun our journey as a powerful pairing and are becoming most well-known for our duet sound. Recording our latest CD with Dave Allen was a wonderful experience, and we are writing songs now for our next one.
When I was not singing the blues, I appeared with a Pink Floyd tribute band “Wish You Were Pink” where I sang “The Great Gig in the Sky” (a song I have practiced since I was 8 and can only just NOW really sing) and 4 full-album sets each show. Sometimes I can be heard with a classic rock band “The Easy Peaces” – famous for our Neil Young and 60’s tribute shows.
In the cozy corners of my free time, I created a body care empire called Little Moon Essentials, which I powered, guided and nurtured for the last 20 years, and for which I have formulated over 400 natural and earth-friendly products. I recently sold the company and revel in my Blues Time now. I have authored one book to date, “The Garden of Earth – Volume 1” and am hard at work at Volume 2 of the series.
My goal now is to sing on the European Blues Festival Circuit…and sing with some of my vocal influences!