Sunday, January 06, 2008

Vee Allen

One of my favourite sides of 2007 was Vee Allen's “Let’s Pretend To Be Lovers” from the CD Woman Enough on her own label Leland. Vee Allen has a long pedigree in music and you can find out more about the lady on her website.

Here's her story:

My son Al and I were collaborating on a blues song to honor my brother James “Son” Thomas, and the words “woman enough” found their into my lyrics and stuck there. It captured my sentiment exactly for this project: “woman enough” to do whatever I want to do. Whether what I want to do has any relevance for anyone else remains to be seen. But it sure feels good to me to put together this CD at this stage of my life.

I have always been a singer. Even as a little girl in Leland, Mississippi, I had to be reminded by my mother constantly to stop singing at the dinner table while we were eating. I couldn’t seem to help myself. And, I can’t seem to help myself now - I still want to sing.

I have recorded two albums before. One of them ,"All About Love"was released by MCA in 1983 shortly after my brother Al Perkins was murdered. It was never really promoted. An earlier album was to have been released on the Lion label in 1973 , but that deal fell apart although most of the songs were released as singles in 1972-73.

This collection of songs contains some originals and some covers of my previously recorded material. “Can I” was released in l973 on the Lion label and made it up the charts to number 106. It is referred to as a “One Hit Wonder”. I included it here since it was one of my earliest and best.

I wrote “Your Song” for my late husband, Mark Channing. He recorded the song, Mark Bresky (keyboards)arranged it, but we never released it. I decided to sing it with him as a duet. The other duet, “Time”, was written by my son, Nathaniel (Al) Allen, III. Al also does the rap in the song. I really like it. It is unique.

The Title song, “Woman Enough”, was co-written with my son Al who plays a funky blues guitar in a style that he learned from his uncle, James “Son” Thomas.

The other songs are all statements from a woman who is “woman enough” to sing them. Although some seem cold, they really are not. They are survivor songs, honest songs, that have a different twist to them.
Without the Lower 911 Band who back Dr. John, I would not have been able to do this project. I followed the band out to Seattle to get this project started. David Barard helped write two of the songs. We started this project over a year ago at the Elliott Bay Recording Company with Scott Ross as the engineer. Herman Ernest on the drums is a genius. John Fohl picked up and translated my emotions into perfect rhythms, and David Barard was solid, soulful, and funky on the bass as always. Jeremy Ryan, a local keyboard player, helped out beautifully.
I came back to Michigan with a basic track and rough vocals. Richard Becker at PAC Three Recording Studio in Detroit helped to put “Time” together and introduced me to Gary Shunk, who made a real difference on all the tracks he played on. Richard was a close friend of my brother, Al Perkins, and he was the engineer on the first “Can I” record. I ended up with Gene Fiero at Singlesound Studio in Brighton, Michigan where everything finally came together. Gene’s patience, his wonderful ear, and his outstanding technical skills gave me the missing pieces of support that I needed to tie everything together.David Barard and Cosssetta Taylor, my niece and daughter of Al Perkins, provided great background vocals. Gene brought in a drummer and a fantastic saxophone player, Mark Kieme, to complete my tracks. Mark’s sound is simply amazing.
Now, we’re good to go. I hope you like this collection. I am proud that I am finally able to say that I am “woman enough” to do whatever I want to do and MEAN IT!


  1. Anonymous1:49 AM

    Hi there!
    I just wanted to thank you so much for plugging Vee Allen's cd. It means alot to her to get such positive reviews, and it encourages her to work on her next cd. She is actually contemplating a promotional tour to the UK because of all the interest in her music from there!

    Sincerely, Kristina Allen (Vee Allen's daughter-in-law)

  2. Anonymous12:41 AM

    I have been searching for her music I just loved the song Can I in fact I still have the 45 from 1972.I wish it could be on cd good to know she is still doing great love the new cd