Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Rock Fusion The Max Allen Band
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Rock Fusion The Max Allen Band

Kristi Kates - June 27th, 2011
Rock Fusion The Max Allen Band
By Kristi Kates

Most of today’s up and coming bands - with good reason - don’t like to be pigeonholed, nor do they like to be limited. Indianapolis band Max Allen Band, who will be performing in Traverse City the first week of July, are no exception.
“This band has been influenced by way too many genres and artists to list,” Max Allen explains. “We like to call what we do ‘rock fusion’ - there’s some rock, rap, Latin, funk, blues, bluegrass, baroque, R&B, electronica - if it sounds good and it moves us, we’ll play it.”
See for yourself when the band plays the Loading Dock in TC this Friday, July 1.

Hailing from Indianapolis (“born and raised,” Allen says), Max Allen’s band formed in stages (no pun intended.)
“I met my drummer, Shaan France, through another friend,” Allen says. “My current drummer at the time couldn’t make the gig, so Shaan filled in for him. Later down the road, I needed another drummer to fill in, so I called Shaan again. A couple of months after that, the old guy called it quits, so I simply asked Shaan if he wanted the spot.”
Five years later, and France is still quite solidly the Max Allen Band’s man behind the drums.
“I don’t know if he’s good at putting up with antics (in general), or if he’s just become accustomed to putting up with mine,” Allen laughs, “but he’s one of the best drummers I know.”

Bass player Dace Robie’s road to the Max Allen Band was a slightly different one.
“I will stand by what I have always said,” Allen states, “he was sent to me.”
Allen explains how he actually met Robie’s father, first, when the elder Robie was a stagehand at one of Allen’s earlier gigs.
“He told me he had a son who was a great bass player,” Allen remembers, “my thought was sort of like the bouncer’s response to the guy at the door of the club who runs the line, ‘my girlfriend is in there’ - I thought, ‘yeah, a lot of peoples’ sons are great bass players.’”
But a couple of months later, Allen’s bass player dropped out of the picture. “And I was left to find a new low-end frequency friend,” Allen jokes.
Allen tried out a couple of other musicians, but none of them “stuck.”
“Then, the same guy who introduced me to Shaan made a few calls, and came up with Dace’s name,” Allen says, “I gave him a call, he started filling in, and we just went with it - he’s been with us for about two and a half years now. So Dace’s old man was right - his son was, in fact, a great bass player.”

Now that the trio’s firmly established - as is their own studio in Reelsville, Indiana (Big Walnut Records), Allen has recorded five albums, his latest with the Max Allen Band (France and Robie included) being their current set, Ending Sun.
“We’ve had great reviews on the album,” Allen enthuses, “I’ve had a lot of people say that they can see how I matured as a musician and a writer - although I still act like a child,” he laughs.
“I feel every album has to be better than the last - you gotta step it up, even if it takes recording it twice,” he continues.
The Max Allen Band - who actually like to sell their CDs in ‘bundles’ (“so you can get the history of the music we’re playing,” Allen explains) - are back at Big Walnut, and are also working at Indianapolis’ Static Shack, working on their next album, Everyone Thinks You’re Weird, to be released this summer.
“It’s our finest work yet,” Allen says, “we have string arrangements, organ, synth, guitar synth, and marimba, and we’ve been working with a great producer/engineer, Gary Mielke - his knowledge of music and recording is vastly greater than any of us in the band.”
That aforementioned guitar synth will reportedly be making an appearance at the Max Allen Band’s Traverse City show, too (“I know it sorta sounds cheesy, but it’s very cool,” Allen says) - but most importantly will be the focus on the songs, and the people who work together to craft them. Allen thinks the fans will see - and hear - the improvements in their next album, too.
“I’ve worked my whole life to surround myself with the best people I can,” Allen says, “and I think it will show with this next album.”

More info on the Max Allen Band can be found at www.maxallenband.com and www.maxallenmusic.com; the band will be performing at The Loading Dock in TC on July 1.

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