In my six year tenure as a staff reviewer at Prognaut I've been exposed to a multitude of talented independent artists who might otherwise have escaped my notice - many of which were surprise revelations, and now part of my regular CD rotation.
The 'Numbers Game' is an unfortunate reality of the music scene. It's a big world out there with a plethora of Indie musicians who simply get lost in the shuffle. Artists who - talent wise - are head-and-shoulders above many popular artists fortunate enough to be graced with a savvy PR firm capable of hawking ice cubes to Eskimos, and the backing and support of a major record labels. These lucky few who regularly grace the covers of music and entertainment magazines suck all the oxygen from the room, leaving the remainder gasping for the few molecules of breathable air.
Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Cameron Allen is the perfect example of an obscure independent artist who can match his contemporaries note-for-note, while interjecting a few blistering laser light-speed arpeggios between each note.
On his 2012 release "Between The Lines", Cameron Allen displays all the flare, technique, and fretboard gymnastics of contemporaries like Allan Holdsworth, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Tony MacAlpine, Greg Howe, Pat Metheny, Vinnie Moore, and jazz great Russ Freemen of The Rippingtons.
Allen began playing guitar at age six, eventually going on to the Atlanta Institute Of Music where he received the merit scholarship and graduated with honors. Over the course of years Allen expanded his musical horizons on projects including everything from prog/metal, country and western, jazz, pop-rock, and contemporary Christian. He now divides his time between performing, composing, studio work, and teaching.
For his solo project "Between The Lines" Cameron Allen (guitars, keyboards, sequencer) enlisted the aid of fellow musicians Evan Breedlove (bass) and Chad Collins (drums).
Having just reviewed a pair of Alan Holdsworth albums ("Hard Hat Area" and "None Too Soon") the similarities are quite evident ... minus the Synth-Axe. As is another recent review "Wait And See" from The John Irvine Band. All tread the same territory.
Cameron Allen combines a patchwork quilt of sonic textures to the seven instrumental tracks on "Between The Lines", incorporating elements of rock, prog, jazz fusion, funk and classical. The hodge-podge of musical influences from his past helped to shape the multi-textured compositions keeping the music fresh and free of 'instrumental guitar rock' cliches that plague similar styled albums..
The music is recommended for fans of high octane instrumental guitar-driven 'rock n' roll' fusion.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on August 21st, 2012