Tune in daily all this week at 3:40 pm as Jay & C-P feature “Gaslight Alley” on the XS Local Spotlight.
“Gaslight Alley” is a collection of seasoned musicians brought together by singer/ songwriter Allen Helsdon.
Allen grew up in Simcoe, Ont. listening to the strong melodies of ’60s bands like the Beatles, the Animals and the Guess Who. He got his 1st guitar at age 9 but laughingly admits it was only used as a prop.
He moved to Hamilton, Ontario where his musical interests turned to Neil Young, Pink Floyd and Rush. After finally learning to “really” play guitar, he began writing folky songs about “life stuff” on acoustic. His “professional start” in the music business came in the ’80s and was actually as a lighting/sound technician.
After years working and playing the Canadian Rock Club circuit both as a roadie and a Singer/frontman for bands Al decided to come off the road. He started playing local acoustic gigs and began cataloguing his original material. With a little push from friend and “worldclass” drummer Roger Banks, they hooked up with former band mates bassist Reno D’Agostino and guitarist Greg Boileau to record a demo.
The demo found it’s way into the hands of Producer/Engineer D’Arcy McGilligan. D’Arcy has worked with a number of artists from Grammy winner Rick Derringer to Canadian country music award winnners, The Wilkinsons. Al was looking for a darker, bluesier sound so D’Arcy brought in Mike Branton who’s airy slide guitar & tremolo work was a perfect fit. Studio bassist Wayne Deadder was also brought in for 2 of the new songs as well. This group of musicians has credits and portfolios that include: Jeff Healey Band, Alanis Morrisette, Brighton Rock, Billy Sheean, Tony Levon, Phil Naro, Jimmy Bowskill, as well as a number of others.
The Gaslight Alley CD was well received by a full house at a release party featuring a 7 piece band in Hamilton, Ont. A professional video has been shot for the song “Lost in a Crowd” and Al Helsdon is currently promoting the CD via acoustic appearences with a full tour starting in 2012″.
Listen all this week for Gaslight Alley on the Local Spotlight! With CKXS!