Allen Thompson Band 'Salvation In The Ground' - Palaver

The cover reveals a hirsute bunch of guys and the one lady who make up the Allen Thompson Band - a collective which realizes Thompson’s songs and takes them to a new level. They have a sound that has roots in the 70s West Coast sounds of rock, soul and country-rock.

Based in Nashville the music they makes is a million miles away from that emanating on Music Row even though they are only about a ten minute drive away from that industry hub. This is a full band sound with keyboards and guitar providing the melodic structures over a solid rhythm section. Thompson sings his songs with conviction, if not in a totally distinctive voice. There is a lot here to get acquainted with and the music is honest and no doubt works well in a live context but may not have enough individuality to make it stand out from the crowd.

A song like Everybody Knows which is a more stripped down setting of voice and piano by its nature stands out and allows Thompson voice its space. The folky acoustic While I'm Young is similar and has nice vocal harmony around Thompson's voice and the accordion is a nice texture that shows this band is capable of versatility and subtle playing. Salvation In The Ground is an album that shows a band developing an ensemble sound that has its share of songs that, given time, will give back what you put into them. When all the elements come together, as on the singalong Love One Another then this band have the potential to create songs that translate across the ether and to connect with a wider audience.