Local Music Monday: Ben Allen

May 19, 2014

This Week for Local Music Monday DeBraun Thomas features a veteran musician whose life changes have brought about a change in direction.

Local musician Ben Allen checks his equipment
Credit photo provided

Ben Allen moved to Lexington in 1997 to attend the University of Kentucky. As a native of Cynthiana, Kentucky, Allen was well aware of music in Lexington growing up. Shortly after he moved to Lexington, Allen began to see many music clubs close, but he also saw a trend of shows being held less in clubs and more frequently in basements. This is something Allen says helped the music scene alive.

“What happened was, everyone was really so desperate to keep playing and keep things going, that whole basement scene flourished, this whole grouping of people that practiced and played to each other in basements and this kind of division that is traditionally ‘here’s the performer, here’s the audience,’ it kind of became this gray area of where anybody could actually just do anything.”

Allen has toured with different bands, but after the breakup of a long standing band and the birth of his daughter, Allen started Live Island. Live Island evolved from Allen’s maturity as a musician in writing actual compositions and from his role in becoming a father. Allen says while his free time has become limited, Live Island gives him space to work at his own pace.

“I’ll be like uh, hanging out with my kid, or a lot of times when she was really young, I’d be putting her to bed and this thing would be running around in my head and I’d be like ‘man I’ve really gotta go and put this down somehow’ and that’s what I would do, I’d go down and I’d hash out what was going on in my head and I’d take about 2 or 3 hours and it would be done.”

More information about Ben Allen and Live Island can be found at Liveisland.bandcamp.com.