Sha-La Music, Inc. recently announced the worldwide release of the new two-song digital single “One More Chance” by US project DownTown Mystic, fronted by rocker Robert Allen, on August 2. The single which follows “The Wish” EP is being distributed worldwide via AWAL/Kobalt Music with pre-orders available on Amazon, Apple, iTunes, and all other major digital download stores. The single which has 2 songs – “One More Chance” and “Read The Signs” – features longtime DownTown Mystic collaborator Bruce Engler, who besides co-writing both songs with Allen, also features on lead guitar on both tracks, and lends his vocals to “Read The Signs” as well. “One More Chance” also features one of the last sessions by drummer Tommy Mastro, with some great bass playing from P.J. Farley of Trixter fame. “Read The Signs” also showcases the rhythm section made up of drummer Steve Holley (Paul McCartney, Ian Hunter) and bassist Paul Page (Dion, Ian Hunter).
What is remarkable about Robert Allen (and hence DownTown Mystic) is not simply that he’s one of the finest independent rock n’ roll singer-songwriters we’ve ever been privileged to hear, but the fact that over the course of what is now decades, his music has remained relevant, staying true to its essential rock core while, incredibly, continuing to break new ground.
DownTown Mystic’s soaring rock anthems have often been characterized as magnificent, yet at the same time, both the music and the vocals achieve what can only be called sophistication. “One More Chance” is all at once epic, sweeping, majestic, and captures its genre perfectly.
The organically driven orchestration on this record is incredible. Tones and shades are perfectly placed. Not a single instrument sounds misplaced, and Robert Allen’s singing has rarely sounded better. The melody gets stuck in your head, and you’ll want to revisit the song for deeper understanding and meaning. I’ve listened to it several times since I’ve got it. And, with every listening I have discovered more in the haunting lyrics and the moving music.
This is Robert Allen writing and singing from his soul. Excelling within a genre that has lost its way over the years. Bruce Engler of course, ably assists Allen every step of the way. His guitar work probing and biting, giving the tracks a bolder, aggressive cutting edge.
Vocally too, Engler’s gutsy tone perfectly roughens up the proceedings on “Read The Signs”. Together Allen and Engler deliver delicious performances and arrangements that breathe life into a couple of the best acoustic-driven rock songs DownTown Mystic has produced in recent years.
If you know DownTown Mystic’s music, you also know that Robert Allen is a fantastic songwriter. Once again on “One More Chance”, the lyrics, gritty and full of life, are deft, illuminative and carefully crafted, showing a writer whose eye for telling detail and an innate sense of language has produced verses that, stripped of the music, could easily find a life of their own.
For someone who has done it all in rock and roll, Allen still surprises. His ability to convey such vivid observations and emotions reveals, to me, a professional maturity unmatched. A magnificent record from a musical wizard, “One More Chance” is so well done, and so well played!