Review – Lunch At Allen’s

Album: If It Feels Right
Release Date: June 16, 2017
Genre: Folk/Pop

In 2004, four of Canada’s veteran musicians got together to form Lunch At Allen’s, named after a Toronto restaurant on the Danforth where they would meet. The band consists of Cindy Church, Marc Jordan, Murray McLauchlan and Ian Thomas.

I grew up listening to the music of Murray McLauchlan, Ian Thomas and Marc Jordan back in the ’70’s with hits like “Whispering Rain”, “Painted Ladies” and “Marina del Rey”. Just the titles take me back to my youth, singing along to the radio. It wasn’t until my days of working at CBS/SONY Music Canada that I first heard of Cindy Church and a tune called “Rockabilly Heart”. Who knew back then that they would eventually form Lunch At Allen’s. I am so glad they did!

I have been following this quartet from the first album and now, 13 years later, they have just released their fifth album, If It Feels Right. It most certainly does! This 12-track offering gives us three songs from each artist with everyone lending their talents to the mix.

“Singing and playing on each other’s songs is part of the joy of LAA,” Thomas confirms, adding that “Murray got the ball rolling and booked us in for bed tracks at Toronto’s Kensington Sound which is where we rehearsed for the first Lunch At Allen’s Tour”.

“This one felt a little more adventurous,” Thomas says. “We ended up convening at my studio in Dundas with everyone contributing various harmonies and instrument solos.”

My picks from each artist: McLauchan’s “Love With A Capital L”. – It has a fun rhythm to it. Jordan’s “We All Come From Away” – A very touching melody and lyrics. Church’s “Sweet Agony” – This has a classic sound and her voice is superb. Thomas’ “If It Feels Right” – A bluesy flavour and a groove to move.

Lunch At Allen’s will be out on the road in BC this June and the east coast, in October, to support the album. Please check their website for dates and venues.

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