I find myself in an unlikely position today. I'm not in any way a music reviewer or even an expert. I listen to a lot of stuff, some of it weird and some of it mainstream.
But I know what I like. And by now, I think everyone knows I write -- and say -- what I think without a worry of offending anyone. I don't suck up to anybody, either, including the billionaire who owns the Portland Trail Blazers.
And I am here to tell you today that I'm very much impressed with the music on Paul Allen's new album -- or more appropriately, the new album, "Everywhere at Once" by Paul Allen and the Underthinkers. Ben Golliver has a roundup of reviews from real music critics here, if you need it. Most of them like it, too.
So far, the first track, "Straw into Gold," seems to be the top seller on iTunes but I'm rather partial to "Six Strings from Hell," recorded with Joe Walsh, who remains one of rock music's most underrated performers. Allen's group is aided by some real pros -- Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart, Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders and Walsh, known most for his work with the Eagles. And even with the guests, the Underthinkers comes off as a very tight band.
I heard Allen play guitar many years ago and knew he was solid and when I read recently that his early influences were B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix I knew I was going to like this album. And if you give it a listen, I think you will, too.
And if I may make a personal plea right now -- Paul, we really need a Rose Garden concert with this group of yours. I bought the album and I'd buy a ticket to a concert, too. And I can't think of any better endorsement than that.