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  • October 30

Blake Allen

Blake Allen was born in Seattle, Washington – across the border from his family’s previous roots in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – where his mother was a neighbor of Joni Mitchell’s family. Blake and his siblings learned the ways of the road early on – the result of being born into a professional sports family. “My Dad, Keith, is a member of the NHL Hall of Fame for building the Philadelphia Flyers’ “Broad Street Bullies” team that won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975…so I started skating when I was two and played hockey up through high school,” he says, “until I discovered the guitar, beer, and my future wife Mollie McShane.” Mollie along with brothers Michael (Cowmuddy) and Brian, and sister Kerry joined Allen to form the band Aunt Pat.

Aunt Pat’s debut album was well received, indeed WXPN played several tracks from their self titled debut. Before long they found themselves sharing bills with some of the darlings of the format: Dar Williams, The Nields, Erin McKeown, Joseph Arthur, Vigilantes of Love, John Sebastian, and others.

Aunt Pat headed back to the studio to record their follow up album, titled Patoo, in 1998. Working in Woodstock, N.Y., they managed to lure legendary Band alumnus Levon Helm into the project, singing and playing mandolin on the song Hard Inside. “I got to play both of Levon’s mandolins, the Martin that he played at Woodstock and the Gibson that he played with Emmylou Harris on The Last Waltz,” Blake gushes. Helm was very supportive, telling them in his trademark drawl, “You got yourselves a band here.” Of Patoo and Aunt Pat, Jonathan Takiff of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote “Studio polished like a $100,000 gem… walloping with in your face theatricality… I can imagine a talent scout from Warner Brothers or Atlantic going wacko for this band…”

Aunt Pat went on to release a third record, Swim, in 2002. Promotions and touring were cut short when sister Kerry announced to the band that she was expecting a child. With Aunt Pat in hiatus, Allen took the opportunity to record his first solo album. The result is Ghosting featuring ten songs that echo Allen’s musical and literary influences. It combines musical elements that reflect the admiration of artists like Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Nanci Griffith, Springsteen, Ryan Adams and Counting Crows with traces of Norman Mailer, Larry McMurtry, John Steinbeck, and Jack London.

Blake has recently opened shows for Dave Mason, Bill Miller & Maia Sharp and is currently working on his second solo record “True North.”

You can find out more about Blake’s music at