Boston area guitarist Allen Devine is renowned for his wildly adventurous instrumental guitar-based albums so it’s very cool to find that Devine’s 2009 album is actually his first pop-based solo album. Featuring one toe tapping track after the next Poportunity spotlights Devine’s guitar and vocals backed up by like-minded players. Like many classic pop platters from the ‘60s, Poportunity clocks in under a half hour, yet the ten tracks on hand combine for an uplifting pop adventure that combines smart song writing balanced with Devine’s famous guitar skills and his newly rediscovered vocal abilities. With Allen handling all the 6 and 12 string acoustic / electric guitars, bass and all lead vocals, Poportunity also features the musicianship of fine players such as bassist Chuck Vath and U.K. drum legend Dave Mattacks.

MUSIC WEB EXPRESS 3000 presents Guitars Center Stage
an interview with ALLEN DEVINE

Guitarists making waves in the music world, their new recordings and gear!

Musical Background

I have been playing guitar seriously for over 20 years. As well as messing around with other instruments such as bass guitar, keys and drums. To make a very long story short, I learned how to play guitar and organ in church When I was a kid. I went to a Catholic school run by nuns and two of them had a little folk trio and asked me if I would be interested in learning guitar. I jumped at the chance and before I knew it I was playing at in church every weekend. It didn’t take me long to realize that what I really wanted to do was play Beatle and Rolling Stones tunes. I gathered up a few friends in the neighborhood and off we were playing the garage pop hits of the day. The years flew by and before I knew it I was a teenager playing High School dances, private functions and the like. Next in line came Nightclubs. Anyway, I continued in a few "cover" bands and a few dozen original bands until I realized the potenial to actually write and create my own music. This last decade found me recording four of my own solo CD's as well as contributing guitar to many other Boston based recording artists.

New CD

My new disc Poportunity was recorded at Woolly Mammoth studio in Waltham. It was self produced and engineered by David Minehan and Dave Westner. Both very talented guys. Minehan has been nominated Producer of the year many times at the Boston Music Awards. I had a lot of fun recording with those guys. This time around I decided to go into a nice studio instead of my home studio. And from checking out a few places in Boston and having already been in a band with Dave Minehan (Stardarts), I knew that he had a serious operation going on and even better, a serious amount of great amps and guitars available as well as the fact that he has a great ear for what I like to do so there was not a lot of “tinkering” around. We just got down to business. I had already made home demos as well as some basic tracks at the Moontower Studio in Cambridge/another great studio of most of the newer material that I wanted to lay down so I had a really specific idea of the way needed it to sound. I generally start with a click track and do a basic guitar and vocal as a guide and then build from there. Once I get the guide track down, things progress very rapidly. I try capture the essence of the song quickly and strive to not over track or clutter the arrangement with unnecessary parts. In other words, I like keep it simple, yet clarify and convey the complete vibe of the tune.. Hopefully I have attained my goals with Poportunity. On this disc I played all the guitars, a majority of the bass and all the lead vocals as well as shared background vocals. My bassist, Chuck Vath helped nail the bass on a few tunes. I should mention that engineer Dave Westner played drums on a couple of tracks and did a super job. Legendary drummer Dave Mattacks of sessions with Paul McCartney, Elton etc...also helped out on a few tunes. I had quite a few friends drop in here and there to help out and I send out many thanks to all of them. Specific information is listed on the Poportunity CD liner notes.

Favorite Guitars

I have a nice collection of guitars which of course includes Fenders, Gibsons and my newest fave, an Eastwood Airline “Twintone”. On Poportunity I utilized my Fender Stratocaster which is an Eric Clapton Signature Series model. I’m very attached to that guitar. I also did a fair amount of 12 string with an Eastwood and a Fender 12. There were some acoustic tracks which I recorded with my trusty Yamaha as well as a really nice late model Martin. Most of the bass tracks were recorded with a Fender Precision bass but I did use an early Gibson EB-3 on one of the arrangements. When recording I like to use Fender amps whenever possible. Especially pre-CBS Models. I also favor VOX and Marshall for some of the “crunchier” stuff. For live shows in small rooms I tend to use my Fender Deluxe amp. In large venues I use my Fender Deville with (2) 12 inch Celestion Vintage 30 speakers. My Deluxe is also loaded with (1) vintage 30 speaker. Right now I keep a basic pedal setup with a Maxon overdrive, Fulltone OCD pedal, a Deeelay analog delay made by A great boutique pedal company. For my electric 12 string, I utilize a Janglebox for that real vintage 60's Byrds tone. And of course I have a boss floor tuner. Simple set-up yet it does the trick for me.

Musical Influences

George Harrison, Jeff Beck, Roy Buchanan, Rory Gallagher, Chet Atkins, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards and anyone who plays for the song. I love Mike Campbell's guitar work (Tom Petty) as well as James Honeyman Scott (early Pretenders). I’m a big fan of XTC and one of my favorite discs of all time is “Can’t Buy A Thrill” By Steely Dan. Killer songs and tasty guitar. Love that combo! I love Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday.

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