Jeff Allegue, who performed at GrillHampton on July 12 with his band New Life Crisis, has released a new solo CD, The Lovely Savages. Allegue is a well-known East End guitarist extraordinaire and one of the original members of the rock opera group the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO). He’s a respectable music teacher by day, and when the sun sets, the talented man transforms into a rock star. Painting on tight black jeans and T-shirt, slicking back his hair, he becomes the sexy, slithering lead guitarist and back-up vocalist of the mash-up party band New Life Crisis.
The Lovely Savages is a compilation of song choices made by Allegue showcasing his strengths as a classically trained guitarist, but on a personal level, he takes us along on a journey through his youth. Familiar and favorite songs from the ’60s and ’70s like The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and “She’s Leaving Home,” the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” and “In My Room,” as well as Burt Bacharach’s “Walk on By” and the theme from Deer Hunter, “Cavatina” were all very influential in Allegue’s coming-of-age as was the classical Vivaldi favorite “Largo from Concerto in D Major” and “The Fifth Cello Suite” from Bach’s, Gavotte I & II. All are played with a soothing, caressing quality that Allegue uniquely possesses—effortlessly moving from one genre of music to the next.
His love for the guitar and music is apparent throughout the eclectic album and his choice of Latin songs further shows his dexterity as a guitarist with Tarrega’s “Capricho Arabe.” He even shows off a bit, with two of his own original songs, “Over the Plains,” a midwestern cowboy ditty and the title track, “Lovely Savages,” a song co-written by Allegue and R. Hudson.
When asked what inspired him to do the album and its choice of its arrangements, Allegue answered, “It was my love of both pop music and classical music and to show how the two can co-exist by virtue of great melody, regardless of the period it was written. My original pieces are a good example of the balance between the two…and the title track comes from the fact that most of these pieces are brutally difficult to play, but still sound so beautiful: ‘The Lovely Savages.’”
All of this just reinforces his versatility as a guitarist and musician which is best stated by Paul O’Neill, founder and creator of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, when he claims that “Jeff Allegue is the best rock bassist, electric guitarist and classical guitarist I know…he’s also the only one I know who is the master of all three,” and further states, “this is a great album!”
Al Di Meola, the legendary Jazz fusion guitarist, went so far as to say that “Jeff Allegue has more than delighted my senses with his take on classic Beatles and other gem pop songs…he deserves high praise. I really enjoyed this strong effort of his!”
This album establishes and confirms that Allegue, who was profiled Guitar World Magazine in March 2012, is a great guitarist. But, those of us who have seen him play live already know that his playing is more lovely than savage…
The Lovely Savages is available on iTunes for digital downloads and physical CDs are available from AbstractLogix.com.
Stay tuned for much more from this acclaimed guitarist; Allegue is currently working on arranging the music of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson for a new instrumental record as well as working on an album of original songs in a conceptual piece called, Inside This Town: the Death of Frank Rinaldi; telling the story of how one random incident can alter many lives forever. It features Allegue and his fellow band member from New Life Crisis, Paul Mahos, as well as Corey Spelman, Joni Martin and his brother John Allegue—all singing and playing character roles within the song cycle.
This summer you can catch Jeff Allegue performing with his rock/dance/party band, New Life Crisis at TideRunners of Hampton Bays on Sunday nights, Dockers Waterside Restaurant in East Quogue on most Tuesday nights. To listen to a track go to guitarworld.com/jeff-allegues-acoustic-reworking-beach-boys-god-only-knows.