Lucy Allen and Marshall Goers have found each other musically and it shows here in this recording. A set of music that showcases their original songs, ability to style others to fit their duo, and all the while making sure the true center of the song is first and foremost.
I had a great time joining with them to put forth a recording that is representative of who they are, what they feel, and how they will sound when you hear them live. This set is a nice mixture of the serious and the lighthearted, tales of what could've been the past and what might be the present and future... all highlighted with the inclusion of heart-felt tributes to loved ones.
Let me join Lucy and Marshall as they invite you into their musical journey.
Enjoy the ride.
Jim Hurst 2005
Music that reveals and heals has been a constant in Lucy Allen’s life since childhood, when her musical parents filled the house with the progressive sentiments of folk legends Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and Peter, Paul and Mary.
Today, as a singer-songwriter touring the western Carolinas, Allen is putting her personal stamp on songs that recount life’s struggles and illuminate the possibilities of their lessons – whether they are original tunes or well chosen covers that display her formidable guitar and vocal skills.
Those musical skills are obvious on her current CD, “When to Let Go... And Other Songs.” The 12-track collection includes her lovely interpretations of gems penned by such treasured songwriters as Cheryl Wheeler, and Guy and Susanna Clark, as well as three fresh songs of her own. “When To Let Go” not only celebrates the quiet beauty of life’s ordinary pleasures, but highlights Allen’s ability to openly wrestle with a personal issue until she discovers its universal message.
In her rootsy live performances, Allen builds a connection with her audience by delivering these sometimes stirring, sometimes amusing, moments of truth, recognition and celebration.
“We’ve all been snakebit at some time in our lives,” said Allen, whose affinity for both detail and timelessness dovetails with her Ph.D. in folklore. “So I’m always looking for ways to make people smile and let them know they’re not alone out there.”
Allen starting playing guitar as an adolescent, then took voice lessons and stints in Gilbert and Sullivan productions, while attending a Quaker high school in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC.
It was during an internship at the Library of Congress that Allen first discovered the fascinating field of folklore and went on to study it, first at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and then in Newfoundland, Canada. Along the trail to that degree, she took several life-enriching detours – including playing solo and in a group in the Greensboro, N.C. area; and a year-long residence in England, where she swapped songs and experiences with new musical friends.
Lately she’s been adding more experiences to her ever-widening musical palette: live radio, performing and emceeing at regional festivals, and hosting a traditional folk music series. The traditional music series, part of AcousticSeen at the Coffee Underground in Greenville, S.C., links Allen’s knowledge of traditional music with her love for contemporary songwriting.
In the past few years, Allen has stepped up her own songwriting. She is gaining confidence in her ability to distill the essence of an experience and craft it into song. And she is taking guitar lessons again – to jumpstart her fingerpicking to the next level.
A perpetual student of life, Allen is also exploring another realm of communication: becoming a massage therapist. “In both music and massage, I get instant feedback,” she said, noting the parallels. “In song, I get a response through music and words. With massage, I get a response through touch.”
Healing comes in many forms through the hands and heart of Lucy Allen.
Playing a wide variety of music—blues, bluegrass, oldtime, folk, and rock- wasn’t quite enough for Marshall Goers. So he took an interest in playing a wide variety of instruments, too. Although rooted by guitar and mandolin, he is also comfortable with harmonica, lap dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, and even bouzouki in his hands.
Goers took an interest in music early in life. He and his sister used to sing duets, including a variety of folk tunes and early Beatles songs, providing the family entertainment after dinner.
His first formal musical instruction was accordion lessons at the age of nine, while a shy person a la Garrison Keillor, living in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. When his parents had the good sense to move him to Kentucky, he acquired his first taste for Bluegrass and Appalachian music. He studied piano, played some trombone, and sang bass in the choir before finally acquiring a guitar. His first guitar was purchased from his summer earnings as a towboat deckhand in 1974. He soon learned to love playing it. His first "tour" was his hitchhiking trip to California and back in 1975. The guitar was his worthy travel companion! Early musical influences included John Prine, Bob Dylan, John Hartford, Norman Blake, Doc Watson and Sam Bush.
Since moving to South Carolina in 1990, Goers has played with a number of musical groups, including Watershed (mix of folk, folk rock, and original tunes), Saluda Grade (acoustic mix of pop tunes and originals), Run For Your Life (bluegrass and folk), Gingerthistle (Appalachian and Celtic), Fluid Druid (Celtic), Square Root (Blues and Rock) and the Piedmont String Sawyers (Appalachian). He currently plays with the old time string band, the Carolina Tunecroppers and performs as part of a duet with singer/ songwriter Lucy Allen.
He has recorded with Gingerthistle on Grandad’s Porch; with the Piedmont String Sawyers on Sawing through a Few Good Pieces; has recorded a solo album Fresh Start; and is currently working on a new CD with partner Lucy Allen (currently on the SC Artist Roster). His musical achievements include taking first place in lap dulcimer in 2002 and first in mandolin in 2003 at the Brevard Halloweenfest Old Time Music competition.