Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times reported this week that Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen and his band, the Underthinkers, will be releasing his debut album "Everywhere at Once" in August.
Now he's assembled a debut album with his band, with a lot of help from other friends, including Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, Joe Walsh, Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II and Neville Brothers scion Ivan Neville.
It's no mere vanity project for the 60-year-old billionaire -- all proceeds will go to support educational programs at the nonprofit EMP.
"I've rarely gone a week without picking up a guitar," Allen wrote in his bestselling 2011 memoir, "Idea Man. "It's more than a hobby; it gives me balance and keeps me in the moment, which can be a challenge with all the projects I'm pursuing at any one time... I take music with me wherever I go."
Allen told Mike Barrett of Blazers.com last summer that the album was in the works.
I've also been working on a new album, which I guess I can talk about. There's a movie called Magic Mike and one of my songs is playing in the background, I'm on the soundtrack.
KIROTV.com offers additional details.
Allen plays guitar on the 13-track album of what's described as "blues-based guitar rock nuggets."
Ann and Nancy Wilson, also Seattle natives who twice topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, are contributors on Allen's album. Joe Walsh, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, and Ivan Neville also are contributors. The album is being released on Sony's Legacy Recordings label.
"Paul wrote or co-wrote every song on the album and also plays guitar on almost all the tracks," according to the Amazon description. "All of Paul's proceeds will be donated to the charitable organization of the EMP Museum."
Old friend Ryan White of The Oregonian reacts to the album news.
Paul Allen will release his major-label debut on August 6. Wonder why he didn't Kickstart it?
"Everywhere at Once" is the name of the album, as well as something you can be when you have billions of dollars.
Here's the full press release if you're interested.
Born and raised in Seattle, he started on violin in second grade and played the instrument through the sixth grade. But after he received his first guitar at age 16, and saw Jimi Hendrix for the first time later that same year, there was no looking back. Prior to the Underthinkers and Everywhere At Once, he formed the band known as Grown Men in 1996 and they independently released an album in 2000.
"I'm still moved by the power of live music," Paul Allen summed up in his book, "and I seek it out every chance I get."
The album will not include a Gotye cover entitled "Somebody that I used to Cho", or a groovy throwback cut called "Kevin is a place on Earth", or a hip-hop detour dubbed "It's all about the Buchanans, baby" or a rock-infused version of the National Anthem entitled "Olshey, can you see?" but it should still probably be pretty cool.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter