The term 'gun-slinging guitar player' seems like it was invented for Cole Allen. The up and coming blues singer/guitar player has caught the attention of two past Sioux Falls JazzFest performers and is soon to be getting everyone's attention with the release of his self-titled CD.

Allen is a Minneapolis boy (and it caught me by surprise to find out that Cole and I went to the same high school....of course MANY MANY years apart, but it's still a fun fact for me). His dynamic stage presence and powerful vocals caught the attention of Sioux Falls JazzFest 2010 headliner Corey Stevens, who Allen credits for taking him under his wing and being a mentor. Stevens guests on Allen's CD.

JazzFest 2012 performers, the Sena Ehrhardt Band have also asked Allen to join them on their summer tour as a second guitarist with Ed Ehrhardt. Allen has appeared in a Sena Ehrhardt Band video, and Sena has also appeared in one of Allen's videos.

The Cole Allen Band will make their Sioux Falls debut Friday night (May 3) at Old Skoolz (921 E. 8th St). Music starts at 8pm with Toby Kane opening. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show.

I caught Allen solo at the Famous Dave's Blues Fest in Minneapolis last summer and he caught my attention there. After hearing the new CD and watching a few videos, I'm excited to see this guy in action. Allen could be this decade's answer to Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang.

Allen is scheduled to be my in studio guest Friday afternoon.