Falling Up
(Hindsy Babe)


On his 2009 solo CD Falling Up, Alabama bred / L.A. based guitarist Allen Hinds just burns through a set of sizzling, guitar-centric fusion instrumentals. Amid the Santana meets Clapton influences in his electric and acoustic guitar techniques, Hinds even includes one vocal here—a funky, uptown and totally smoking cover of “Come Together,” featuring the vocals of one Tolak Olestaad, who lives in Amersterdam. Commenting, Hinds adds, ‘Yeah, he’s great. I wish it were me singing...people pay me extra not to sing.’ That may be Allen jesting, but with the guitar as the star on Falling Up, there’s no shortage of breathtaking sonics on hand. Sometimes, it's really more the fantastic way Hinds records his guitars. Sequestered high up above the stratosphere, jammed against room filling percussion, some of these tracks truly scale new heights for fusion jazz-rock. Keeping track of Hinds on guitars are a number of excellent players all kept in perfect rhythm by the impressive drumming of Reinhardt Melz. Hinds is a rising name in the production, touring and TV music world and he is well known for his guitar work in Gino Vanelli’s current touring lineup as well as for his 20 years of teaching improvisation techniques at the Musicians Institute. Even with Allen's hectic schedule, after giving Falling Up a few spins, one can hear his true calling. Fans of guitar fusion should give Falling Up a good listen.


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Musical Background

Growing up with older brothers and sisters, I was always exposed to music. I remember Beatles, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave. But I didn’t start playing guitar till high school in Auburn, Alabama. By age 16 I was sneaking into bars to play and listen. I was exposed to a lot of blues and southern influenced folk and rock. Allman Bros, ZZ Top, Little Feat, Delbert McClinton, Taj Mahal, and all the British rock stuff like Led Zep, Steve Winwood...etc. After high school, I kept playing just for fun. I realized I could support myself doing it. I played in countless top 40 bands learning stuff of the day. But then that was cool stuff. Look at the charts in the 70's/80's...Doobie Bros, Steely Dan. Good time to be a guitarist. I got a little more serious when bands like Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder, EWF, Chick Corea appeared on the scene. So I went to Berklee College of Music in 1978 then to GIT (Musician's institute) in 1985. I had a chance to sit next to Joe Pass, Robben Ford, Joe Diorio, Scott Henderson, Larry Carlton... I have been teaching there since.

New CD

My new CD Falling Up was finished at the first of this year. There are some great performances by Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Babko and a new drummer Reinhardt Melz. He and I have been working with Gino Vannelli the last few years. I think Falling Up is the best recording I've made to date. TJ Helmrich mixed it and I can still listen to it from time to time. That's saying something, ha ha! But It's got a bit of everything on it I believe. Slide stuff, dobro, bluesy, fusiony, a lighter nylon string song. I was pretty happy with this one.

Favorite Guitars

Well I have a 1932 Dobro that's pretty sweet. Bill Asher reset the neck, and pretty much restored the guitar to the beautiful instrument it is. I have a 1961 Les paul Jr. (SG shape) that someone put some Tom Holmes humbuckers on. That is my main slide guitar. It just sounds huge. Some of the CD was done with my early 70's Deluxe, with a Fane speaker, and I borrowed a "Dumbelized" Bandmaster for a few as well. And I mostly used the Xotic AC boost for my overdrive. I just run from my overdrive pedals to a volume pedal to delay reverb pedals (T.C. Electronics) and then into the front of the amps. I like amps that are powerful enough to not distort and low enough wattage to still get that natural compression. Lately my main amp has been a 1967 Bassman. 100% stock, just great with two Bob Burt Cabinets. Open back...beautiful stuff, his cabinets.

Musical Influences

Well, my influences are so diverse. I think my earliest melodies I was whistling were Henry Mancini songs my parents had. Beatles of course. I went through a long spell of Robben Ford, Alan Holdsworth, always Jeff Beck. I can sing about every Pat Metheny solo, he's so melodic. For the last several years my favorite CD has been Shawn Colvin's A Few Small Repairs. John Leventhal is a genius producer and understated/under appreciated guitarist. Love that CD every time I put it on. No blistering solos, just perfect parts that compliment the songs. I dig that more than chops these days. I love about anything Mike Landau touches. I am a huge Little Feat fan. I think you can hear all this stuff in my playing. I hope...

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