Singer/Songwriter and KC Cafe Radio Performing Artist Allan Frank has been surrounded by music practically all his life. Growing up in the American Midwestern town of Peoria, Illinois, Frank was caught playing on his grandfather’s piano, making up stories as he played along, at the ripe young age of 3. It wasn’t until age 16, however, when Allan picked up his first musical instrument, a guitar his parents had given him.
As he got older, he became involved in musical theater, and eventually graduated from college with a theater degree. He also discovered his guitar playing skills were in high demand in theater, and he began toying with putting lyrics with song. It wasn’t long that Allan found himself writing for events and issues outside of the theater, and a new songwriter was born.
He later traveled to Europe, and eventually relocated to California, where he continued to hone his craft as a songwriter. His skill as a talented songwriter continued to develop, both in Los Angeles and in Nashville. He became involved in collaborative efforts with some of the most influential songwriters around, including Gary Burr and Chris Tompkins.
Allan’s first full-length album is called The Road So Far, and represents his journey as a genuine singer/songwriter. A blend of Americana, Country and Roots tunes, The Road So Far takes you on a heartfelt journey down the by-ways and back-roads of Middle America. Allan’s gentle down home manner is evident in his songs, reminiscent of the classic stylings of Burl Ives, Pete Seeger and Doc Watson.
Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste spoke with Allan. He tells the story of growing into the art of songwriting, and how he has approached the craft over the years. They talk about the benefits of writing alone versus collaborating with other songwriters, and Allan discusses at length about songwriting as a craft, and the importance of connecting with the listener.
Listen to the interview here:
Music by Allan Frank on KC Cafe Radio:
Since childhood, music has been in Lee Sim’s blood. As early as age five, at the encouragement of his parents, Lee was singing. “As a youngster I would listen to my Mom and Dad’s record collection of Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, and Tennessee Ernie Ford …” Lee said. “When I was eight years old my Dad would take me to local music jam sessions, and I experienced the thrill of performing live. It was an incredibly exhilarating and humbling experience.”
It didn’t take long for Lee to begin his performing career. Lee’s first “real gig” was at a Junior High school talent show, and within a month he founded his own band and was performing professionally. From his home base in Colorado, Lee and his grass-roots accompaniment, The Platte River Band, have performed across the United States and Canada.
Lee’s authoritative voice has also attracted the attention of radio commercial and television show producers. As a result, his voice has been a staple with Colorado radio listeners for decades. Additionally, Lee has performed on a laundry list of demos for songwriters, attracting the attention of producers in Nashville, where he was a finalist on the You Can Be a Star! television show. Lee’s credits also include performing with numerous Country Music stars including Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker, Buck Owens, and George Strait.
Lee has earned the distinction of being Nashville’s 3-time Golden Award Winner in 2001, Colorado’s Entertainer of the Year in 2001, and Colorado’s Country Music Hall of Fame Entertainer of the Year in 2003.
Lee’s latest album, Deep In The Heart of Me represents a culmination of Lee’s musical career and influences, with nine original songs, world-class musicians, and Nashville production. It has already rocketed to the top of the music charts, hitting #1 on the New Music Weekly Chart (Blues on Parade) and #7 on the Roots Music Report’s Weekly Top 50 True Country Album Chart.
Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Lee. He shares his memories of growing up in the performing spotlight under the encouragement of his parents, as well as his experiences performing along with some of country music’s greatest talent. We also get a peek into what Lee has in store for the future, with some news of his upcoming projects slated for release later this year.
Listen to the interview here:
Download the interview here: Interview: Lee Sims 5/25/2016