Major folk festival gives Stamford musician a boost

doug_allen_MMThis afternoon, at a place called Dodds Farm at the foot of the Berkshires in east-central New York, a Stamford musician is hoping to make his mark.

Doug Allen, a Darien native who now lives in Stamford was selected this year to be part of the Emerging Artist Showcase at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, a event that attracts some of the top folk musicians for a three-day celebration of music and dance. Cricket Tell the Weather of New Haven also was invited to play.FrontCover2013Release1 copy

Allen is among two dozen acts that will perform Friday afternoon, each offering about a 10-minute set of material. The audience will vote, and once the rankings are in the top five will be invited back to stage a full set next year.

“This is really a great opportunity,” said Allen, whose latest album came out in March. The self-titled release, which was recorded in Nashville, reflects some of the country influences that have recently been inspiring the work of this singer and songwriter.

Allen said he has been splitting his time between Nashville and Connecticut over the past several years, creating and recording music, as well as helping to produce the music of others. Many in Fairfield County and surrounding areas have likely seen Allen perform during the last 15 years or so. He has had shows at Toad’s Place in New Haven, Webster Theater in Hartford and The Bitter End in New York City, as well as many clubs and smaller venues in between, such as Crew in Greenwich, South End in New Canaan, B.J. Ryan’s in Norwalk  and O’Neill’s in South Norwalk.

You may have spotted him in the movies, too. He can be seen playing his song “Blue Room,” in a scene from “One True Thing,” a film that came out in 1998, starring Meryl Streep and William Hurt. It came about during a creative stint in Los Angeles, early in his career, when he was trying his hand at acting. However, as one can suspect, the music won out.

If you have missed Allen at Falcon Ridge, you can still catch him in the area. He will be playing an acoustic show at the Friday night concert series at the Grove Street Plaza in Darien from 6 to 9 p.m. And, he expects to perform regularly on Sundays at the new beer garden at the SoNo MarketPlace in South Norwalk.

Of course, if he is lucky today, you might also be able to catch him at Falcon Ridge  Folk Festival next year.

Christina Hennessy