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Jefferson State Vibes
By Steve Weskirchen
Feburary 2017
Allison & Victor

For those of you not familiar with Allison Scull and Victor Martin, they are an eclectic duo from the Dunsmuir/Shasta area. They tend to get labeled in the jazz/folk genre, but they are really in a class of their own. Allison creates steady melodies and rhythm with her acoustic guitar, and Victor bellows savory sax solos and melodic accompaniment with an instinctual skill that really invites the listener inside the songs. The third, and very key element of this duo is Allison’s vocals, -which is an instrument unto itself. She has a unique way of elevating and descending syllabic verse like I have never heard before. She switches octaves at will to deliver the lyric with momentum and seamless grace. Victor’s deep voice adds the warm and soothing flavor that completes the blend like marshmallows melting into a delicious cup of hot chocolate.

Anyone reading these pages in The Vibes knows we are loaded with awesome musicians and talented artists. The problem can often be that we have to filter through bar and restaurant noise to hear the subtleties and craftsmanship of these songwriters. This concert series at Barnstormers Theatre in Grants Pass gives the artist and audience the opportunity to experience the music as it was meant to be heard. The special bonus is getting to hear the stories behind the songs, and gaining that connection as the evening unfolds, which makes for more than just a concert experience. Allison and Victor are used to cutting through the background noise of bar-like venues, but truly embraced this chance to share their music in this intimate atmosphere. They made their way over the Siskiyou Pass in between the two harshest storms of this wild winter, and played a nearly sold-out show to the pleasure of all of us who braved the elements.

The mood was informal and friendly as A&V took the stage. It was like we were all hanging out in their living room as they played songs from their 3 cd releases. Allison introduced the first song, “Something Greater,“ modestly saying that no matter how important we think we might be, there is always something greater that we need to look towards. We were immediately lifted with lyrics like, “I’m looking for something greater than I am, where life lives through me, and there are wonders I’ve never seen, never seen…”

We also learned that Allison was raised in Belgium, traveled, moved, and is multi-lingual, singing in 3 languages, including Spanish and French, in addition to the obvious English. This adds another layer to their songs and her eloquent vocals. She introduced “Esperanza,” which is the Spanish word for “Hope.” Everything begins with a speck of hope, as she sings, “Esperanza for your dreams unseen; Esperanza with sun water and seeds; Esperanza when love is what you need… Stardust in the constellation; A splash from Victoria Falls; Everything begins so small.” Victor’s fluid and melodic solo on this tune cradles the delicate nature of the song in harmonious tone.

They joked and laughed with each other and the audience in between songs, as Victor’s jovial banter and laughter is warm and infectious. Allison giggled, and (literally) changed hats on a whim several times during the show. The only somber moment being when they introduced “Patrick’s Song,” a composition based on a dear acquaintance who passed away, after a long struggle with a serious affliction. They both choked up as they each described Patrick and his golden heart and fearless attitude. In the breakdown section of this song, Victor boldly and honestly phrases these words: “Patrick, you gave me strength, and continue to do so. Like Shadrack, Meshak, and Abednego; Like Daniel out of the lion’s den, -a true inspiration you’ve always been. And it’s a good life.”

The volume on Vic’s sax grew louder and more serious on the dark and thrusting song entitled “My Room” as Allison belted out lyrics like “Well, the tables are turning, ‘cuz truth has its own yearning; It always floats to the top, but in the meantime can you make this madness stop?” This is a song of self discovery, and she evolves victorious in the final lines with, “From the darkness, I look to the lightness, and I am the stories that unfold.”

Just when you think these two couldn’t jive together any better, they introduced their last song of the evening. It is from their latest release, Cool Like the Breeze, and is called, “Sips of Coffee.” A true masterpiece, this song turns heads and demands attention in the noisiest of bars. However, in a listening atmosphere like this, it is simply magical. It begins with soft guitar picking and Allison’s tender voice singing in French. As the song progresses, Allison chants the rising refrain of “Ooh Ooh Ooh,..” which Victor mimics with the sax. This escalates until the climactic ending, when they are both in full breath, and in perfect synch that creates a sound of blended beauty.

A&V are currently working on material for their fourth recorded release. They also play local wineries in our Rogue Valley, so be on the lookout to catch a performance whenever you can. Aside from being talented musicians, they are just kind and fun folks to share some good conversation between sets. I suggest following them on Facebook and for more information go to their website: allisonandvictor.com

There are still more of these intimate storytelling concert shows at Barnstormers Theatre. Check out the website at: barnstormersgp.com . It’s very simple to pick your seats, click and pay to reserve your spot for these special and unique performances.



Medford Mail Tribune, Tempo, Medford, OR
By Teresa Thomas
August 8, 2013

Allison Scull and Victor Martin's forthcoming, yet-to-be-titled album is an expansion of the duo's laid-back, funky Latin grooves. In the words of lyricist Irving Mills, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing."

Martin says that his fingers, toes and eyes are crossed, hoping the album will be done by this fall. In the meantime, the pair is working on a second project, a compilation of original songs in Spanish, and touring Southern Oregon.

The duo will present its sweet melodies (in English and French) at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9., at The Playwright Public House, 258 A St., Ashland, and at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at The Station, 295 E. Main St., Rogue River. Both shows are free.

Scull was a folk singer long before she discovered her capacity for jazz. Martin, a jazz and R&B musician, first heard her perform an old bed and breakfast in Dunsmuir, Calif. He started showing up to her gigs when she was in the area and, eventually, Scull asked him to contribute his warm saxophone lines to her 1998 debut, "Allison St."

It was a winning combination and the beginning of a lasting collaboration. After more than 10 years and three albums, Scull says she and Martin are more and more in sync than ever.

Their musical compatibility will show itself on the new, 10-track album, being recorded in Los Angeles with a full band that includes Tom Stamper on drums, Grant Levin on piano and Stefan Schittko on keyboards.

The album is a magnification of the jazz, funk, blues and Latin styles featured on the duo's earlier albums — "Allison and Victor Live" (2008), "From the Back Burner" (2006) and "Cool Like the Breeze" (2010) — and features a French song, as well as a call-and-response arrangement ("Haunting Green Heaven"), in which Scull's vocals are mirrored by the sax, guitar and keyboard. All the songs are original except for "Day by Day" from the musical "Godspell" and "Dream A Little Dream of Me," which has been covered by Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and many others.

The duo's second project includes songs from its former albums.

"A record label liked our songs, liked the Latin flavor and the message, and suggested we do a Spanish version," Scull says.

"We're lucky we're using the same studio for the two projects," Martin adds. "It gets a little crazy sometimes."

For its Southern Oregon shows, the pair will play new and old material, and "just when people think they have us figured out, we pull out a folk song," Allison says.

Allison & Victor Build on their folk-jazz roots
Review of COOL LIKE THE BREEZE CD on electricrev.net

Allison Scull and Victor Martin. Produced by Ron Davis (Wing and a Prayer Productions, Central Point, Oregon). 2Groove Records.

By Bryan "Zepp" Jamieson
Allison Scull and Victor Martin new CD [released January 2010], marks their first studio album since 2002's “From The Back Burner.” “Cool Like the Breeze” mixes new songs while revisiting the high-points of their previous work, including a sampling from Scull's 1998 solo effort “Allison Street.”

Often, when a group recycles their music, this is a warning sign of stagnation. However, in this instance, it boasts of the growth Scull and Martin have made as musicians over the previous decade.
Sacrificing none of the warmth and passion that made her vocals so striking on her earlier works, Scull adds a surety and polish here. Martin, rumbling vocals like a friendly volcano, brings a bright, focused saxophone, a blend that has always worked beautifully for this pair.

Of particular note is their revisit of “La Seine” (the center-point of Scull's first record, “Allison Street”). Haunting and beautiful, it shows the easy sophistication that they have learned on their long journey together.

Backed by Grant Levin on piano, Tom Stamper on drums, with Bill Valaire, Jeff Addicot and Glenn Richman sharing bass duties and Theresa Mc Coy? handling percussion, the result is a soft, polished sound - at once quiet and reflective, but with underlying drive and flashes of heat.

Eight years is certainly a long time to wait for a studio release. But I'm happy to report the wait was worthwhile in this case.

“Cool Like the Breeze”is available for purchase at http://www.allisonandvictor.com/Public/BuyCD.


Just What the Doctor Ordered

by Les Reynolds
Review of COOL LIKE THE BREEZE CD in Indie-Music Magazine, April 2010
Feelin' bad? The doctor orders Allison Scull and Victor Martin. Pour yourself a glass of wine and catch the breezy, soulful and sweet harmonies, saxophone solos with a cool Latin jazz beat.

Right away, with "Esperanza" (hope, in Spanish), you'll be swept away with Allison's lovely voice, the impeccably produced instrumentation and positive messages in the lyrics. All three tunes, in fact, offer these ingredients.

Instrumental excellence also translates to tasteful production: nothing is ever overplayed. The sax solos and Allison's voice are the anchors, with excellent vocal support from Victor Martin. What needs to be out front is out front, what needs to be in the background is less audible. Very well done.

Each tune is sublimely relaxing, yet quite danceable. Soothing, yet energizing in a positive way. This is truly high quality feel-good music at its best. Just what the doctor ordered!
---

The Tranquil Vibes of Allison and Vibes

by Jim Dyar
Photos Kara Stewart
January 2010
THE TRANQUIL VIBES OF ALLISON AND VICTOR

Allison Scull and Victor Martin are seated
at a table near the spot where they typically
perform at the Post Office Saloon in
downtown Redding. On this afternoon,
however, there’s not a guitar or saxophone in sight.
No microphones are set up to welcome
the duo into their usual position.

Still, bar patrons know who they are.

“They’re adored here in the North
State,” says Reggie Bordsen with a tone that
indicates that he means business. “Everybody
loves them. They really do.”

Bordsen raves on about Martin’s sax
playing, and calls Scull’s voice “angelic.”

Martin makes a wisecrack about paying
off fans to say the right things at the right
moments, then lets loose with a booming
infectious laugh. Just a bit later, another
musician walks into the pub and beams upon
seeing Martin and Scull. He hurries over for a
hug and pleasantries.

Martin and Scull tend to have this effect
on people. The same scene could have
unfolded in a lot of places they perform –
Napa, Weaverville, Grants Pass, Ore., Mount
Shasta, Hayfork.

Known (and booked) as simply “Allison
and Victor,” the duo has performed
consistently across the region since 2002.
They’ve played a vast array of venues and
events, from club shows to private parties
to winery open houses and everything else
you can think of. They’ve graced the stage
of the Cascade Theatre (opening for the
Blind Boys of Alabama), and performed in
an expanded format in August at the Trinity
Alps Performing Arts Center.

Their sound blends elements of folk, jazz,
blues, European and Latin music, all of
which translates into a laid-back, tranquil
vibe that tends to put people at ease.

“If you’re putting your heart and soul into
it, I think audiences pick up on that,” says
Martin. “When we look up and see people
smiling and having a good time, it’s feels like
we’re doing our part to bring a little peace
into the world. Live music is such a powerful
healing force. It’s medicine.”

December saw the duo release a new
album, “Cool Like the Breeze,” which
features six songs written by Scull (including
the title track), one by Martin, and two
others. The album was recorded by Ron
Davis (sound engineer for the Monterey
Jazz Festival) at his Wing and a Prayer
Production studio in Central Point, Ore.

Martin arranged all of the tunes and
the album features a variety of musicians,
including pianist Grant Levin, drummer
Tom Stamper, bassists Bill Vallaire and Glenn
Richman and percussionist Theresa Mc Coy?.

“We’re excited to get the CD out and
share it with the world,” says Scull. “We were
able to get the fuller sound we were after
with a very talented crew of musicians and an
excellent recording engineer.”

Adds Martin: “We worked hard to expand
the sound, but keep the integrity we started
with. We broadened the scope. It’s richer and
bigger.”

A native of Delaware, Martin began
playing saxophone in junior high and
continued his studies through college at
the Wilmington School of Music. After
joining the Army, he toured in a rock band
while stationed in Fort Lewis, Wash. Over
the years, he’s performed with the likes of
Grammy-winner Joe Henderson, Kitty
Margolis and Curtis Salgado.

Scull, a twin, came from a Navy family and
spent her childhood living in either Belgium
or La Jolla, Calif. A choir class at the San
Diego School of Performing Arts helped
spur her passion for music.

In 1998, Martin saw Scull performing her
original tunes at the Nutglade Station in
Dunsmuir and was impressed. Later, Scull
asked Martin to play on her 1998 solo CD,
“Allison St.”

It wasn’t long before they began performing
together, with Scull’s songwriting and
acoustic guitar style making for a cohesive fit
with Martin’s jazz sensibilities. Martin also
sings harmony and lead on some tunes, and
plays percussion.

“The cool thing about Vic is he’s open minded
enough to think of a singersongwriter
as a choice to do music with,”
Scull says. “We have so much fun when we
play. We love the audience interaction. Each
night, the energy of the crowd makes for a
different experience.”

In addition to the new album (available
at live shows and on their website –
allisonandvictor.com), the duo has also
released “Allison Scull and Victor Martin
Live” (2006) and “From the Back Burner”
(2002). They’ve shared the stage with the
likes of Craig Chaquico, Shana Morrison,
Archie Lee Hooker, Kelly Joe Phelps and
blues legend John Hammond.

When Scull and Martin travel to perform,
they often stay with fans who have grown
into close friends over the years. It’s a
continuation of the afternoon experience at
the Post Office Saloon.

“When we’re on the road, we feel little
bits of home,” Scull says. “We’ve built these
little networks with people, and these people
pretty much make it possible for us to do
this.”

“You find out that a lot of people out there
in the world are good,” adds Martin.
Or, perhaps it’s Martin and Scull who
continually bring out the good in people.
Either way, it continues to be a sweet sound.•

Catch their CD release party on
Friday, January 29th,
at Vintage Wine Bar,
1790 Market St. Redding, CA
and see them again at Vintage on Valentine's Day.
Sunday, February 14th.


Allison Scull and Victor Martin

by Teresa Thomas Artist Review April 2, 2010
Allison Scull and Victor Martin's most recent album, "Cool Like the Breeze," has the potential to whisk away folk and jazz aficionados alike.

The Dunsmuir, Calif., duo has been performing together for nearly 10 years, blending jazz and folk with Latin and European elements, and occasional French lyrics.


"Cool Like the Breeze," released in January, features Scull's guitar and vocal stylings and Martin's saxophone chops as well as the musicianship of several Southern Oregonians, including drummer Tom Stamper, percussionist Theresa Mc Coy?, pianist Ford Sterling and bassist Jeff Addicott.

“I think it (the album) shows (our) maturity as writers and arrangers,” says Martin.

The album features seven original tunes and two covers — "Miss Celie's Blues," first heard in the movie "The Color Purple," and "Summertime," by George Gershwin.

"Cool Like the Breeze," is the duo's third album and contains more piano, electric bass and jazzier arrangements than their previous two albums, "From the Back Burner" (2002) and "Allison Scull and Victor Martin Live" (2006).

"It's a fairly laid back sound," says Scull. "It's a mix of upbeat and melancholy."

Scull says her musical career started with singing to Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens tunes around the house. Scull, who tended more toward folk, attended the San Diego School of Performing Arts and later, she asked Martin, who had seen her perform, to play saxophone in the song “Mirror Me, Mirror You” on her first album, "Allison St."

Victor's lifelong love affair with jazz began when his mother gave him a sax. He decided to play trumpet instead, thinking three keys would be easier, but when that theory proved false, he returned to the sax. He attended Wilmington School of Music in Delaware before joining the army and playing with the 9th Infantry Rock Band stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash. He also played in the R&B band Sound Advice and in a jazz duo with Rick Garrett.

Victor and Scull have decided to dedicate their Avalon show to the late Jim Calhoun, who accompanied them on their album, “From the Back Burner.” Cover for the show is $5. For more information, call 541-512-8864.


Sharing a Creative Wavelength
Jim Traegser, North County Times, May 11th, 2006 www.turbula.net

Guitar and saxophone? Jazz, right? What if we add acoustic guitar and vocals? Folk, maybe?

That is the challenge facing Allison Scull and Victor Martin ---- just what do you call their music?

"Magical" would be a good place to start. Martin's warm tenor sax provides a surprisingly complementary foil to Scull's folky guitar and vocals.

We"ve heard that combo before, of course: Al Stewart's mid-1970s hits "Year of the Cat" and "Time Passages" both featured saxophone solos, as did Gerry Rafferty"s "Baker Street."

But what makes this different is that Martin remains firmly ensconced in the jazz idiom in his playing; he's not playing R&B a la Clarence Clemons behind Bruce Springsteen ---- he's playing jazz saxophone as accompaniment to Scull"s folk guitar and singing.

And it works.

It"s not all Martin, obviously. The reason his jazz lines work so well with Scull's folk approach is that her guitar playing is lithe and complex, much more so than that of most folkies, and able to serve as foil for his sax passages.

Their second release, "Live," was recorded in front of an appreciative audience in Northern California and with the addition of percussion and bass to fill out the sound.

As with their 2002 debut, "From the Back Burner," "Live" finds the duo playing mostly original songs written by Scull with a few covers. And as with their debut, it is the original songs that provide the most memorable moments. There's nothing wrong about their covers of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," Bob Marley's "Waiting in Vain" or Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Corcovado" ---- but these are songs that have been covered to death.

It's on songs like "Esperanza," or "My Room," or "Sugar Mama" that we hear the magic that is Allison and Victor, that we hear the interplay between two musicians, one folk and one jazz, who share a creative wavelength.

Allison Scull and Victor Martin perform at Beaumont's in Bird Rock at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday


There with Allison and Victor, January 7, 2006

written by Will Newman

The first time you listen to Allison Scull & Victor Martin Live you’re in for a treat. And the second time. And the third. And every time.

This CD is one of those timeless recordings that will withstand repeated playing for many, many years. Why? Because the two musicians who created it—and those musicians who’ve joined them—are just that: Musicians … skilled musicians for whom music is their life, a passion, a way of expressing themselves and not a fast road to fame and riches.

Allison Scull has a luminous, brilliant voice that ranges from earthy contralto to crystalline soprano effortlessly. In fact, all of her singing feels completely effortless, never forced, never strained.

Allison’s guitar playing is as skillful as her singing. It’s subtle and never overpowers her singing because—while Allison does play guitar—her voice is her instrument that she commands with great talent.

Although it appears Victor Martin plays the sax, he doesn’t really. He paints colorful soundscapes with it … using a few, clear brush strokes to create his musical images, not the muddied, frenetic onslaught of noise all too often associated with the saxophone.

The blending of Allison and Victor’s voices when they sing in duet is magical. Victor usually remains in the background for his vocals, his resonant voice providing true counterpoint (learned through years of jazz musicianship) for Allison’s lead.

But when Victor takes the vocal lead as on Bob Marley’s Waiting in Vain, he does so with authority and command … and with a phrasing that’s been uniquely shaped by his years of playing jazz saxophone.

Intimacy. That’s what is so compelling about this CD. Allison and Victor make you feel as if they’re singing just to you. But in spite of the quiet, reserved approach these two outstanding musicians take, the music never slips into becoming background music. There’s an urgency about the compositions and arrangements that captures the listener’s attention.

The play list features a near even blend of Allison’s original compositions and covers arranged by Victor. But the covers bring new sensibility and power, so you feel as if you’re hearing them for the first time.

But if you’re trying to pin a genre onto this CD … good luck.
There is a distinct Latin flavor, but the CD takes inspiration from all over the world. My Room vibrates with a definite Middle Eastern essence. And Allison’s rendition of Autumn Leaves makes you feel like you’re sitting in a dusky, smoky French cabaret, while Corcovado will whisk you to the nightclubs of Rio.

Jazz? Yes, some of the CD is jazz. Folk? Indeed, it’s folk as well. And it’s Latin, reggae, pop, and so much more.

But it isn’t like one song is folk and the next jazz. Every song combines elements of different genres seamlessly into a genre that’s uniquely Allison and Victor.

A CD of this quality comes about only from the effort of many people. Allison and Victor are joined by Bill Vallaire on bass, Joe Furnari on congas, and Vic’s longtime partner Rick Garrison on guitar for Corcovado and Autumn Leaves.

Ron Davis recorded the CD live at Rare Images in Mount Shasta, California. He also mixed and mastered the CD at A Wing and a Prayer Productions in Central Point, Oregon. Tyler Davis was assistant sound engineer.

The only problem with the CD is that it’s a live album … and I wasn’t able to be there to experience the excitement of the recording session in person. However, there is magic in this CD, a magic that makes you feel like you are there with Allison and Victor.

Will Newman


Area Musicians Offer Rich Releases

Record Searchlight, January 12, 2006
"Allison Scull & Victor Martin Live" Allison Scull and Victor Martin.

Mount Shasta singer-songwriters Allison Scull and Victor Martin have been finding a blend of laid-back folk and jazz for years in the north state. They captured an inspired evening of their work in this new CD recorded at Rare Images Gallery in Mount Shasta.

Five of the nine tunes on the album are written by Scull, whose warm, sincere voice intertwines with Martin’s clear, tasty saxophone leads. Martin also shows his vocal prowess on somber-sweet version of Bob Marley’s "Waiting in Vain." Another highlight is the duo’s cover of Cyndi Lauper’s "Time After Time."

Of Scull’s songs, driving "My Room" soars for nearly seven minutes to become perhaps the CD’s strongest track. It’s followed by "Sugar Mama," a fun tune that reveals Scull and Martin’s happy banter with their audience.

Bassist Bill Vallaire, conga player Joe Furnari and guitarist Rick Garrett assist on the performance.

The record is an excellent grab for those who have enjoyed Scull and Martin’s live shows.


CD Review: From the Back Burner

Chico News and Review, John YoungJune 2002
Mt. Shasta-area musicians Allison Scull and Victor Martin have produced a nice little laid-back CD featuring jazzy, folky tunes. Most of the pieces are orginals, the exceptions being Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain" and John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery." Scull plays guitar with a rhythmic surety, and her voice is a solid alto with which she demonstrates a pleasant playfulness on the melodies...Martin's saxophone delivers nice warm phrases, and his harmony vocals add much depth to most of the pieces.


CD and Artist Review

John Aiello, The American MuseWinter 2001, reissued on the theelectricrev.net May 2005
Allison Scull of Dunsmuir (an old railroad town at the upper arm of the Sacramento River Canyon) has been singing since she was a small child.

One listen to her debut CD, "Allison St." and you'll come to understand why. The songs on "Allison St." were written during an eight year span beginning in 1990 and recorded in Ashland, Oregon in 1998. "Allison St.", named after an actual street in Ashland where Scull went to college, is comprised of 10 songs-and are absolute gems. By combining different instruments (bouzooki, dhotar, congas, ragtime banjo, and saxophone) Scull has built a bridge between traditional and acoustic music, light rock and jazz. The results are truly startling. The music, skillfully guided by Scull's deft and delicate voice, calls to mind the young Mary Travers.

When Victor Martin began playing music as a youngster, he originally passed up the saxophone "because it had too many keys." He chose the trumpet instead (it has only three keys), but soon he found himself unable to play it. Discouraged, intent on giving up the study of music altogether, Victor was handed a saxophone by his mother who demanded he stay in the school band. Thirty years later, Martin has become one of the accomplished horn players in Northern California.

Martin is featured on "Allison St. " and has been playing with Scull for almost 3 years. Tall and muscular, he blends the physical stature of King Curtis with the range of the late, great session man Steve Douglas.

Aside from playing with Scull, Martin contributed regularly to the Mount Shasta R&B band "Sound Advice." He also played alongside Grammy award winning saxophonist Joe Henderson at the Sacramento River Jazz Festival in 1992, a concert he regards as a high-point in his career.


Trinity's Lively Arts

The Trinity Journal September 2004
By Jane M. Belden

In Siskiyou County, the City of Dunsmuir is a place that basically grew on the side of a mountain slope near the Sacramento River because of the railroad switchyard existed. There, Allison Scull and Victor Martin found a home base from which to travel to various gigs around the North State, across the nation, and especially to come here to be a part of Trinity's lively arts.

Allison had a dream from an early age to write and perform and publish her own neo-folk songs. That dream came true when she published her first CD "Alllison St" in 1998. About that time she met Victor Martin and invited him to play backup sax for one of the songs on the album. Soon they were performing their jazzy folk blues to audiences regularly.

The first time I saw them perform was at the Straw House in Big Flat, CA on September 2, (2004). The next night they performed on the deck of Noelle's Garden's Cafe. Some of the numbers they did were from their new album "From the Back Burner." Allison wrote most of the songs and she sang and played guitar throughout. Victor's voice and sax added depth and balance to the numbers. Sometimes in the duets, their voices were so matched the effect was as one. When Allison sings in close harmony or unison with the sax, it is incredible. Dinner on the deck with live entertainment. It can't get any better.

I was privileged to have them stay over at my home, to relax and talk with them over breakfast. While Victor worked with his new sax, Allison shared with me a bit of her process of writing a song. The day before while they were setting up at the Straw House, she had a little time so took the opportunity to sit by the river with her guitar.

She started playing with a melody that they had been working on but she hadn't come up with the exact lyrics. I imagine that day, the surroundings, the quiet flow of the river, any of which could inspire her, did and she said that as she sat there playing, her thought went back to her childhood. Images came flooding through and the words and phrasing fell into place and she had a song. It's not always that easy, but if you talk to any artist, you will find out that this is often the way it happens when they do their best work. Pure inspiration.

Allison and Victor had five gigs over Labor Day weekend. Here(Trinity County), Ashland, Oregon, and the Mount Shasta Blackberry Festival. You can see more about this hardworking duo on the Internet. In search just type, Allison Scull and Victor Martin and go.