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Listening Through the Lens

It has always been a challenge to get tickets to Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Cafe. Since its starring role in the long-running TV series Nashville, that task has become even more difficult.

Tonight’s show was the first of two for the day – we aimed for the six o’clock in-the-round session but the tickets for the ninety-seat venue which has been operating in a humble Green Hills shopping mall since 1982, sold out quickly.

Tonight’s early set included Josh Allison & Judy Allison, Jim Parker, Brad Bulla and Mike Roberts.
Bios provided by Bluebird Cafe website, with commentary added by us:


Josh Allison comes from a blue-eyed soul background with a commanding voice, and with wife and music partner Judy, the duo provides sweet harmonies. Josh & Judy can be found performing live 4 to 6 days a week across North Alabama/Tennessee for live venues, corporate parties and weddings.

The couple passed a songwriters’ audition, doing well enough to be invited to this session. “Can’t Stop” and a new song “Driveway” were particularly memorable.

A line for the 9 o’clock show had formed outside during this entire session. As we filed outside, you could see the anticipation in their eyes.
Long live the Bluebird

Huntsville festival Panoply, known for its visual arts focus and family atmosphere, makes a case it should be better appreciated for its music, with a trio of Rolling Stone magazine touted headliners for 2019.

Those headliners include Grammy-winning singer/songwriter John Paul White, swampy roots performer Marc Broussard and pop-funk band The New Respects. Local talent will include soul-rockers Josh Allison Band and R&B vocalist Victoria Jones.

The entire Panoply music lineup and schedule can be viewed at

12 recent Alabama-made songs you should hear

Josh Allison “Moving On”


Organic R&B ballad likely to appeal to Anderson East fans, FAME Studios classicists.

"I opened my eyes… and it was… Josh Allison standing with guitar in hand, eyes closed, projecting his smooth, fluid pitch perfect voice through the microphone. 

Blackbird was one of several dozen songs Josh played last night, either solo or with his wife-singer/songwriter Judy Allison.  There were many other excellent performances of cover songs as well as several original tunes. "

Josh Allison track-by-track: Loss, limber vocals, analog tape shaped Huntsville musician's debut EP

Huntsville singer Josh Allison's mom Kay loved putting together jigsaw puzzles. She taught him if he assembled a puzzle's sides and corners first "the rest would put itself together." After Kay passed away about six years ago, Josh wrote "Pieces Together," a moving acoustic-soul ballad, in memory of his mom. His emotive, limber vocals and the song's personal genesis make "Pieces Together" the best tune on Josh's six-song debut EP, "Hold You." "When I heard the playback for this song, I had to leave the room," Josh, 30, says, "because the song was perfect. We added the ocean waves and seagulls because the beach was Mom's favorite place."

"Josh and Judy Allison's music runs the gambit from heartfelt and soulful effigy to pure joyful exuberance. A great emerging presence of songwriting in the Tennessee Valley."

Here's an excellent article on our 2nd Annual Women in Music Weekend in Huntsville. Matt hosts a digital Q&A about the fest between Alex Hendrix (Festival Producer) and Judy (Signature Events Producer) Judy curated 3 shows and 1 Music Biz Panel (hosted by Purple19) in the 2019 Fest: a 3-act all girl show at Humphrey's Bar & Grill, SheWrites: Huntsville Songwriter Showcase, and Finale event featuring The Dead Deads.  

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"These are fantastic songs. All musicians involved were a perfect fit for this project.  Can’t Stop is such a colorful piece with many parts and somehow the musicians don’t step on anyones else’s toes.  Great space. Moving On has always been a favorite of mine, the production is so spot on.  Josh and Judy’s voices were meant for each other and shows in every song they sing.  Kelvin did a great job highlighting that natural trait that they share so tastefully.  Josh has that edgy soulful southern rasp with such great range, and Judy’s sharpness and clarity softens Josh’s edge right up. They couldn’t blend more effortlessly.  I’m always excited to hear what will be next from these two. "

ALAN LITTLE, Listen Local Huntsville