Allograph Records is the brainchild of producer, multi-instrumentalist, and teaching artist Matt Brown. With the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, he launched Allograph to put out the album On Big Shoulders, which is available here, at Laurie’s Planet of Sound, Dusty Groove & the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and via all the typical streaming services: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, YouTube Music et al.
On Big Shoulders is a grant-funded Americana album Matt co-produced with GRAMMY-nominated producer Liam Davis in the summer of 2017. The album was recorded at I.V. Lab Studios in Chicago and features a dozen of the city's busiest musicians. The core band comprises Steve Dawson (vocals & guitar), Brian Wilkie (pedal steel & Telecaster), Aaron Smith (bass), and Gerald Dowd (drums), with guest appearances from Elise Bergman (background vocals), Gia Margaret (lead & background vocals), Keely Vasquez (lead & background vocals), Liam Davis (lead vocals), Liz Chidester (background vocals), Anna (trumpet) & Evan (trombone) Jacobson, and Matt Brown (fiddle).
Each song on the album was written by a Chicagoland artist or was previously recorded in Chicago. Repertoire includes "I'm Mississippi Bound" from Grand Ole Opry stars The Delmore Brothers (who recorded in Chicago in 1933), "Heavy Traffic Ahead" from the seminal formation, with Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, of Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys that recorded in Chicago in 1946, "Shake Your Head" from Barbara Carr's Chess Records output, "Long Tall Mama" from Big Bill Broonzy, "It's Just That Simple" from Wilco, and new songs from Collin Moore, Steve Dawson, and GRAMMY-nominated Chicagoland resident Robbie Fulks (an exclusive commission).
Allograph’s first release predates that of On Big Shoulders by a month. It’s a single, released on 10/1/2018, entitled “Smile at the Sunset” that Matt Brown (banjo) & J. Ivy (spoken word) wrote & recorded together at I.V. Lab Studios after Matt finished an On Big Shoulders photo shoot there. “Smile at the Sunset” is available on all the available streaming & download platforms.