"The group is masterminded by 24 year-old Isaac Allen who showcases an instantly classic, well-oiled Cohen-esque voice on the debut album, "Don't Smoke." Fans of slow-burning twilight blues of the Nick Cave and Tom Waits variety will feel right at home with these songs."

—New Haven Register, October 1, 2010

"With a belly full of hurt, a voice carved from Tom Waits’ croak, and a slow-burning craft of Cohen-esque blues, Isaac Allen is a new artist on the New England scene to pay attention to. Allen’s debut, “Don’t Smoke” suggests an old soul ripe with wisdom, disparity, and a world weariness well beyond his 24 years."

—Chris March
New Haven Register, October 11, 2010

"Mr. Isaac Allen comes from the dark side of town, and he plays it for all it’s worth. An exceedingly talented pianist and composer and an heir to baritone talk-singers John Lee Hooker, Mark Knopfler and Tom Waits, he brings his many talents to noirish melodramas. Bags of dope, whores, the devil, state prisons, suicide and death by electric chair are all part of the Don’t Smoke landscape. Most of the 10 songs are down-tempo, and the occasional up-tempo tunes (“Bernie Madoff” and “The Mouse In My Head”) are shot through with bitter irony. .. this is a great sounding disc — about as good as local production can get, and Mr. Allen’s piano is at the center of it."

—James Velvet
New Haven Advocate, October 12, 2010

"Don't Smoke...comes off as a scene-by-scene slinkily dangerous stage presentation, the sort of mise en tableau that gets the rabble started, breeds discontent, and raises awareness amid fog and grime."

—Mark S. Tucker
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"Clearly a talent to watch, Allen is already an exceptional performer and writer."

Read the full review at

"The music is multi-textured and dense, but slinky and sly as well... Gives fans a lot to chew on; it'll certainly be interesting to see where this twenty-something auteur will go from here."

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"The blues moves in, around, over and through ‘Don’t Smoke’ with Mr. Isaac Allen’s low register vocals rumbling up from the depths of a soul that has seen its share of dark and light."

—Danny McCloskey
Read the full review at The Alternate Root

"Mr. Isaac will take you on a journey down the dark and perilous visions of his past and the longings of his youth. This voice will haunt you long after the last track plays."

—Dana Wright
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"Heartfelt, fearless and a classic voice… New Dylan meets Leonard Cohen”


"Hard to classify, always engaging, Mr. Isaac Allen writes and performs songs that don’t settle easily into the background – which is what art is about – and he carries it off to the highest degree, with his deep and rich voice.”

—Andrew Wallach
from The Art of Making Music

"Jazzy TOM WAITS-ish musical setting"


"Sounds a bit like Nick Cave meets Johnny Cash – can't get much COOLER than that."