The initiated hep cat, rockabilly enthusiast, or fiendish 45 collector might not need an introduction to Mark Lee Allen. However, all others should know that Mark Lee Allen is amongst the avant-garde of today's rockabilly retro-garde enthusiasts. His peers revere Allen's knowledge and respect him for unearthing scarce and impossible vinyl findings. Mark Lee Allen's claim to fame amongst contemporary collectors and trash-a-billies is based upon his re-issue series: Twisted Tales from the Vinyl Wastelands, a series comprised of conceptualized compilations dealing with Johnny Cash soundalikes, aliens, and other abnormalities.
On Locked Down! Allen carefully collects the favoured of the favourites and comes up with a delightful and entertaining compilation. Considering the vastness of the material at hand and his familiarity with the far-out and obscure gems of recorded rubbish, one could have feared a hard-to-digest freak release. But – the true artist and music lover within Mark Lee Allen rounded-up pleasing classics like Till the Law Says Stop, Don't Be Unfair, and Lonely Lonely Train and paired them with hardcore rockabilly anthems like Bertha Lou and In The Deep Dark Jungle. But Mark Lee wouldn't be the Allen he is unless he would not offer us the obscure and zany ones as well: Pick 'em Up and Shake 'em Up (obscure) and $ F--olding Money $ (zany) are highlights on an album that bursts with killer rockabilly – rough, edgy, manic – and with a voice and feel that are as authentic and vintage as can get. This one's a winner!