Big Jim Allen and kenny carlysle

It took over six decades to these two hot pickers to meet in Tampa Bay Florida…though in high school, they grew up five miles apart in suburban Chicago. It’s about time!!!!

Big Jim Allen (Guitar; Banjitar)
Big Jim grew up playing acoustic folk rock, jazz and classic rock music and having a good time with his audiences. Reviews refer to him as an “all-around entertainer and personality.”  Big Jim is best known as a fingerstyle guitarist, humorous story teller, and singer/songwriter. He spent decades touring the Midwest as a multi-instrumentalist…from brass to banjo, guitar to mandolin.

Constantly “reinventing” his style, Big Jim is now primarily an event entertainer. His involvement with the Tampa Bay Fingerstyle Guitar Guild, as well as a charter member of the Tampa Bay Musicians Co-Op, has placed him in front of audiences at folk & ukulele festivals, chamber & civic events, street fairs & markets, and private corporate functions.
Ken Carlyle (Electric, Acoustic, & Slide Guitar; Fiddle; Mandolin)
How do you describe Ken’s Career? According to Ken, “I've played for a Possum Roast and for a President; in a Motorcycle gang's cave and at Hugh Heffner’s mansion and every kind of gig in between…from The Lone Star Cafe in New York City to Sloppy Joes in Key West.”

Born and raised in Chicago, he spent most of his adult life in rural Western Illinois. After being a band leader for a 2200 seat concert venue, working with national touring acts for over a year, Ken took to the road with “Ken Carlyle and the Cadillac Cowboys.” They quickly became an extremely successful Midwest regional act for several decades, often playing 300+nights a year.

Ken is a terrific singer/songwriter, plays excellent guitar and mandolin, and has a fiddle style he calls”Hojun”--a mixture of hoe-down and Cajun. He developed this style while playing fiddle at rural square dances., and will keep you movin’.



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