Dexter Allen: Just a Country Boy with a Little Talent

2014 was quite a year for blues artist Dexter Allen and there are no signs that he’ll be slowing down anytime soon. After playing lead guitar on and off for the legendary Bobby Rush for 14 years- four of which he spent traveling the world as his band leader, Allen had a proposition for Rush; his fourth project entitled “Bluez of My Soul.” Allen wanted it released on Rush’s Deep Rush Records label.

dexer allen and bobby rush on stageRush liked the idea and the CD was released in April of 2014 making Allen the first, and so far the only, artist to join Rush on the label. 2014 was also the year Allen made his big screen debut portraying Sam Thomas in the James Brown bio-pic “Get on Up“. Explaining his character he says “[Thomas] was the bassist for James Brown in 1964 [and] played for [Brown] on the T.A.M.I. Show.” dexer allen get on up

Allen is currently marketing and promoting his second release on Deep Rush Records called “Trilogy of My Bluez” available since June 2015. On the title Allen says, “you’ve got some traditional, you’ve got some R&B, you’ve got some soul…three different types of blues all rolled up into one.”

Click to hear samples on
Click image to hear samples. Photo from

Local fans grooved to some of Allen’s new tunes at the Third Annual Jackson Rhythm & Blues Festival this past August. This year marked Allen’s second time performing the event. Before the festival Allen said “I’m excited about meeting the fans, old ones and new ones. And I think this event is so good for the city of Jackson. We haven’t had anything like it since Jubilee Jam.” He added “I’m also looking forward to reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in a long time.” Allen’s hour-long set included “the new single “Put Your Bluez on Me” and some of the old stuff too.”

Allen’s passion for the blues isn’t relegated to just playing and singing, he loves to educate as well. His philanthropic interests were first peaked in 2010 when Peggy Brown- currently the board chairman of the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, introduced him to Blues in the Schools. Brown says, “He did a great job. He interacted with [the kids] and they loved him.” From there Allen did a workshop with autistic children. He was nervous in the beginning. “I didn’t know if my program was going to suffice, not knowing it was just what was needed. It was a humbling experience,” he says. Now, “every time I have an opportunity to work with autistic children or even autistic young adults, I take (it).”dexer allen and kids

Allen recently took on yet another philanthropic endeavor when he was elected to the Board of Directors of The Blues Foundation in Memphis Tennessee, Allen. A personal goal during his term is keeping the blues alive through education. He plans to create platforms that allow artist worldwide to collaborate, thus increasing visibility and ensuring longevity of the genre.

Allen’s work has been impressive to say the lease, but something tells me this self-described “little country boy with a little talent,” is just getting started.

Get show schedule and more at

Dexter Allen Trivia

  • He’s been married for 20 years
  • He has 3 sons all of whom are musically inclined. Allen says “I told them to get degrees first and then we can discuss music careers if they want to.”
    • Proud Poppa bragging rights:
      • 25 year old Dexter J. Allen plays football at JSU and plays drums at church
      • 19 year old Devin T. Allen is a band scholarship recipient at JSU. He plays keyboards and drums at church in addition to singing
      • 16 year old Deon M. Allen is an 11th grader at Terry High School. He’s in band and plays football
  • Allen spent 3 days on the set filming his scenes for Get On Up.
  • Allen has 5 albums but only the last two are on Deep Rush
  • Allen will serve a 3-year term on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation in Memphis Tennessee
  • Recently signed on with a new booking agent: Muzik 4 You Entertainment, LLC
  • In February of last year Allen received a resolution from his hometown of Crystal Springs. Less than a month later, in a resolution adopted by the Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate, Allen was described as a “Blues artists extraordinaire.” The resolutions commend the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for his talents, accomplishments, and contributions to the music industry.

All photos courtesy of except where noted.

A version of this article first appeared in Jackson Free Press Vol 13 No 49. 

13 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Kudos to Andrew Medal for this “hit list” on creativity. 13 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative also give a nod to the book Steal Like an Artist which made the list of 5 Creative Books Everyone Should Read.

Medal refers to research (some with surprising results) to support his list and gives some tips on how to find inspiration to tap into your own creativity.

Maybe one of the most important points on Medal’s list is number eleven. It says that being creative is a LIFESTYLE CHOICE. You have to want it and consciously make time for it.

Read Medal’s article to find out what mind blowing fact you can learn from freestyle rappers to enhance your creative skills.

5 Creativity Books Everyone Should Read

In 5 Creativity Books Everyone Should Read Dean Bokhari gives us some awesome resources designed to help anyone maximize creative potential. That is, anyone dedicated enough to cultivate their desired talent. Innate or otherwise. Click the link above for Bokhari’s original article. It’s a quick and entertaining read.  In it he takes a realistic look at the creative process and briefly explains what you’ll gain from each book.  If you don’t need any convincing, shop Bokhari’s list below and dive into these gems now by selecting the eBook versions!

The Layers Of The Creative Process

Originally posted on Gideon's Screenwriting Tips: So Now You're a Screenwriter...:

Writers are always on the lookout for story ideas to develop into films and TV series. Where do these ideas come from? How do you brainstorm? How does a film or TV idea sprout from an original concept? How do you know which ideas are worth keeping and which to discard? So many things to think about.

Ideas are germinated and nurtured within the three layers of our creative thought processes. There can only be one dominant layer at a time, although the non-dominant ones are still in play.


As its name suggests, this step is when our minds are in full awareness mode. Our curiosity is stoked. We merge new and interesting knowledge with what we already know. We are open to new ideas and welcome the creative unknown.

We are actively brainstorming new story concepts. We usually start with what movies typically do well, what our personal interests are and…

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Cartoonist demonstrates,talks about his creative process

Originally posted on WISH-TV:

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Political cartoons have the ability to say a lot using no words at all.

Dick Wolfsie recently stopped by and talked with one such man who lets his pictures do all the talking.

Gary Varvel is a local political cartoonist whose drawings have stirred up plenty of debate.

Varvel talks about how he comes up with ideas for his cartoons.

He even shows and takes Dick Wolfsie through the process of actually drawing one of his cartoons.

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E-Reader’s Rack Vol 8: Independence

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Red Hot and BOOM!
by Various Authors

The Red Hot Authors present Red Hot & BOOM! A Sizzling Hot Collection of Stories. Celebrate Independence Day with Ten Books from Authors who will Heat Your Summer Nights!, You will fall in love with the characters!

  1.  ALL HAT NO CATTLE by Randi Alexander
  2.  FOR LIBERTY by Rene Folsom
  3.  COME WITH ME by Sable Hunter
  4.  WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY by Graylin Rane
  5.  SCORIN’ ON THE FOURTH OF JULY by Cassandra Carr
  6.  ONE LAST RODEO by Michel Prince
  7.  STARS AND SPARKS by Christin Lovell
  8.  FIRECRACKER! by Desiree Holt
  9.  SPARKS FLY by Mari Carr
  10. RETURN TO HER by Alexandra O’Hurley

Category: Romance & Holidays
Price: $0.99 Originally $9.90
Expires: Jul 10, 2015
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Clutter Free: Small Life Changes
by Lynn Hall

Want to de-clutter your home and live in a stress free environment, but feel like you do not have enough time? You can! Take back your life! This book is about having a plan for getting your life and things around your house under control. Learn which items to keep and which ones to let go of which is incredibly vital when you are attempting to de-clutter your home, reduce your stress, and simply streamline your day-to-day life.

Category: How to & Home Improvements
Price: $0.99 Originally $7.99
Expires: Jul 10, 2015
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by Alyssa Rose Ivy

With over 175 five-star reviews on Amazon: Allie is spending a summer in New Orleans when she meets mysterious and enticing Levi, who takes her on a supernatural journey that will cause her to question everything she thought she knew.

Category: Teen/Young Adult
Price: Free! Originally:$0.99
Expires: Unknown
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Saturday Night Widows
by Becky Aikman

In this “testament to the durability of the human spirit” (People), Becky Aikman shares her struggle with grief and her gradual adjustment to life after her husband’s death — with the help of a group of women known as the Saturday Night Widows. “An unexpected delight, rich with wisdom and laughter” (The Washington Post).

Category: Non-Fiction & Women’s Studies
Price: $1.99 Originally $9.99
Expires: July 19
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The Absolute Best Dump Dinners Cookbook
by Rockridge Press

Dive into this mouthwatering guide to everything from soups and salads to pastas and frittatas. With 75 delicious recipes that require minimal prep time, this book is ideal for the busy home cook!

Category: Cook Books/Quick & Easy
Price: $0.99 Originally $3.99
Expries: July 9
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Attitudes of Gratitude
by M.J. Ryan

Want to feel healthier, happier, and more complete? Learn to practice gratitude every day, with proven techniques that might just change your life! “This little book is an elixir for the soul” (New York Times bestselling author Kathy Freston).

Category: Self-help/Motivational
Price: $0.99 Originally $14.95
Expires: July 7
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