Ask a Local

Singer-songwriter and Sullivan County native Slam Allen began his musical career as the lead singer and guitarist for legendary Chicago blues musician James Cotton. Since then, he’s forged a successful solo career, producing several albums and hitting number one on the Blues Radio Chart. Allen is a recipient of the prestigious Master Blues Artist award from the New York Blues Hall of Fame and a 2016 Blues Music Awards nominee.

Which part of the region do you call home? 

I was born in Sullivan County, NY. I was raised in Monticello. My parents are originally from Fair Oaks, Alabama.

Slam AllenWhat do you do for a living?

Blues musician.

What keeps you here?

This is my home. I don’t care where you go around this world. I’ve been to a lot of places in and out of the country but there’s no place like home.

A tool you use everyday.

These hands were made to play the guitar. This is my tool of choice right here.

Do you have a favorite restaurant?

I like anything that makes me feel good—anywhere that has that love and energy that people put into their food. If I’d have to pick just one it’d be right here where I am sitting at Floyd and Bobo’s in Liberty. If you need something sweet or savory to eat, this is the place to get it. The cooking here comes from the heart. You can’t go wrong.

Favorite swimming spot?

That’s one thing I don’t do! I don’t swim. I get nervous in the bath tub. I’ve played on cruise ships for months at a time but swimming ain’t my thing.

Someone should open up a (blank).

Someone needs to open up a community based facility where people can come and congregate on the regular basis.

Three things a local should not be without.

Food, shelter and love.

How do you spot a local?

Growing up here you get to know your environment. You get to know everyone. You can tell once somebody else comes here that wasn’t from here originally. It’s like they’re not apart of the extended family.

What are some errors you see new locals make?

You can’t judge a book by its cover. You have to come here with an open mind. Don’t perpetuate stereotypes and you’ll see there are a lot of people here who are interesting and have things to offer.

What advice would you give someone interested in moving upstate?

Don’t look for anything to just happen, come and make something happen. And don’t let something happen to you while you’re here.

What’s the best kept secret upstate?

Me.