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About

Alison Fleming is an English songwriter and recording artist, originally from Bramham, Yorkshire (home to iconic Leeds Festival) - and now living in SW Missouri, United States. 

She grew up in a musical family, the eldest of four children. 

Both parents are from the North East of England. Their mother Grace played classical piano and attended drama classes (alongside the now famous English actress Wendy Craig) with a dream to attend RADA although she became a teacher and later in the 1970s was a Chief Home Service Advisor for the North Eastern Gas Board, before her tragic death in a car crash in 1980. Their father, James (known as Jim) trained on 'Swifts' as a fighter pilot, then flew Varsities and on retiring taught people to fly (small aeroplane) the Chipmunk. He would fly over the house and tip his wings. He loved Dixieland Jazz and suchlike the Inkspots. The greats such as Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Jelly Roll Morton - music that was played frequently at home. Jim taught himself jazz on piano and in the 1950s he headed up an RAF Dixieland jazz band on piano and vocals. When Alison and siblings had teenage parties he'd perform on the upright - songs such as "Tea for Two" and "It's a sin to tell a Lie". All the kids loved him, he was very popular, had a great sense of humour and loved to tell stories of his flying days. It was an upbringing full of change that fused the imagination and encouraged creativity, a love of music, nature and the arts, independent thinking, self reliance, and not least the value of a sense of humour.

Living in the air force meant frequent changes of piano-teacher. Alison would tinker on the ivories making up tunes and never got into reading music to any great degree, because she would remember the notes by heart. At primary school poetry writing came easy and she would win poetry competitions. She taught herself guitar in her teens and - with their mother active in the church community - she joined the choir and became a bell ringer. Sunday's she'd have to make a dash down the narrow stairs from the church belfry and around to the vestry door... to don cassock and get into line to file-in to the choir stalls.  Being tall she'd be the one chosen to hold banners to lead church processions. To raise funds for the church roof she and a friend started a village drama club called 'Seventh Sense" and put on comedy shows. They also organised dances giving the opportunity for local rock bands to perform, one band's drummer being David Flannagan, whose brother Paul at the time was drummer for 80s pop group Adam and the Ants. 

In her early 20s she'd started a career in publishing, first writing for a PR firm and then as a magazine editor. She also started a home printing business. But the draw of songwriting was becoming strong. She would pick up her acoustic guitar most evenings, strumming whatever came to the fore - often nameless open chords - feeling her way around the fretboard until it spoke and it wasn't long before she started overlaying melodies and words. The first songs helped by the nature of their origin were folklike musings - usually about the state of the world and the human condition.

Recording equipment progressed from a simple cassette player, voice and acoustic guitar, to a mini-cassette 8 track studio Tascam Porta One, Casio keyboard and an old Gibson Marauder electric she'd spied in the window of a second-hand shop along the Priory Road in her husband's home town, Liverpool.

Back in the 1980s there was no such thing as the internet. She mailed rough demo cassettes to music industry producers and A & R around London. The response was enthusiastic, and the advice was to put the songs into better shape, so she turned her focus toward looking for more assistance, specifically in production. In 1986 through an ad in NME magazine she came to meet now musically renowned UK Composer, Producer, and Guitarist, Tony Lowe.

Moving from Manchester to Billericay near London presented the opportunity to meet in person at Tony's (then) Brixton studios. As if by fate and like clockwork - recording off the bat - Tony multi-tracked a few of Alison's songs in one day.

Around 1989 another move, this time to the West Country, led to meeting Monmouth based rock band, 'The Intruders'. With their musical support she was able to perform her songs (in rock form) in public, gigging around the locale, Wales, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Hereford - and a highlight gig in Reading to full house and rousing applause. On the way home one of the tyres blew on the van and needed to be repaired in the dark. One of many stories. Late nights, late eats, thrilling, surreal and a priceless experience of stage work and the drives of a gigging band.

Year 1995 necessitated a family relocation to the USA. The move coincided with the early days of the Internet, by which fateful stroke of luck Tony Lowe and Alison were able to continue to co-write and record. 

Tony's production of Alison's songwriting brought about major London label A&R interest. Their collaboration has garnered three Lowe/Fleming albums to date, two of which opened doors to the music industry's GRAMMY® Awards lists ...the first album, 'All of the Above' in 2007 in eight categories including Album of the Year, Best rock song for 'Fires keep burning' and Song of the year for ‘Blue like the sky'; the second, aptly called ‘Second Nature’  in six categories in 2008.  

In October 2008 'All of the Above' was performed live at popular venue 'Inn on the Green', in Notting Hill in London - to rave reviews along with money raised for the charity, 'Bollocks to Poverty'. Band members comprised composer/writer Tony Lowe (lead vocals, guitar, programming), co-writer Alison Fleming (lead vocals), Poppy Gonzalez (keyboards, percussion, backing vocals), Steve Gee (Bass) and Julian Stapley (Drums), Mixing Engineer Gareth Redfarn. Executive Producer, Cheryl Stringall. 

Their third album 'Human Sleeping’ was created under the auspices of Tony Lowe’s associated independent record label, Sunn Creative headed by MD Cheryl Stringall, whereupon Alison signed onto the artist roster for the one album. 

More recently she is credited as lyrical co-writer and for backing vocals as 'the voice of the ghost' on Tony Lowe and Mark Brzezicki’s (Big Country) symphonic prog-rock album ESP - 'Invisible Din', released November 2016. Its plethora of iconic guest musicians include David Cross violinist (King Crimson) and David Jackson saxophonist (Van Der Graaf Generator).

Described among musical colleagues as possessing ‘clear-water’ vocals she writes instinctively and tends towards arrangements with different feels and sounds. Musical influences include Bjork and Kate Bush. Often regarded as 'one-of-a-kind', comparisons include Annie Lennox, Suzanne Vega, Edie Brickell, Carly Simon, Sade, Enya, Indigo Girls, and Evanescence and on the electronic side to such as Bjork and Daft Punk, Zedd and Massive Attack.  

Albums with Tony Lowe proffer an orchestral and cinematic pop feel. Her solo albums musically are very different - a fusion of experimental, rock, folk, pop, jazz, blues; and electronic dance tracks in particular, with producer Paul Baggott. 

Debut solo project of two albums, 'Freeway' and 'Freeway - The Remixes', are released through CD Baby (publishing and distribution) - 29th September 2017. 

Friday 18th May 2018 Double Album "Freeway - Songwriter and the Remixes' (download) released, containing the material of  both CDs. Alison says, “...the material in the two CDs is perfectly able to sit together because it comprises different-takes on the same source demos. No doubt it also influences the whole that both albums were created over the same stretch of time. There are fun comparisons to be made - more than a few tracks have you guessing, which is which.

Alison is working on new material at the moment out of her studio in SW Missouri.

[questions/comments for Alison, email ali@alisonflemingmusic.com, or via the reviews form]