Living or Dying
Living or Dying is the first release by singer/songwriter Allen Nivens. The CD was produced by John Hopkins at Brighter Shade Studios and mixed by Rin Vinson of The Jungle Room both in Atlanta. It was then mastered by Jim Brick of Absolute Audio in New York. Nivens' first studio effort has been over a year in the making as no detail was left unconsidered and no stone left unturned. The framework for the tracks was laid by the rhythm section of Rin Vinson and Jake Lawson whose ability to get into a groove together on drums and bass is unmatched. Wyatt Rollins laid down masterful electric which was topped off with the slide guitar of Hank Barbee. Rin Vinson kept it smooth yet boastful underneath with his Hammond B3 organ. Nivens pitched in with the acoustic guitar and lead vocals backed up by Michelle Alexander, Rob Lawhorn and John Hopkins. All songs were written by Nivens with the exception of 'My Way' which was co-written with Billy Andrews. These songs have broad southern classic rock influences from the color of Elvis to the driving soul of the Allman Brothers. You may also hear the melody of Matchbox 20 or the twang of Nashville. Not only can the music be enjoyed in a live, loud full-band atmosphere but also slowed down with an acoustic guitar on the back porch or kicked back at the beach. Nivens' soulful southern lyrics subtly scream out for his audience to take listen. The album's songs claim that if you are not living life to the fullest every single day then you are dying. It may be slow and sure but, still, you are heading in the wrong direction. He suggests that life is not to be lived for the occasional accomplishments reached or goals met. Rather, life is about taking advantage of today and now. Nobody is promised tomorrow. The train does make stops so people can get on and off as destinations are reached or journeys started, but surely the best part of the train is the ride itself. In that light, Nivens' album reaches from the deepest of ground to the highest of stars and does not disappoint.