Happy Talk Band - Bio

The Happy Talk Band

Happy Talk Band formed in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2001 and features the songwriting of Luke Spurr Allen, accompanied by some of the top musicians in the Crescent City scene; Alex McMurray (Tin Men, 007) Bailey Smith, Steve Calandra, and Mike Andrepont (all three members of the now mostly defunct sleaze rockers Morning 40 Federation), Casey McAllister (formerly of New Orleans Bingo! Show) and Helen Gillet (Wazozo) on cello. They have won two consecutive Big Easy Awards for best roots rock in 2007 and 2008 but didn't let either go to their collective heads, mostly because they're not entirely sure what "roots rock" is.

Happy Talk has released three full length recordings: Total Death Benefit (2004), There There (PFAM 2007), and Starve A Fever (PFAM 2010), the latter two were released by Piety Street Files and Archaic media; a local label formed by producer Mark Bingham and artist Shawn Hall. Happy Talk has played venues all over NOLA as well as some of the city's more esteemed festivals, including New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Voodoo Fest, and French Quarter Fest. They have also toured the the Bay Area of California, the southeast and the midwest, where they recently had the great honor of headlining Bay View Fest in Milwaukee, and shaking hands with the mayor. Songs range from folk to country to rock to punk; featuring space monkeys, bank robbers, aliens, Romanian junkies, anesthesiologists, murderers, veterans of war, alcoholic bike riders, scary giants, suicides, muggers, strippers, and Jesus. But really, in the end, they're all mostly love songs.


Without ever descending into easy melodrama, Luke Allen and a revolving cast of simpatico musicians get together to make grimly funny country rock populated by people harboring downsized dreams and death wishes... SPIN MAGAZINE June 2008