Country comes to Treasure IslandSouthern California-born singer Gary Allan’s lyrical journey has landed him on honkey-tonk’s doorstep.
Southern California-born singer Gary Allan’s lyrical journey has landed him on honkey-tonk’s doorstep. Watch him live Saturday Feb. 16 at Treasure Island Resort & Casino.
Allan’s rock-infused songs reflect the stories of country music’s past with a promise for more to come in the future, promoters said. Featuring songs from an eighth studio album, “Set You Free,” the concert will follow the multi-platinum trails of seven previous albums. His string of No. 1 hits includes “Man to Man,” “Watching Airplanes” and the title track to his newest album “Get Off on the Pain.”
His musical ride began in high school where Allan found himself playing in the clubs.
After graduation, he developed a following in the area, regularly attracting an audience that featured a rare mix of rednecks in western boots and neo-Goths with piercings and spiked hair.
Allan said he was particularly inspired by the Highwaymen — Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson — to pursue music that mined the dangerous side of life.
“They were so powerful,” Allan said. “It was like punk rock to me. It was so hardcore. I really, really wanted to be a part of that lifestyle.”
“Set You Free” is the story of a man who breaks the restraints of a failed relationship and conquers the loneliness of its aftermath. It is the result of Allan’s own journey as a man and as an artist.
In this album he said he found a greater artistic clarity, building the cohesive narrative from a collection of songs directed by three different producers. Longtime friend Mark Wright (Gretchen Wilson, Lee Ann Womack) tracked three songs, while Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Cage the Elephant, the Wallflowers) turned in five. Allan co-produced the final four with engineer Greg Droman (Brooks & Dunn, True Blood).
As the album’s plot unfolds, it opens into glimpse of his self-acceptance. Allan falls into a carefree, quasi-reggae groove on the upbeat “No Worries.”
Allan closes the album with “Good As New,” a title that sums up the emotional place in which he finds himself — and attributes to music.
“There’s no better thing than to have all your best friends come over and to talk,” Allan said. “Songwriting is the best therapy in the world.”
Allan is also good as new in a literal, physical way.
“Set You Free” is the first album he recorded since the removal of a polyp on his vocal cords. The issue was discovered during a routine checkup with a Nashville voice doctor, but it explained why his concerts had ever so gradually become a test of his endurance.
“Every time I would go out before the surgery, I would only last full force for about three songs,” he said. “I could feel the fatigue, and I could feel my cords swell up, and I had other people hitting notes for me. They removed the polyp, and it was like I was 18 again. It was amazing how well it worked.”
Concert promoters said difference is noticeable: Allan pushes himself on “Set You Free” singing with more command, authority and pliability than he has in years.
“I seem to gravitate musically toward wherever I’m at in my life at that time,” he said. “And I’m in a real good place.”
For more information about Allan or to hear is music, visit website www.garyallan.com.