Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gary Allan Puts It Back Together

Gary Allan has had one very difficult decade. During that time, there’ve been some critical accolades and some hit records in his career. But there’s also been a series of tough episodes in his personal life.

His wife committed suicide in 2004 while Gary was in the house. His father died in 2008. And an obsessed fan vandalized his house in 2009.

Gary never did a lot of interviews before that, but he pulled back even more as he went through those hard times, keeping to himself while he healed. Fortunately, Gary is pretty much back on track, a message he tried to send to his fans through a song on his current album, Get Off On The Pain.

“‘No Regrets’ is my way of telling the world that I’m sleeping good at night, I’m OK,” he told The Dallas Morning News. “I just felt like I could sing it, like I was ready to do it emotionally. The first time I sang it, I didn’t make it through. The second time it got a little easier. That’s the closest I’ve let the crowd to me onstage. I felt really exposed.”

Gary’s played for a whole lot of crowds through the years. In the beginning of his career, his audiences were in Southern California bars where some of the crowd was country fans and some of it was punk rockers. He graduated to life as an opening act for other stars at arena shows, and he even played a few stadiums during a Kenny Chesney tour.

Now Gary’s headlining arenas on his own in some markets, testing the education he got through all those performances.

“I feel like I’ve always made music so that I can play live,” he said. “My rush has always been playing live, and now my rush is playing live in larger rooms. I’ve done the barrooms so long, and now arenas still hold a match for me. I’ve been learning. It’s been a lot of fun. You need to walk across the stage and look natural in front of a crowd. Little things like that.”

Gary’s headlining these days with Randy Houser and Jerrod Niemann opening his arena shows. He’ll be closing 2010 with a New Year’s Eve show at one rockin’ party bar: the House of Blues in Las Vegas.


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