Gary Allan’s been in the country music business a long while — according to his biography, he got his start at the age of 13, growing up in California.
Allan’s career in music has spawned nine platinum albums, two No. 1 spots on the Billboard charts and countless sold-out concerts — including this Sunday’s Country Throwdown concert at the Bangor Waterfront. Allan will perform with up-and-coming country stars Justin Moore, Josh Thompson, Sunny Sweeney and Eric Paslay.
The Bangor Daily News caught up with Allan in the middle of audio mastering for his new, as-yet-untitled album, set to be released later this year.
Tell us about the new album. Who are you working with? What can fans expect?
I just finished it. I turned it in two days ago, and right now we’re mastering it. It’s a really up album. It’s a more rocking album than I’ve ever done. It covers everything from breaking up to healing. The first song is called “A Tough Goodbye” and it really goes from there. It goes from anger to healing. I’m in Nashville right now, recording. I got to wake up in my own bed. It was nice.
How do you use music to get out your emotions? Do you get really personal, or do you keep it more vague?
I think it’s both at the same time. Every album is all about wherever I’m at. It’s totally about my frame of mind. If I’m a mess, then I think it’s going to be a mess. If I’m partying, I think it’s gonna be a huge hit! It’s a mirror to whatever I’m going through. Music has always been very therapeutic for me. When friends come over to write, it’s very open.
Is there a song that you’ve always loved to perform live? An artist you’ve always wanted to perform or record with?
Well, I’ve got a handful of those right now. A favorite is definitely “Right Where I Need To Be.” We either open or close the show with that every night. [As for artists], I’ve always wanted to do something with Willie Nelson, and I got the chance to do that. He sang on the song “Showman’s Life.”
You’ve been in the business a while. Who are some of your favorite new up-and-coming country singers?
I don’t know too much about a lot of some of the newer folks, unfortunately. But what I’ve seen on this tour [the Country Throwdown Tour] has been great. Josh Thompson is a great songwriter, a great singer. He’s gonna be around for a while.
For information and tickets to Bangor Waterfront Concerts, visit waterfrontconcerts.com.