Over the course of five albums, including his 1999 breakthrough Smoke Rings in the Dark, Gary Allan has established himself as a country singer who knows exactly and communicates richly his own mind.
He is a songwriter who often has chosen not to write, because of his great ability to sing to life certain songs written by others, and because of his expertise at grouping those selections into albums that expose his own unvarnished emotional truths.
He is a native southern Californian who always has believed that vintage choices -- '50s guitar tones; rhythms from honky-tonk clubs where people gather, talk, and dance; lyrics unafraid to deal with whatever appears on the table at the time -- should form the bedrock of country music that remains in touch with modern realities.
He is a singer, not particularly flashy yet capable of tapping deep style, who often has said that rock and roll covers the weekends, and country music, with its emphasis on everyday honesty, engages with Monday-through-Thursday.
And Allan is a music fan who knows and loves his Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and heroic others, but who never hesitates, when he feels like it, to dive into music and attitudes outside country classicism.
Tough All Over, Allan's overwhelming sixth collection, on MCA Nashville, is true to all aspects of Allan's past work, beliefs, and successes. He remains a staunch believer in risk-taking tunes, evidenced here particularly by the forceful "He Can't Quit Her," which sees love as addiction, and "Nickajack Cave (Johnny Cash's Redemption)," which portrays a dramatic turning point in the late country legend's life after drugs and alcohol had "him strung out on the ropes."
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Added by Insight on June 22, 2007