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Jeff Allen

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Somewhere down a gravel road where Mellencamp intersects with Willie and rock n’ roll swagger meets country music candor, Jeff Allen has staked a solid claim. A Texas born singer/songwriter with a riveting stage presence and an uncanny gift for penning heart piercing lyrics, Allen has that rare ability to blur the line between outlaw attitude and mainstream accessibility.

His no-holds-barred brand of country exemplifies the spirit of the Lone Star State, and Allen’s fan base continues to grow with the release of his latest self-titled EP “Jeff Allen”. Produced by Kenny Greenberg (The Mavericks, Allison Moorer) and songwriter Odie Blackmon, who has penned hits for George Strait and Martina McBride, the six-song EP showcases Allen’s compelling vocals and the emotional weight he infuses into every lyric. From the pained resignation that echoes through “Wrong Ones” to the sensual come on “Nobody’s Watchin’” or the bluesy exuberance of “Elvis Loves a Cadillac”, Allen delivers a tour de force performance every time.

Performing for discriminating Texas audiences helped define Allen’s artistry. “Texans know what they like; they’ve been spoiled by guys like Billy Joe Shaver and Ray Wiley Hubbard. It’s been so exciting to see people respond. Feeling like we belong is a huge thing for us. Getting to play places like Gruene Hall and the Coupland Inn and Dance Hall outside of Austin, and having a crowd show up is huge for us. We would appreciate a crowd in Illinois too, but to know that they could be up the street watching Ray Wiley and have people come out to our shows is really cool for us!”

Working with Blackmon and Greenberg on his new EP feels like a new chapter for Allen. “This is the first time I’m feeling like the music is exactly the direction that I want to head,” Allen admits. “There’s a cohesive feel to the project. I feel like this is so much more of a representation of who I am.”

The result is a collection of songs that resonate with honest emotion. A talented songwriter, Allen taps into that smoldering feeling of love and desire on “Burnin’” and revisits innocence lost in “Teenage Paradise.” “Wrong Ones” is about a doomed relationship that came from real life heartbreak. “There were so many things about it that were like everything I thought I wanted,” he says of that relationship, “but it was the wrong kind of love in so many ways.”

The First single “Little Less Lonely” is an evocative look at two strangers trading isolation for a little comfort. It’s a perfect showcase for Allen’s earthy, honest vocals. “Nobody’s Watchin’” is an up-tempo rocker written by Allen, Greenberg and Blackmon that never fails to get audiences on their feet. Another crowd favorite is “Elvis Loves a Cadillac,” which features guest vocals Greenberg’s wife, Grammy winner Ashley Cleveland. “It’s got that ZZ Top rock feel and it’s one of our favorite songs to play out,” says Allen. “It’s really got some balls to it. It’s a lot of fun.”

It’s a collection that reflects Allen’s varied influences from Charlie Robison to Bruce Springsteen, yet distills the essence of who Jeff Allen is as an artist and spotlights the gifts that make him unique. “I’m not trying to hit a certain vein or niche. I’m just doing what I do,” he says. “All the influences that I have, be it rock or country, come together. The Black Crowes bleed through in “Nobody’s Watchin’” and “Teenage Paradise” reflects how much I love John Mellencamp and Bob Seger. I hope people just hear good music when it comes down to it. If you appreciate and relate to the songs in some way, that’s the end goal.”


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