Art Rock

Slideshow: Gary Allan At RodeoHouston

Rocks Off has the worst luck with Gary Allan. It's starting to give us a complex.

It's ironic, because out of all the artists who get semi-regular play on country stations we hardly ever listen to like KILT and 93Q, Allan lines up the most with the kind of country we actually like, the family tree that branched out from Merle Haggard. We'd throw Jamey Johnson, Miranda Lambert and Easton Corbin on that list too; apparently, 93Q is also playing our old Austin pal Sunny Sweeney these days.

Anyways, we found this to be doubly true when we interviewed the California native last year before one of those big radio-country throwdowns at Sam Houston Race Park. Allan not only told us about his punk-rock past in a Misfits-type band - which made us like him that much more - but gave us some of the frankest opinions about the music business and the Nashville machine we've ever heard from a major-label artist.

Unfortunately, Rocks Off flat ran out of time and was unable to get the interview posted before that show, so we just figured we'd hold onto it for the next time Allan came through. We did, and there it sat on our desktop right up until the time our hard drive gave out - completely - a few months ago and we had to send the laptop to the computer ICU. When it came back, the interview (and a lot of other stuff) were R.I.P.

Fast-forward to about a week or so ago, and Allan's publicist - who has the patience of a saint - called and asked if we'd like to do a make-up interview. Of course we would, we said, but given how squeezed for time we are these days (screw April, March is the cruelest month if you're a music editor in Houston), we told her it was going to be tough. She suggested maybe a few email questions and we said we'd try to do that.

To make a long story even longer, we couldn't really come up with anything new to ask Allan, and didn't want to waste any more of his time with questions we'd already asked him once. To hell with it, we thought, we'll just review him at the Rodeo Saturday.

That seemed like a good plan, and we were looking forward to it. But it's been a couple of years since we reviewed a weekend show at the Rodeo, and we had it stuck in our heads that the entertainers went on around 7, two hours before they do on weeknights. Seemed reasonable enough.

Wrong. They go on around 6. So when Rocks Off got to Reliant, the smoke from the fireworks that follow the performances was literally still hanging in the air. And so our snakebit saga with Allan continues. For what it's worth, the people filing out of the stadium seemed to have enjoyed the show quite a bit.

As you can see, we do have some nice photos from the show, and you can see even more in our slideshow here. Rocks Off would like to apologize to Allan, assure him and his team that it's nothing personal, and look forward to catching him his next swing through Houston.

We swear.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray