Terry Allen

Terry Allen
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There may be no greater maverick than Terry Allen in all of country music from the mid-'70s onward. Along with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Butch Hancock — all of whom he's known and collaborated with — Allen is a standard-bearer of the Lubbock, TX, country scene. Though not widely heralded, this is perhaps the most progressive movement in all of contemporary country, digging into modern-day concerns with a gutsy, liberal perspective, while maintaining a firm musical grounding in regional country and folk traditions. Allen is perhaps the most ambitious of them all, writing complex song cycles that have been performed with the help of fellow eclectics ranging from Lowell George to David Byrne. Allen's audience, like those of the other Lubbock pioneers, is not the country mainstream. Indeed, his principal appeal may not lie with the country audience at all (though his music definitely is country), but with open-minded alternative folk and rock listeners. Unlike most current country artists, his words aim to question and confront hard day-to-day realities, rather than offer conservative clichés or maudlin comforts to shield listeners from those very day-to-day realities. He does so with a humor and irreverence that will also find little sympathy in Nashville or Middle America. Country music is just one of Allen's artistic pursuits, perhaps accounting to some degree for his wide perspective. The renaissance man is also an internationally recognized artist with three NEA grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship to his credit. He's also a true multimedia performer, having done work in the mediums of painting, sculpture, film, video, installation, theater, and poetry. Just a few of his more interesting projects, for instance, were writing the music for Amerasia, a film about American servicemen living in Thailand after the Vietnam War; writing a new national anthem (with Ely, Hancock, and Gilmore) in conjunction with a book about Vietnam; and collaborating with his wife, Jo Harvey Allen, as well as Ely and Hancock, on the production of the acclaimed stage play Chippy. But Allen is not a country music dilettante, having written songs for Bobby Bare and Robert Earl Keen. Outside of the strict country sphere, he wrote "New Delhi Freight Train" for Little Feat, and contributed a few songs to the soundtrack of David Byrne's True Stories film. The cinema has always been an inspiration or influence upon Allen's work. His first album, Juarez (from the mid-'70s), was a conceptual work that originated as a soundtrack to an imaginary film, evolving in performance to a set of songs inspired by Mexican imagery. Released in 1979, Lubbock (On Everything) is considered his most significant album. Inspired by his experiences growing up in the Texas town, it won praise for observing the details of regional life and characters with a sensitivity and wit more akin to rock and folk singer/songwriters than country ones. Allen's music (if not his lyrical content), however, remains very much in the Texan country tradition. With many artistic projects always in the works, Allen has never had the need to record frequently. His singing and songwriting prowess remained undimmed, though, on 1996's Human Remains. He also expanded his musical horizons significantly with support from such noted stars and cult figures as David Byrne, Lucinda Williams, Ponty Bone, Lloyd Maines, and Joe Ely. Salivation followed in 1999.
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Average Rating : 4.7              Total Reviews: 12

Terry Allen  02/11/2006            
Love Mr.Allens work, still listen to very old albums from way back in the 70s! Have always been a huge fan of the fine artist he is..and his entire family! Thank you for bringing joy from the music you create, your love for your work and the many smiles you have put on my face! Peace & Love! D. Avery
Terry Allen  12/01/2005            
Nick Sinclair
As you'd expect, there is not a bad song on this. Contains a wonderful range of deeply felt music, as Terry Allen seems always to produce. Don't miss this album, take time to really listen to it, and it could very easily become your favorite.
Terry Allen  07/22/2004            
Not a bad cut here. Joe Bob, Wolfman, Jesus, all the great Texas legends. This is essential.
Terry Allen  07/13/2004            
Terry Commins
Essential Allen and an interesting mix. "Ourland" caught me after a few whiskies, blood boiled, hair on the arms stood up - a blade straight to the heart of anyone with any Irish heritage. Still pondering whether to forgive him for that one. Sad thing is so few folks get to hear it. If Lonestar had a Ten Star this would be a 10.
Terry Allen  07/12/2004            
Terry Commins
Probably his best piece of work to date. A little more polished, a little more aged and Lloyd Maines hones his production skills (not to mention his sweet steel). The driving R&R beat on a few tracks helps make the whole thing more forceful. And let us never underate Allen's piano contributions. I am an Australian living in Thailand and I just wonder when is America going to wake up to this monstrous talent? All my friends here are dedicated Allen enjoyers. Some suggest you are not a true Texas fan if you don't have an Allen CD. That is myoptic - Allen's unbridled anger soars way beyond the confines of Texas and country music itself.
Terry Allen  07/12/2004            
Terry Commins
Every Allen album is an exploration of something new, a movement and a progression. The Maines boys never let you down and the lyrics never let you out. Still a touch of rawness about it, this is one very good album and continues the love/hate relationship most panhandlers seem to have with Lubbock. Terry Allen is not prolific in his music, and I think we all benefit as a result, but you can't help salivating for the next surprise, sheer joy and terror of his next release.
Terry Allen  07/12/2004            
Terry Commins
And I thought Salivation was cynical! Thank you Sugar Hill for saving this gem from obscurity. If you are an Allen freak this is essential. Had me in tears - having been in Vietnam and now living in Thailand, guess I can relate a bit more, but Allen sums up a war and a country in words and melody, exceeding most books of the genre. And he and Lloyd have captured Nga Caravan (Surachai) at his most biting best. Very moving, Terry Allen should travel more often - a classic.
Terry Allen  02/07/2002            
Brandon Jones
All of Terry Allens albums are great, but "Lubbock (on everything)" is by far the best. The songwriting on this album is some of the best I have ever heard. Every song on this CD is different, but all great. BUY IT
Terry Allen  03/14/2001            
GD, Shreveport,LA
Now, I know why most people don't like country music. If all I heard was that crap out of Nashville I wouldn't like it either. Thank God I can still go to the music shop and buy a Terry Allen CD.
Terry Allen  09/14/2000            
Terry Allen is my favorite musian by far.If you say you like country music and you do not like Mr.Allen you must be a yankee.I have one thing to say about all these pretty boy Nashville so called stars you do not have a clue.
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