The Hideout at the Rodeo: Jason Allen
March 11, 2009
In 2009, The Hideout will kick up its heels in between Reliant Center and Reliant Arena. Look for the big white tent packed with dancers and Texas bands. The Hideout is open for those 21 and older. It's your chance to hear some of the best in Texas music for just the price of admission to Reliant Park!
Wednesday, March 11: Jason Allen.
Jason Allen grew up on the back roads of East Texas. His father, a master bricklayer, moved the family around often, going anywhere there was work. He remembers his family's front porch sing-alongs which consisted of favorite old-time gospel hymns. The vintage sounds of people like Elvis, Hank Williams, and Marty Robbins also captured his attention and spawned his fascination with music.
By age ten, Jason always had his guitar at hand, being summoned by his parents to bring it out whenever they would visit any bar or honky-tonk. They would proudly boast their son's singing abilities and convince the owner to get him on stage. You could say that underneath the dim lights of neon beer signs, a star was born.
Jason's high-school life was hardly ordinary. Dancehalls and honky-tonks replaced movie theaters and ballgames, the typical weekend activities of an average teenager. While most were concerned with their curricular lives, Jason was pondering his Friday night show.
At 18, Jason ventured out on the road playing lead guitar in a Texas honky-tonk band. Over the next several years, between fronting his own bands, he would make several trips to Nashville, living there for months at a time while collaborating with songwriters and learning about how the music business works.
While in Nashville, he came to a turning point. “I felt that I was at the end of my road. I kept trying to be discovered and wasn’t getting anywhere. I decided to put it in God’s hands and haven’t looked back since.” Jason returned home and was soon offered a record deal with the legendary D Records, whose past roster includes George Jones, George Strait, and Willie Nelson.
The label had gone dormant but had been reactivated by Wes Daily, grandson of “Pappy” Daily, the man who launched the career of George Jones and many others. Jason’s honky-tonk sound that gave nod to the roots of traditional country, caught the attention of the reactivated label and made him their first new sign. “I always thought that if I came across another artist that had the standards of George Strait, I would latch on to him,” says Wes Daily of his signing Jason.
Noted country music historian, Robert K. Oermann, agreed and said of Jason, “He’s a bona-fide country singer, wailing in front of a classic honk-tonk combo. This sound thrills me to my core. Who is this man and how can we make him a star?” Greg Roberts of Country Line Magazine in Austin refers to him as, “one of the purest voices to come around in a long time.”
Now out with his second D Records release, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Jason’s unique style has him firmly planted in the soul of country. The title track is a throw back to the 50’s and came out of a dream he had where he was riding a bike in a small-town parade and listening to this melody on the radio.
Written at age 16 with his mother and sister, the song stands as one of his favorites and made it’s way onto the album. The CD is dedicated in loving memory of his mother who inspired him to follow his dreams.
Other tracks on the album include the bluesy John Boat Blues inspired by Jason’s fishing adventures, the thumpin’ “Costin’ To Stay In Austin,” and the rowdy bar sing-along, “Hold ‘em Up (Drink ‘em Down).” Jason wrote nine of the twelve tracks that range from the Mexican feel of “Devil’s Destiny” to the romantic love song , “Must Have Been Meant To Be,” dedicated to his wife.
With every song, he writes with the goal of creating a piece that will lift spirits and lead boots to dance floors. Despite the rising success of his career, Jason humbly looks at his calling as a country artist.
“I’m just the same as everyone else. Like any other person, I try to be the best at what I do. My profession, though, allows me to reach out to people and hopefully make their day better through music. I am honored to have this life calling. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Pictured: Texas independent artist Jason Allen in Barcelona (Spain). Photo credit: Lluis Sala.