Bio

Dictionary.com defines freedom as “the power to determine action without restraint.” Thus, Gary Allan’s Set You Free is a perfectly named, well-conceived album that embodies his own evolution toward personal, creative freedom. The album, sequenced with a storyline in which a man breaks the restraints of a failed relationship and conquers the loneliness of its aftermath, is the result of Allan’s own journey as a man and as an artist.

He took a number of new steps during the recording process – by mixing up the production team, playing lead guitar on a number of tracks, writing more of his own material and using a handful of new co-writers. As a result, he came up with the most optimistic album of his career, one that acknowledges the hurdles of the past and the ways in which they’ve helped to shape his current sense of renewal.“It’s all about healing,” Allan says. “It’s all about the evolution of getting better. He has, to be sure, drawn heavily from that viewpoint, mixing honky-tonk bravado and grainy isolation across eight previous studio albums, all the while mining the emotional turf that fuels a life well-lived: the joys of parenting, the heartache of personal loss, the testosterone of disagreement and the unpredictability of love. He registered five #1 singles – “Man To Man,” “Tough Little Boys,” “Nothing On But The Radio,” “Watching Airplanes” and “Every Storm Runs Out of Rain”  – in addition to such trademark hits such as the lonely “Best I Ever Had” and the swaggering “Right Where I Need To Be.” Allan’s amassed seven gold albums in the process – three of them certified platinum, as well – and maintained the admiration of critics for his unwavering uniqueness.

Set You Free is at once familiar and enlightening. Fans who have followed Allan throughout his 17-year recording career will recognize the dark crevasses in the project – the gnarled anger of “Bones,” the honest self-examination of “It Ain’t The Whiskey,” the sinister self-abuse of “Sand In My Soul.” But as the album’s cinematic plot unfolds, it opens into a refreshing glimpse of self-acceptance. Allan falls into a carefree, quasi-reggae groove on the upbeat “No Worries.” He couches past suffering as a tool for a promising future in the driving, penultimate “Pieces.” And he closes the album with a dramatic, lush proclamation, “Good As New.” That latter title sums up the emotional place in which Allan finds himself, and he attributes much of it to music. “There’s no better thing than to have all your best friends come over and to talk about the emotions that you’re having,” Allan says. “Songwriting is the best therapy in the world.” Allan is also good as new in a literal, physical way. Set You Free is the first album he recorded since the removal of a polyp on his vocal cords that had doggedly restricted his range, his strength and his expression. The issue was discovered almost by accident during a routine checkup with a Nashville voice doctor. But it explained why his concerts had ever so gradually become a test of his endurance.

“Every time I would go out before the surgery, I would only last full force for about three songs,” he says. “I could feel the fatigue, and I could feel my cords swell up, and I had other people hitting notes for me. They removed the polyp, and it was like I was 18 again. It was amazing how well it worked.”

The difference is noticeable. There’s always been a gritty, gravelly edge to his performances, but confident that his voice will respond, Allan pushes himself on Set You Free, singing with more command, authority and pliability than he has in years.

Able to challenge himself vocally, he found other ways to draw from his creative muse. He devoted more time to writing songs and explored a new avenue by co-writing for the first time with a series of women. Of the five songs he penned, four are co-written with three different women – Sarah Buxton, Hillary Lindsey and Rachel Proctor – a step that unlocked an undefinable energy. He particularly enjoyed many of the songs he wrote with Lindsey, who’s written a bevy of successful country titles in the last decade, including Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take The Wheel,” and Lady Antebellum’s “American Honey.”  “Every time I’ve written with her and my buddy Matt Warren, we end up with like nine starts of a song, because it seemed like we were always branching off into some other subject,” Allan notes. “Then we’d come back and we’d write one or two of those and have four or five more ideas. Eventually, we would come back and finish writing one or two more of those. It’s an amazing thing that we have.  We’ve written nine or ten songs, but we’ve only been written together three times. It’s quality. Once you get those kind of rhythm going, you try to ride it out the best you can.”

Their efforts included “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain),” the first single from the album – which features Lindsey as the harmony vocalist. It marks the first time a woman has provided the backing vocals on one of Allan’s singles, providing a softer contrast to his roughed-edged, ultra-masculine tone.

“Every Storm,” in fact, is a distillation of the entire album, as well as the renewal that accompanied it. The singer bravely faces all of his demons – “Don’t be afraid of the thorns / ‘Cause we all have thorns” – as he moves forward, ending the chorus by hitting an extended high note on a line that just happens to be the album’s title, “Set you free.”

“That line,” Allan muses, “says so much.”

The Southern California-born Allan has been exploring the thorns since the beginning of his musical life, when he played the clubs during his high school years. After graduation, he developed a following in the area, regularly attracting an audience that featured a rare mix of rednecks in western boots and neo-Goths with piercings and spiked hair. Allan was particularly inspired in a concert by the Highwaymen – Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson – to pursue music that mined the dangerous side of life. “They were so powerful,” Allan reflects. “It was like punk rock to me. It was so hardcore. I really, really wanted to be a part of that lifestyle.”In Set You Free, Allan found even greater artistic clarity, building a cohesive narrative from a collection of songs directed by three different producers. Longtime friend Mark Wright (Gretchen Wilson, Lee Ann Womack) tracked three songs, while the versatile and mysterious Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Cage The Elephant, The Wallflowers) turned in five and Allan co-produced the final four with engineer Greg Droman (Brooks & Dunn, True Blood theme).

“Getting in and doing it myself with some of my band guys was a big deal,” Allan observes. “It was a big breath of fresh air.” Which is what Set You Free represents. The album’s lyrical journey from darkness to light reflects much of what went on behind it – the progression of Allan’s own life as an adult, the restoration of his voice, the renewed energy from working with new songwriting partners and the challenge of producing his own tracks and playing his own lead guitar. All of those changes have given him a new sense of freedom. “I seem to gravitate musically toward wherever I’m at in my life at that time,” Allan says. “And I’m in a real good place.”

Download bio

News

View all news on Gary Allan

GARY ALLAN TAKES FANS BEHIND-THE-SCENES OF HIS NEW VIDEO FOR “WASTE OF A WHISKEY DRINK.”

Gary Allan is taking fans behind-the-scenes of his latest music video for “Waste of a Whiskey Drink.” Check it out below.

 

 

NEW YEAR’S LINERS 2020

Audio / LINER Adam Hambrick (New Year) 1

Download

“Hey Everybody! I’m Adam Hambrick, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Adam Hambrick (New Year) 2

Download

“Hey Everybody! I’m Adam Hambrick. Happy New Year.”

 

Audio / LINER Brandon Lay (New Year)

Download

“What’s up everybody? This is Brandon Lay, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

 

Audio / LINER Brothers Osborne (New Year)

Download

“Hey! This is TJ, and I’m John, and we are Brothers Osborne. Happy New Year.”

 

Audio / LINER CARRIE UNDERWOOD (NEW YEAR)

Download

“Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER CAYLEE HAMMACK (NEW YEAR)

Download

“Hey y’all! This is Caylee Hammack, wishing you a very Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Chrissy Metz (New Year)

Download

“Hey! This is Chrissy Metz, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (Happy New Year)

Download

“Hey y’all! What’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a Happy New Year!

Audio / LINER Dierks Bentley (Happy New Year)

Download

“Hey, it’s Dierks Bentley. Happy New Year!”

Audio / LINER Eric Church (Happy New Year)

Download

“Hey! It’s Eric Church, hoping you have a Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Gary Allan (New Year)

Download

“Hey everybody! I’m Gary Allan. Happy New Year!”

Audio / LINER Jon Langston (New Year) 1

Download

“Hey y’all! I’m Jon Langston, wishing you a very Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Jon Pardi (New Year)

Download

“Hi! I’m Jon Pardi, wishing you a Happy New Year!”

Audio / LINER Jordan Davis (New Year)

Download

“Hey! I’m Jordan Davis, wishing you a Happy New Year!”

Audio / LINER Josh Turner (Happy New Year)

Download

“Hey! I’m Josh Turner. Happy New Year!”

 

Audio / LINER Kacey Musgraves (New Year)

Download

“Hey! It’s Kacey Musgraves, hoping you have a safe and Happy New Year!”

 

Audio / LINER Kassi Ashton (New Year)

Download

“Hey! It’s Kassi Ashton. I’d love to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year.”

 

Audio / LINER Keith Urban (New Year)

Download

“Hey everyone! This is Keith Urban. Have a safe and happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Kip Moore (New Year)

Download

“It’s Kip Moore, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Kylie Morgan (New Year)

Download

“Hey! It’s Kylie Morgan, wishing you a very Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Lauren Alaina (New Year)

Download

“This is Lauren Alaina, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER LBT (New Year)

Download

“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy New Year!”

Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (New Year)

Download

“Hey! This is Luke Bryan, hoping you have a Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Maddie & Tae (New Year)

Download

“Hi! We’re Maddie & Tae, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

 

Audio / LINER Mickey Guyton (New Year)

Download

“Hey! This is Mickey Guyton, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Parker McCollum (New Year)

Download

“Hey everybody! I’m Parker McCollum, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

 

Audio / LINER Priscilla Block (New Year)

Download

“Hey, it’s Priscilla Block, wishing you a very Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Happy New Year)

Download

“Hey everybody! I’m Sam Hunt. Happy New Year!”

Audio / LINER Shania Twain (Happy New Year)

Download

“Hi! This is Shania Twain. Happy New Year!”

Audio / LINER Travis Denning (New Year)

Download

“Hey y’all, this is Travis Denning, wishing you a Happy New Year.”

 

CHRISTMAS LINERS 2020

Here are some holiday liners from UMG Nashville artists, including Adam Hambrick, Alan Jackson, Billy Currington, Brandon Lay, Brothers Osborne, Carrie Underwood, Caylee Hammack, Chrissy Metz, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Gary Allan, George Strait, Jon Langston, Jon Pardi, Jordan Davis, Josh Turner, Kacey Musgraves, Kassi Ashton, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Kylie Morgan, Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block, Sam Hunt, Shania Twain, Travis Denning and more!

 

Audio / LINER Adam Hambrick (Christmas)

Download

“Hey everybody! I’m Adam Hambrick, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

 

Audio / LINER Adam Hambrick (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey everybody! I’m Adam Hambrick. Happy Holidays.”

 

Audio / LINER AJ (Christmas)

Download

“Hi! This is Alan Jackson, and I’m wishing y’all a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Billy Currington (Happy Holiday Season)

Download

“Hi! Billy Currington here, wishing you and your family a safe and Happy Holiday Season.”

Audio / LINER Brothers Osborne (Christmas)

Download

“Hey! This is T.J., and I’m John, and we are Brothers Osborne, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Carrie Underwood (Christmas)

Download

“Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Carrie Underwood (Christmas) 2

Download

“Hey, it’s Carrie Underwood. From our house to yours – Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Caylee Hammack (Christmas) 1

Download

“Hey y’all, this is Caylee Hammack, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Caylee Hammack (Christmas) 2

Download

“Hey y’all, this is Caylee Hammack. Merry Christmas!”

Audio / LINER Caylee Hammack (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey y’all, this is Caylee Hammack. Happy Holidays, everybody!”

Audio / LINER Chrissy Metz (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey! This is Chrissy Metz, wishing you Happy Holidays.”

Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (Christmas)

Download

“Hey y’all! What’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Dierks Bentley (Christmas)

Download

“Hey! This is Dierks Bentley, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

 

Audio / LINER Dierks Bentley (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey everybody! It’s Dierks Bentley, wishing you a very Happy Holiday season.”

Audio / LINER Eric Church (Christmas)

Download

“Hey everybody! It’s Eric Church, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Gary Allan (Christmas)

Download

“Hey! This is Gary Allan. Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER George Strait (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey everybody! This is George Strait, wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday season.”

Audio / LINER Jon Langston (Christmas)

Download

“Hey y’all, this is Jon Langston, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Jon Langston (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey y’all, this is Jon Langston. Happy Holidays!”

Audio / LINER Jon Pardi (Merry Christmas)

Download

“Hey! This is Jon Pardi, wishing you a Merry Christmas!”

Audio / LINER Jordan Davis (Christmas)

Download

“Hey! I’m Jordan Davis, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Josh Turner (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey! I’m Josh Turner, wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season.”

Audio / LINER Kacey Musgraves (Christmas)

Download

“Hey! This is Kacey Musgraves, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Keith Urban (Christmas)

Download

“Hi folks, this is Keith Urban, wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Keith Urban (Holiday season)

Download

“Hi everyone, this is Keith Urban, wishing you and all your family the very best this holiday season.”

Audio / LINER Kip Moore (Christmas)

Download

“Hey guys, this is Kip Moore, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Kip Moore (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey y’all, it’s Kip Moore. Happy Holidays!”

Audio / LINER Kylie Morgan (Christmas)

Download

“Hey y’all, this is Kylie Morgan, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Lauren Alaina (Christmas)

Download

“Hey! This is Lauren Alaina, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER LBT (Christmas)

Download

“Hey! We’re Little Big Town, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER LBT (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Holidays!”

Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Christmas)

Download

“Hey! It’s Luke Bryan, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey! It’s Luke Bryan. Happy Holidays!”

Audio / LINER Maddie & Tae (Christmas)

Download

“Hi! We’re Maddie & Tae, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Maddie & Tae (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hi! We’re Maddie & Tae. Happy Holidays.”

Audio / LINER Mickey Guyton (Christmas)

Download

“Hey! It’s Mickey Guyton, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Parker McCollum (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey, I’m Parker McCollum, and I’m wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.”

Audio / LINER Reba McEntire (Christmas)

Download

“Hey-Reba here-hoping you have a very Merry Christmas. Ho, Ho, Ho.”

Audio / LINER Reba McEntire (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey, this is Reba, wishing you a Happy Holiday Season.”

 

Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Christmas)

Download

“Hey everybody! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey everybody! I’m Sam Hunt. Happy Holidays!”

Audio / LINER Shania Twain (Christmas)

Download

“Hi! This is Shania Twain, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

Audio / LINER Taylor Swift (Happy Holiday Season)

Download

“Hey, this is Taylor Swift, wishing you a very Happy Holiday Season.”

Audio / LINER Travis Denning (Happy Holidays)

Download

“Hey! I’m Travis Denning. Happy Holidays.”

 

 

Social

Press Photos