Nashville-based country singer Gary Allan wants his new album to “let everybody know I’m OK.”
“Living Hard” is the follow-up to 2005’s “Tough All Over,” whose dour tone reflected his emotions following the 2004 suicide of his wife, Angela Herzberg. Allan, whose real surname is Herzberg, says he wanted the new album to embrace some more light-hearted and uplifting themes.
“I wanted to make sure I had some reflection stuff on there,” explains the 39-year-old father of three, who wrote or co-wrote six songs for “Living Hard” and also released a chart-topping “Greatest Hits” album earlier this year. “But I wanted everybody to know I’m OK, and I’m moving on and life is good right now. I just wanted to get that change out there.”
Allan has other changes ahead. “Living Hard” — which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 chart this week — is his final release for MCA Nashville, his label home since 1999. He feels like he’s “definitely turning a new corner” but acknowledges that he’s not sure what he’ll find when he gets around the bend.
“I’m probably going to go the label route, still, just with somebody else,” Allan says. “I feel like I need to spend somebody else’s money for four or five years until the record business figures out what they’re gonna do — or until they figure out they’re not needed. That won’t be for a few more years.
“But I know my kids, they feel no monetary value for music. They’re not gonna go buy records; they’re gonna take it for free off the Internet, and all the research I’ve seen says that’s where it’s all heading. I’ll just ride (the labels’) money until we see how things are going to resolve themselves.”
Gary Allan opens for Keith Urban at 8 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 3) at The Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $59.50 and $39.50. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.