When we last heard from Gary Allan, he was musing about why he seems to “Get Off on the Pain” and encouraging a former lover to “Kiss Me When I'm Down.”
These days, though, country music's mainstream maverick sounds a bit more optimistic. His new single, “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain),” which he calls a “feel-good song,” officially hit radio stations Monday.
“It's about somebody that's standing in the middle of the thunder and lightning, and you know it's all gonna be OK,” Allan said in a recent phone interview from Nashville, Tenn., where he was basking in “a beautiful day on the lake.”
The multiplatinum singer-songwriter is hitting the road for familiar territory this week, as he will play during the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Xtreme Bulls Tour at the Oklahoma State Fair. His performance will follow the bone-crushing bull-riding action Saturday night at Jim Norick State Fair Arena.
Country hit maker Jake Owen will play in concert Friday night after the bucking bulls and their cowboy challengers clear the dirt. While both singers are returning favorites, state fair spokesman Scott Munz said Allan's 2009 show drew the best attendance the fair has ever had for any performer at the rodeo.
“That's awesome,” said Allan, who first played the state fair's PRCA event in 2007. “I'm excited to come. That's one of my favorite parts of the country.”
At the fair, Allan, 44, plans to play three new songs from his highly anticipated ninth album: “Every Storm (Runs out of Rain),” the solo number “It Ain't the Whiskey,” and the anger anthem “Bones.” Titled “Set You Free” — the name comes from the hopeful lyrics of the first single — the album is due for early 2013 release.
“This album's a lot more up. Actually, this album ... starts out with ‘That Was a Tough Goodbye' and then kind of goes through all the emotions of a breakup (including) anger. And then it ends with ‘Good as New,'” said Allan, who acknowledged in a 2010 interview that his wife Angela's 2004 suicide had a strong influence on his songwriting, as he found peace in his music.
“Set You Free” will be his first collection of new music since Allan's critically acclaimed 2010 effort “Get Off on the Pain.”