The country phenomenon Gary Allan made his way to Corpus Christi to perform at this year’s Ziegenbock Music Festival.
The event took place on Friday, Sept. 28, where thousands of fans gathered to see Gary Allan, Josh Abbott Band, Kevin Fowler, Ray Wylie Hubbard and four other bands play on two stages at Concrete Street Amphitheater.
Besides listening to music, attendees were able to shop from merchants for cute, country trends, indulge in some yummy fair food and grab a beer to dance the night away.
“It’s such a great night out. The weather is wonderful, the people are a good time and we’re all just here to enjoy the night, drink a couple of beers and ask some pretty ladies out to dance when Gary comes on,” said Oscar Vasquez, 28.
Almost immediately when Allan took the stage, fans cheered and even raced to the front as they sang along to the start of Allan’s opening song, “A Feelin’ Like That.” The audience responded in admiration to the country star by singing along and giving non-stop encouragement for the rest of the performance.
As if that weren’t enough, an even bigger crowd sang along to “Nothing On But The Radio.”
“This is my favorite song, and it’s so cute. It just makes me want to get up and dance,” said Kirsten Meza, 24.
We had the opportunity to interview the country star and talk to him about his success in music, his inspiration and how he feels about being in Corpus Christi.
Interview with Gary Allan
How did you get started in the industry and what inspired you to launch your career?
We always had music playing at our house. My dad was a huge traditional country music guy, so I grew up on Buck Owens, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard.
Besides just playing their music at home, Dad also sat up instruments and amps in our living room. He thought if we could see them all the time, we would play. If they were hidden in a closet, we would not. He was correct, and I played every day. My dad, my brother and I had a band, The Herzbergs. We played in bars all over Southern California, and I knew early on this is what I wanted to do for a living.
Would you say that you have a ritual or something you absolutely need to do before a performance?
The band and I typically have a shot before we head to the stage.
What is your biggest influence when it comes to making music?
Thanks to my dad, my biggest influences were Buck, George, Willie, Waylon, Johnny and Merle.
What is the one thing you hope to transmit to your audience through your music?
I’ve always looked at music as a form of therapy. You can convey a lot of emotions through music and people react and connect to music because of that. It is rewarding to me when I have fans tell me stories about a certain song helping them through a tough time in life. When people connect with you on an emotional level, it is a great feeling.
What song (that you will be singing in Corpus Christi) would you say stands out to you?
I have a lot of favorites, but right now I really enjoy playing “It Ain’t The Whiskey” and a new song, “Unfiltered.”
Can we know a fact about you that not a lot of people know?
Some of my fans know this, but I have a custom jewelry line. I carve and cast different types of metals to create rings, bracelets, pendants, etc. It is another creative outlet that I enjoy.
Why country music? What makes this genre most appealing to you above another?
I love all kinds of music, but I grew up on country and my heart has always been in country. That isn’t to say I don’t like a great rock guitar solo, though.
How do you feel about being in Corpus Christi?
I always enjoy playing in Corpus Christi. We have a great fan base in the area and they always come out ready to have a good time.
What is the story behind your song “Every Storm”?
A friend of mine and frequent co-writer, Matt Warren, was working as a landscaper to pay his bills. One day while weed eating, a rock bounced off of something and hit him in the head. He thought of the line, “Every storm runs out of rain.”
A few days later, we were at my house for a writing appointment and he told myself and Hillary Lindsey the story. Hillary started playing this little riff on the piano and the song started flowing. We wanted to make each line positive. Life may have you down but hang in there as the storm will pass. It was a great writing session and a great song. So many people can relate to it and it has become an anthem to a lot of people. I am very proud of that song.
What would you say is the number one reason why you’ve made it through your career thus far?
Music changes and evolves with time. You have to evolve with it or get left behind. I have always tried to evolve with the times, but still stay true to myself. It hasn’t always been the easiest road to follow, but it is what has worked for me.