(Saturday) 9:00 pm
Iron Horse Pub
615 8th Street Wichita Falls, Texas 76301
On his third full-length album Horizons, singer/songwriter Kris Allen sharpens his songcraft and brings a more boldly openhearted spirit to his soulful brand of pop- rock than ever before. With his past work including a 2009 self-titled debut featuring the platinum-selling single “Live Like We’re Dying,” Allen’s first independently released album finds him reaching a new level of sophistication in his melody-minded songwriting while fully tapping into his natural grace as a singer and guitarist.
For Allen, Horizons began with the spontaneous writing of “Beautiful & Wild,” one of the album’s most gently powerful tracks. “That song came to me as I was falling asleep, and I got up and started writing and realized it was different from anything I’d ever done,” says the 29-year-old Arkansas native of “Beautiful & Wild,” a song partly inspired by the birth of his first child in the summer of 2013. “It wasn’t trying to be a big pop song or to please anybody else—it just felt very organic and personal and straight from the heart, and that ended up shaping the rest of the record for me.”
After writing much of the material for Horizons at home on his front porch in Arkansas, Allen headed to Nashville to team up with Charlie Peacock (the Grammy Award-nominated musician/songwriter/producer who’s previously worked with artists like Switchfoot, The Civil Wars, and Brett Dennen). Once he’d fine-tuned his songs with the help of Peacock and several other co-writers—and worked to weave together such elements as graceful R&B grooves, rootsy country/folk-rock riffs, and sublimely catchy pop hooks—Allen took to Peacock’s studio, where Horizons was largely recorded live. “We did most of the songs in just a few takes instead of going through and making sure every single thing was completely perfect, which I think gives the album a different kind of energy than the records I’ve done in the past,” says Allen.
Growing up on Hurt Street in a sultry little Texas town might seem an auspicious beginning for a soul singer. But for Dublin’s Luke Wade, it’s hard to imagine that it would be anything short of destiny.
Born of extraordinary artists and self-described ‘Hippies’, Luke is the product of a home that truly cultivated creativity. The youngest of four children, his music is the modern manifestation of the introspective and enlightened notions instilled by his parents. Bob and Wanda spawned a self- awareness that makes Luke’s music inherently reflective, without need of gimmick or novelty. His insightful and thoughtful lyrics make it easy to imagine that if Hurt Street were located in some distant galaxy, this is still the music he would create.
An unlikely series of childhood ailments provided Luke with an early sense of perspective that many never find even as adults. A bout of spinal meningitis proved almost fatal, a paintball accident left him blind in one eye and some years later a severe heatstroke left him struggling to overcome temporary brain damage and amnesia. And though these experiences inevitably influence his music, it is not in the fatalistic way you might expect. While his songs may have that soulful ‘written on the porch because the house was too damned hot’ feel, the end result is a style that feels ever hopeful.
It is but a few times in a generation that an artist comes along with the potential to reflect so honestly the human condition. Such a calling requires a humility and self-awareness that seldom find an artist until late in his career, when he’s turned the corner from idealistic to philosophical. Often young singer-songwriters aspire to draw a picture with words, a melodic expression of the visual, hoping to capture a single meaningful moment in time. Luke aspires to capture our journey through it – and his sophomore album, “The River”, speaks to a brilliant departure on that journey.
Iron Horse Pub615 8th Street Wichita Falls, Texas 76301