Home / A&E / 2013 Wisconsin State Fair Guide / Gary Allan w/ Randy Houser
Thursday, July 25, 2013

Gary Allan w/ Randy Houser

Saturday, Aug. 3 @ 8 p.m.

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Gary Allan’s 17 years as a fixture of the Nashville hit machine are unique in that—unlike many other country radio regulars—he has very few experiences by which he should be professionally ashamed or embarrassed. The Allan who refused to play larger venues in his days as an unsigned indie artist in Southern California because it would have meant scuttling honky-tonk oldies from his set is the same singer who remains one of the few acts striving to maintain a deep connection with his music’s roots without going the alt country/Americana route.        

Carrying on some of Buck Owens’ and Merle Haggard’s raucous West Coast country legacy keeps Allan away from the pop/rock excesses of many of his contemporaries; there is little doubt that Allan’s two divorces, his third wife’s suicide and the fatherhood of several children also informs some of the more forlorn and tender moments in his catalog as well. In a genre where too many marquee names sell out to questionable crossover and cross-branding opportunities, Allan is one of the good guys. His 2013 fair date should be at least as bracing as was his last headline show at the State Fair in 2005.