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| 13 November 2021 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Allie Colleen, an on-the-rise singer/songwriter, has announced the release of “Stones,” the final single and title track off her high demand debut album of the same name. The stand-your-ground lyrics were co-written by Sara Brice,  De’Leah Shane, Tony McVaney and Allie Colleen. The new music was produced by Joe Costa and Ben Watts, engineered by Matt “Buster” Allen, mixed by Ben Watts and mastered by Alex Dobbert. Studio musicians included Grady Saxman – Drums, Mike Brignardello – Bass, Sol Philcox-Littlefield – Electric Guitar, Johnny Garcia – Acoustic Guitar, Gabe Allen – Keys, Bruce Gillespie ‐ Background Vocals. “Stones” is available for streaming and download on all digital music platforms. A Belmont University graduate from Owasso, Oklahoma with a style that is truly her own, Allie Colleen is no stranger to the music industry. A passion for singing and songwriting since a young age has garnered her a reputation of being a notable songwriter with an iconic-sounding voice. Her impeccably strong voice with hints of timeless tradition falls between classic country and the emerging country sound. The room never fails to silence as Allie Colleen begins to sing about the layers of love and heartbreak that have shaped her. Some of her newest songs bring witty lyrics and a connection to the song unlike most today.” We were able to get some Allie on the phone to discuss new music, touring, her desire to write with Ashley McBryde, and much more…

Toddstar: Allie, thank you so much for taking out time today, I appreciate it.

Allie: Absolutely, thank you.

Toddstar: It’s been a while since we last spoke. I was privileged to witness a show you did earlier this year at The Stockyard down in Florida.

Allie: Carley, my best friend, opened for us at that show and I get to open for her this weekend in Knoxville.

Toddstar: It was so funny to me in watching you two interact; if anybody tracks your socials, you guys are just almost like clowns together, you guys are just that sort of friends, you know what I mean?

Allie: We’re just idiots when we are together to be honest. We went to college together. She was over last night, and we ate dinner at my house. Literally she’s just my best friend. We don’t get to do shows together often, but when we do it’s cool.

Toddstar: That was a fun show because I was familiar with your music, I wasn’t familiar with hers so once I got the opportunity to hear it, it’s now mixed into my Amazon playlist.

Allie: I love that.

Toddstar: Well, let’s talk about the fun stuff. Stones was on the horizon at that point, you were playing the music, but it hadn’t been released yet. And so now that it’s out there, now that the real world’s putting their hands, heads, and hearts around these songs, what’s the feedback for you on the new music?

Allie: It’s really been amazing. At the beginning of the year we were finishing recording it. We put it out physically in April so it’s kind of had a small life as far as an entire album and all that stuff, for this year. As the year has gone on, we’ve released a digital track, every five, six weeks kind of thing. It’s just been a really special way to see how everyone is taking in the Allie Colleen music. The album is cohesive, in my opinion; it’s a lot of powerful story songs. It’s lyric driven songs, but nothing too out of the mix there. “Stones,” the actual title track having come out recently, that was one I was very anxious to see how it would be received. We’re just so lucky that everything has been so supported and everyone’s been loving the music so far. I’m so grateful that every single track that comes out, people are looking at it as just another layer instead of really comparing the tracks to each other or thinking, “Well, she shifted this way since the last release.” It’s been treated like layers of me kind of getting shown over time. That’s been really cool too, especially going forward, knowing that our music is just going to continue to change as I do and as we go and experience new things. So it’s been received really well.

Toddstar: It’s funny you talk about how it’s a little different, but to me, a lot of it seems to bridge the gap between the young performer Allie Colleen and a maturing performer who is experiencing life on the road and growing as an artist. You mentioned being in college and everything else, but you take a song like “Work in Progress,” which is a very strong tune or “Ain’t the Only Hell,” and then all the tracks on Stones, you see the growth. Are there turning moments on this album where you thought, “Holy crap, I couldn’t have written this five years ago.” Forget the storyline itself, but just the complexity of putting your thoughts down and putting them to music.

Allie: I think the writing to me is very similar. But these songs all go back maybe three years and to me, they’re different. They’re cool. But to answer your question, I find that in the production side of it, and the more that my songs grow from maybe what I wrote, some of the earlier stuff, it really was about the song and the story and things like that, especially something like “Work in Progress.” It was all about just the dialogue and what was being said there. I don’t know if ‘commercially’ is the way to put it, but I’m growing in that before we go in to record the music, I already know sonically what I really want to happen. I want maybe this background part here, or this is where we finally get to do a solo and allow this different creative version space to come in. It’s almost like I’m getting to see more story elements in the production of my music now, opposed to ‘What does this song literally say? What are the lyrics of this song?’ Now it’s more like, ‘do we get to put a solo in here now that creates the moment that the bridge didn’t do.’ It’s been a cool process to continue to grow. Like you said, as far as songs that we couldn’t have written or couldn’t have done, whatever the case is, I just think that’s a crazy thought. It’s one of the rewarding things about songwriting; when you have something, there’s no way that that song could have happened other than how it happened. It’s like, if we would’ve showed up on a Tuesday, we wouldn’t have written what we would’ve had we shown up on a Monday like it was scheduled. It’s just so in the moment. I’m just so grateful for all the songs, for everyone showing up that day and us getting that version of any particular song because I’m very proud of this album.

Toddstar: Well, and there’s this song on there and you kind of gave me some backstory before about how you, we’ll say you lifted the tune. I’m talking about “Pink Lemonade.” Is that song still as fun and as meaningful to you now when you’re playing it out, even though it’s not something you personally had a hand in writing, You have crafted it into the song as far as making it yours and putting your stamp on it, but has it lost its luster because you didn’t write it or is it still as good now as it was the first time you heard it?

Allie: Every time I play it, I’m still mad I didn’t write it. I wish I wrote that song so dang bad. It was interesting going forward to see what that relationship with “Pink Lemonade” would be like for me. It really is the same still, darn it. I think I get madder at it every time I play it now, because I was so close, but I would’ve never gotten there. I would have never written that song the way it is. Still love it, still really intrigued by it, and still wish I would’ve written the dang thing.

Toddstar: We talked previously about different artists that you’d like to perform with. I know that on your bucket list at that time was Ashley McBride. How close are you to making that a reality or have you already and I just don’t know about it?

Allie: I still want to be her so dang bad. I have been very lucky to do a couple shows with her as opener or support; we’ve got to do some shows together. We have not written together yet. We had one night; I think we talked about this last time too. I had one opportunity and we just drank tequila all night. We didn’t write anything. It’s somewhere right between my favorite memory of my life and kicking myself every day for it. We should have written something.

Toddstar: Yes, but how many people have that memory?

Allie: I don’t know. And mine’s even a little foggy. It was very fun, but she’s still everything to me. I think she’s amazing. And the more music she puts out, she continues to just encourage me to be whatever the heck I am. That’s what I love about her so much. She never makes me want to sound like her. I just want to be brave like her, bold like her, and do all those things. So yes, she’s still a queen.

Toddstar: She’s a great performer. I’ll be honest, I knew your music, but, and I told you that night back in January, you blew me away. The way you controlled the flow of the show and the emotion of the crowd, not only with your storytelling between songs, but in your storytelling of the songs. We also talked about how important it is to be up front and be able to direct that versus the backstory of the song itself. As you’ve been getting out there and fleshing these songs out with the crowd, do you find you are embracing that front person role more and more as the days go on and these shows continue?

Allie: I find that some of the songs have these magical little performance moments in them that are always going to happen no matter what. And there’s some songs you just have to work a little harder to get. I don’t know if it’s a listening aspect, but the storyline and life these songs have taken on while on the road has been amazing and awesome to watch. There’s this beautiful song called “Blame It On The Weather” that is always such an emotional song for the crowd. And like you said, in our cues and storytelling, we’ve found a way to put more intrigue in the beginning. As far as The Stockyard show, I was so still coming from that acoustic player of a songwriter vibe you were talking about and now the shows are really growing into me as a performer. Instead of me talking about what “Don’t Give Your Heart to a Cowboy” is about, we just get one cool setup line. In Nashville, our bit is always, “Hey, we don’t have these here, but we have these things called cowboys back home. And these are all the things that they’re good at, and then there’s just one thing they’re not good at.” It’s really grown into more of a performance thing and during the song I get to be that front person, perform that song for you, and give that song a life for you. It’s interesting how different that is for each song, which was something that I just never got to see in my own artistry before this tour and this album. It’s been interesting to let those songs kind of be the front man instead of me. That’s been awesome and really rewarding.

Toddstar: Allie, you mentioned you’re playing with Carly in Knoxville. You also mentioned Nashville. A lot of the Nashville places you have to do that songwriter, storytelling, old MTV behind the music type of show. What’s it like for you to go into somewhere like Nashville where obviously country music is so driven or something back home in Oklahoma?

Allie: I have not got to play too many shows in Oklahoma, to be honest. I grew up working at a barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma, and I was playing there on the weekends when I was 15 or 16 years old. We haven’t really got to go back to Oklahoma too much. Everyone thinks that we get to pick these venues that we want to play around the country and that’s just not the case for us yet. We are going wherever people are asking us to go. As far as playing in Nashville goes versus playing anywhere else, it’s such a tough beast, man. It’s so tough because you can’t sell tickets here. There are 12 different shows to go to at night and all of them are free. If they don’t have free parking or they can’t Uber to a bar right next door, the crowds are not going to go to the venue where you’re playing. So it’s so different; we’re going to play a writer’s circle and nobody’s going to listen. We’re kind of like circus monkeys here. This is what we signed up for and we love it. It’s a blessing, but that’s what’s so special about the road shows, when we get to go and play for a Washington County fair in Rhode Island where no one’s traveled up there in over a year and a half to play for them because of COVID. You get to watch people enjoy music, and it’s not necessarily about you. They’re just genuinely interacting with people they haven’t got to see in a year and a half and it’s amazing. It makes those days when one day when we get to play Bridgestone Arena, The Ryman, and the venues where people do buy tickets to Nashville a real sweet spot. As a performer, I don’t think you get to see that for a long time – it’s an earn your chops moment when people come to your shows in Nashville. It’s a big deal.

Toddstar: I left Oklahoma once because I heard Martina McBride was playing The Ryman, and just to see her for three songs was amazing. I’m a rock and metal guy yet I drove across country to see Martina at The Ryman because, as you mentioned, that’s one of those moments where it’s not only for the artist but for the fan.

Allie: It’s a huge moment. You’re not wrong at all. To see her play The Ryman, how cool a moment is that for her to know that her fans are just as stoked for her to get to play that venue? Those are cool moments that Nashville does provide to performers.

Toddstar: Speaking of that, there was a cool moment for me walking into a small strip mall country bar called The Stockyard, watching you perform, and really getting to know and dig your music. When was the last time you were in just a small joint or maybe a big joint and the artist blew you away enough to where you thought, “Holy shit, this is one of my new favorite artists?”

Allie: I think there’s different levels of it. There are a couple different people here in Nashville that are like that for me. I remember because most of the time in Nashville, if we’re out and I’m at a bar, 9 times out of 10, I was playing there or I’m networking. I’m not there to be at the bar. If I am, it’s not going to be a bar on Nashville strip, I promise you that. It’s going to be a honey hole somewhere that we know of. There’s been a couple times just going into my little honey holes where I will hear somebody singing, and it’s just like, “That’s why we came to town. This girl right here, sitting in this bar, not on the strip playing for tips. I know she probably just got off her way to shift.” Those are the ones that blow my mind. And normally I don’t even get their names. I get their social as I’m walking out. But I remember specifically Tory Grace, this very young songwriter in town here and this gorgeous voice. And I just saw her in Printer Alley one night.

Toddstar: I watched her perform and it was the weirdest stuff. God, and now the name of it is slipping me. It’s a breakfast joint outside of town. They’re known for their biscuits. And she was playing in the parking lot while people were waiting for her.

Allie: Loveless Cafe?

Toddstar: Yes, the Loveless Cafe, we were waiting for a table and she’s just playing under a tent out there.

Allie: Yes. She plays in very obscure places. But again, that’s how you know it matters. At Loveless there might be a three hour wait for breakfast. But like you said, it’s for the biscuits. It’s not for Tory Grace sitting in the tent out there, even though it should be. There’s a lot of moments like that that I get to have here in Nashville where I’m just walking in somewhere and I get to hear somebody doing their thing. As far as artists go and stuff like that, Randall King really surprised me and just wrapped me up. I can’t even remember who he was opening for. That was one of those moments that just blew my mind, just having a country vocal like that being so present. I know those guys are out there and I should go find them, but I don’t hear that a lot anymore.

Toddstar: We chatted briefly before your show, I watched the show, and we chatted again afterwards. I fanboyed because I loved the music before but being able to meet you was so cool. What’s it like for you when you hear somebody talking about a show that they saw and you could hear it in your voice how excited they were, just as you did talk about Tory? What’s it like for you when a fan comes up to you and says, “Oh my God, this changed my day.”

Allie: Unfortunately I don’t believe it right off the bat. I never do. I don’t know if Tory would do the same thing and she’d go, “Oh, you’re so sweet,” and just kind of move on from it and not really put too much weight to it or what, but I think that’s always the first initial thing. I don’t want this to sound egoistical or rough, I think sometimes you go out and hear these people that maybe didn’t blow your mind or didn’t do anything crazy for you and someone walks up to them and is like, “That was amazing” and you’re sitting here like, “Ah, they didn’t even listen, whatever.” I think we’re quick to discount ourselves that way. I remember even too that one night with Tory, I was sitting with a good friend of mine and we’re watching her, and I went up to tip her and tell her that I love her song. And as I went to put the money in her bucket and tell her how much I loved her, she looked up and she goes, “You’re Allie and you’re putting something in my tip jar.” And so both of us had that moment for each other. I was just enthralled to hear her voice, so stoked to hear her, and went up to compliment her and she already knew who I was. Those are amazing moments. When you go up to someone else who are just a fan of, and they’re a fan of yours, those are my favorite moments in this town. I don’t know another place in the world where you get to do what I do and be around the people that I get to be around all the time.

Toddstar: Well, let me put your mind at ease because when I met you and I told you it was amazing and everything else and I went to my car and instantly downloaded everything… I’m the one who hit up the publicist and asked for this interview because I wanted to catch up with you.

Allie: Thank you so much. I love that, and to answer your question, that makes me feel like Christmas morning. That feels awesome.

Toddstar: So, I’m looking at your tour dates and you’ve got some dates through the end of the year and into January… is there stuff on the horizon that you just haven’t put out there yet, or are you guys still trying to get stuff booked?

Allie: The rest of our year is very normal for us. All my guys get to go on this amazing Christmas tour. So my year usually shuts down at the end of the year. We just played T-Mobile Arena in Vegas last weekend for the PBR. It was amazing. This weekend is Knoxville with Carly and then we’ll go back to Vegas for Stony. We do have some stuff early next year already. A lot of this stuff is booked for July, August, and September. Those are our heavy touring months. Coming out of the year we came out of, those shows are contracted to where we can’t even promote them until maybe two or three months out just because they don’t even know if they’re going to happen. If this world flips upside down again, nobody wants to go and adjust all the ticket dates. We are all taking the approach “Don’t tell anyone yet. Let’s see what happens, and we’ll get there.” The shows are there, but we can’t really promote them too much yet. I do know that we’re going to have a good year next year and get out there. We have some band rehearsal days set up in January to just really line up the whole thing and get all our cues ready. I’m so ready to get back out there on the road and bring new music. We wrote so much new stuff and it’s cool. I intend to get some new stuff at out at the beginning of this year, so you can only imagine how I feel. I’ve got this beautiful collection of songs in my back pocket that I just want to show somebody.

Toddstar: I’m hoping between the winter months in Florida and my time up in Michigan over the summer I’ll be able to see you. We kind of talked about you needing to play The Machine Shop-

Allie: We want to come play The Machine Shop.

Toddstar: Allie, I know you’re busy and have a ton going on. I appreciate the phone call and time. I hope the show goes well Friday night as well as the shows in December and I look forward to seeing what’s going on in the beginning of new year.

Allie: Thank you and yes. We’re hoping to get down there either to Florida, we’ll see you in Michigan or whatever the case is, but we’ll see you again.

Toddstar: I will find a show and be there.

Allie: I love it. Thank you so much. Have a good day.







Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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