Caroline singer/songwriter Allen Christie at home on stage
Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 06:00 am
Tracks Pub is hosting singer/songwriter Allen Christie, who will be tearing up the stage Saturday, July 23 at 8 p.m., with his acoustic-driven music that blends the influences of western, folk, and roots genres.
Allen cites Willie Nelson, Ian Tyson, Dwight Yoakam, and Hank Williams as sources of inspiration, and honours Williams with a reference at the beginning of one of his new songs.
“I wrote this song with Hank Williams and Jack Daniels,” Christie said, quoting his own joking introduction.
He describes his sound as being folk-roots based with a western flavour, and is hesitant to use the word “country,” when describing the genre of music he plays.
“When I think of country, I think of Toby Keith and all those guys. It’s not that.”
Growing up on a farm eight miles north of Caroline has definitely had an impact on him, both sonically and lyrically, he said.
Christie listened to country music on CKGY (Red Deer) radio, watched family bands play at local dances, and admired his fiddle-playing uncle.
“I was just soaking it all up,” said Christie.
“A lot of the characters from the area sneak into my songs. If it’s not personal experiences, it’s stuff that people have been telling me about.”
His most recent work has taken what he calls “a comical twist.”
“I think you’re going to have to come and check out the show to see what I mean,” he says with a chuckle. “Things like riding your horse into the bar – I wrote a song about that.”
So has he done this himself?
“I’m not going to say I haven’t,” said Christie through a laugh.
On “Alberta May”, a song that seems to use the unpredictable weather to personify the indecision that often plagues relationships, Christie croons in a western brogue:
What’s with the spring up here in Alberta? / Weather don’t know what to do.
“It took me two years to write that song, and I only wrote it in the month of May,” said Christie of the track from 2006’s The Last Rodeo.
It was partially inspired, he says, from a time it snowed immediately after he had cut the grass at his Alhambra, Alberta home at the end of May.
In the 12 years Christie has been making music full-time, he has released four albums, and is currently in the studio working on his fifth album, which has yet to be titled.
“There might be two albums there. If I don’t quit writing soon, there will be. I’ve just been a writing fool here lately.”
At least one new album will drop this winter, but Christie said he hopes one will come out in time for his fall tour with Ryan Cook, which begins in late September.
The fall tour will find Christie in various places across Eastern Canada, with a handful of those shows being an opening act for Travis Tritt.
He and his full band were in Olds at Tracks Pub about three months ago, but this time he will be bringing only the four-piece band.
“When I’m up on stage, I’m super at ease. It’s kind of like my house. I just treat everybody like they’re in my living room.”
He avoids a separation between performer and audience, making it, “More of a conversation than a show. I love it.”
“Bring 50 of your drunkest friends,” said Christie with a hearty laugh.