Gary Allan: Country Is About the Weekdays

I’ve heard country music described about a million ways — maybe more. But Gary Allan just said it in a whole new way.

“It’s still songs about life,” he told Larry King during a recent interview. “To me, country music is still like Monday through Friday, and pop’s about what happens on the weekends. But it’s definitely changed.”

Even the radio stations have changed, according to Allan.

“You used to be able to turn on the radio and you knew instantly it was a country station just by listening to it,” he said. “And now you’ve gotta leave it there for a second to figure it out.”

When King asked whether or not he thought of Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood as country singers, Allan said, “I would say they’re pop artists making a living in the country genre.”

However, he’s quick to explain that they’re not the only two who have moved away from what country used to be. Allan even admits he’s been guilty of it himself.

“I also feel like we lost our genre,” he said. “I don’t feel like I make music for a genre anymore, and I did 10-15 years ago.”

That would have been my favorite Gary Allan era, by the way, when he was wearing a cowboy hat and a double-breasted suit on the cover of his 1999 Smoke Rings in the Dark album and singing the Rivers Rutherford title track and the Casey Beathard-penned “Right Where I Need to Be.”

To me, Allan still sounds like the country singer he’s always been. He was never a banjo-picker singing songs about cane poles and fishing holes. He was — and still is — more of a brooding balladeer. One with a sexy swagger.