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Smoke Rings on the Stage: Exclusive Gary Allan Tour Photos

Country singer shares colorful photos and commentary from his 2014 trek

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

"Every year, you've got to switch it up," Gary Allan tells Rolling Stone Country of giving concertgoers a different experience year after year. And after almost two decades of back-to-back tours, that takes a lot of creativity. The road warrior shares these vibrant photos from his latest trek, along with commentary on his live shows and upcoming album.

Gary Allan

Gary Allan shares these photos from tour stops in Iowa and Michigan

Eric Adkins

Enlightened

"Some years we go against what's happening; it's just sensory overload," says Allan. "But this year we decided to try out some of new lights and screens."

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

Guitar Slinger

"I travel with 15 guitars," says Allan. "You want all the songs to sound different. When I'm watching someone else's show, it makes a big difference to me which guitars they pull out. I'm excited to see what they play."

Gary Allan

Gary Allan plays for a sold-out crowd

Eric Adkins

All ‘Right’

"'Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain),' 'Bones,' 'It Ain't the Whiskey,'" Allan answers when asked which songs are getting the loudest reaction on the road this year. "And 'Right Where I Need to Be' has never stopped. It's like a college classic for some reason."

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

Fashion Forward

"I just get it out of my store," Allan says of his stage attire, which mostly comes from The Label, a Nashville clothing store he opened in 2011. "Being from L.A., I have a lot of friends who are designers and leather guys."

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

Road Test

Allan has been playing a few new songs from an upcoming album. "I've put two or three out there over the last month that felt really, really good," he says.

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

On Deck

While he worked with three different producers on his last album, Set You Free, Allan says he'll co-produce his next with longtime sound engineer Greg Droman.

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

Band of Brothers

"I bring in my favorite players, and a lot of those guys play with me on the road," Allan says of his producing style. "That ups the comfort level."

Gary Allan

Gary Allan performs in Iowa

Eric Adkins

Set Change

"We change it about every four months," Allan says of his set list. "There's a spot in the show where there are two or three songs interchanged… and that keeps us all from going crazy."

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

Highway Speed

"When I really decided I wanted to do this, it was during the Highwaymen tour — Cash, Kristofferson, Willie and Waylon," Allan recalls of his earliest musical ambitions. "I was probably about 15; that's when country became like rock & roll to me. It was nothing fancy they were doing, but it was hardcore."

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

Sentimental Strings

"I have a '58 Les Paul Goldtop that I love," Allan says of his guitar collection, much of which is older than him.

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

Change of Heart

"Every year, we try to present the songs a little differently," Allan reports. "We sit with the light guys and sound guy in a giant room, and I have my guitar, and we figure out how to make things sound, feel and look different than the last 20 years we've been coming to town."

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

Home-Work

"I have a tough time writing on the bus, there's too much going on," says Allan. "I like to play and party too much, and we go to gyms or someplace fun during the day. So I write at home."

Gary Allan

Gary Allan

Eric Adkins

Fresh Moves

When asked the secret to his career longevity, Allan has a simple answer: "I just try to keep doing stuff I've never done."

In This Article: Gary Allan

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