Gary Allan ‘Sets You Free’ at the Garfield County Fair main stage |

Gary Allan ‘Sets You Free’ at the Garfield County Fair main stage

Renelle Lott
Garfield County Chief Communications Officer
Headliner Gary Allan performs at the Garfield County Fair Aug. 7.
Courtesy Gary Allan |

Singer and songwriter Gary Allan reaches into the hearts of his listeners each time he produces a song. “When they hear my music on the radio or they play the album, I want them to be able to picture a time in their lives where that song fits the moment,” he said. “I also hope that if the moment is right, the song can provide the comfort people are looking for or needing. Music can be very powerful, and if you can give someone a glimmer of hope through a song, then that is a great accomplishment.”

Allan is not only giving hope to people through his albums, the five-time certified platinum and gold Billboard Country Albums chart winning artist brings his well-known tunes to the main stage of the Garfield County Fair in Rifle on Aug. 7. This concert presents one of the most well-known names on the national music scene ever to play at the Garfield County Fair. And fans are responding with increased ticket sales and concert excitement countywide.

A fixture in the country music industry for nearly two decades, Allan has sold more than 7 million albums throughout his career. His latest album “Set you Free” topped both the Billboard Country Albums Chart and the Billboard 200 (Pop Chart).

The singer took a quick breather after this album, and then propelled his momentum into a future release. “I have been working on a new album since right after we released ‘Set You Free’,” Allan confides. “I gave myself a few months to relax and enjoy that project, and then went straight into the writing process for the new project. I wrote with my core group of writer friends, as well as a lot of new people this time. I feel like it brought a new feel and vibe to the music — yet somewhat of a throwback to my roots too. We went in the studio over a year ago and started the recording process, and just took our time with it. We feel like we are finally wrapping it all up and hope to have the finished product out in a few months!”

Many people wonder how a songwriter gathers motivation and indefinable elements and captures their essence of power and feelings and inspiration, and turns it into compelling music.

“I know a lot of people who can write songs. That is their job. They get up each day and they write, and they are great at it,” Allan said. “I am typically not that way. I get up and ask myself, ‘Do I have anything I need to say today?’ That is my starting point.

“For the most part, I write things that I have lived and felt in my life,” he continued. “Those are the songs I want to sing, so those are the songs I also write. You won’t ever find me writing about something that I don’t know about. I also feel that writing music is a form of therapy, so if there is something weighing on me, I get it out through writing. I let my feelings pour out through the words and music. It is the best form of therapy for me. Now, granted, some of those songs never see the light of day, but the process of writing them is quite therapeutic!”

Allan has produced 26 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts over nine albums. Four of those songs reached the No. 1 spot. In 2003, “Man to Man” and “Tough Little Boys” reached No. 1, in 2004, “Nothing On but the Radio,” and in 2013, “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” reached the No. 1 spot. In addition, seven of Allan’s songs broke into the top 10 on the charts.

Amongst the people watching Allan on stage will be young dreamers. People who aspire to sing like he does.

“When my young fans approach me for advice about this industry, I always tell them to never give up. Start a band and always play somewhere,” advised Allan. “I think that is the most important thing, playing live. You have to learn to please the crowd and please yourself. That is how you find your own voice and become your own artist. You just stick with it and keep doing it.”

Friday night’s entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m. in the outdoor arena at the Garfield County Fairgrounds with the Loop Rawlins Wild West Show, followed at 7 p.m. by young, up-and-coming star McKenna Faith. Faith is a 20-year-old country music singer/songwriter and Nashville recording artist from northern California. She tours the nation sharing the stage with country’s biggest stars, and was the No. 1-selling independent female country artist on iTunes in 2013. International concert promoters rave that Faith delivers first class, high energy, boot-stomping country music.

Tickets are $15 for grandstands (adult) and $10 for seniors (65+) and youth (ages 4 -12). Seating in the track bleachers is $25. Arena general admission (standing only) $35, arena pit (standing only) $50, and arena premium seating $60. Buy tickets online at, call 800-626-TIXS (8497), or get them in person at Trendz Clothing Co. at 424 Railroad Ave. Rifle, or at the gate until this event sells out.

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