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MP3 Joey Allcorn - 50 Years Too Late

Joey Allcorn’s warm Georgia drawl elicits a pleasing twang with just a hint of nasal quality that recalls the time when country music was referred to as “hillbilly” and “country-blues.” He effortlessly nails yodels and conveys a high lonesome feel with ea

13 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Traditional Country, COUNTRY: Country Rock

"I don''t know where the music is going, but I know where it''s been."

This is what Joey Allcorn claims in his song, "This Ain''t Montgomery." While no one really knows where country music is going (except that most purists would agree it sure isn''t headed in the right direction), his claim that he knows country''s roots is no false statement. When one listens to an Allcorn song or goes to see one of his shows, those roots are not hard to hear or see. His music doesn''t feature the loud rock guitars and drums of the southern fried bubble gum found on mainstream country radio, nor does he wear the usual tank top and blue jeans ensemble one would expect of today''s country stars on stage. Steel guitar can still be heard in his songs, and he and his band take the stage in suits, ties, and western wear that the stars of the Grand Ole Opry would don in ''40s and ''50s. To put it bluntly, Allcorn has mastered two lost arts. He makes real country music, and puts on a real country show.

Even though his appreciation for traditional country music is unmatched, Joey Allcorn is no old-timer longing for days gone by. The Columbus, Georgia native is only 24 years old, born many years after country''s glory days had passed on. His road to discovering country music began in the early 90''s grunge rock era. Bands like Nirvana and Alice in Chains, while featuring heavy guitar and screaming vocals, told stories of pain, suffering, drugs, and depression&ldots; the kinds of real life issues found in country songs. He also became a fan of punk rock, and its edgy angst can still be heard in his music today. But at age 15, he discovered the music of Hank Williams Sr., and became hooked on his as well as the music of other country legends. Their stories of heartbreak, heaven, hell, and honky tonks fascinated Allcorn. Soon afterwards, he became aware that he had the kind of nasal twang, and a great yodel to boot, which would allow him to sing the kind of music he had fallen in love with.

Despite his love of grunge and punk rock, Joey Allcorn is country through and through. Over the years, he has mastered the many styles of song that can be found within the genre. Songs like "I Just Don''t Know" and "Whatever Kills Me First" display his impressive grasp of the classic honky tonk song, while "Like I Never Will Again" and "Where My Troubles Drowned" will bring tears to a grown man''s eyes. He even tackles old time country gospel ("The Land of Israel" and "Cash 3:16"), and has experimented with the long forgotten recitation song. He also isn''t afraid to speak his mind on the current state of country music and Nashville, as he does in his song "In Nashville, Tennessee". His songs feature a good ''ole country sound. They also feature great lyrics, unlike the cheesy Hallmark schmaltz of today''s pop country. It''s nice to see that someone knows how to write a country song that one can feel inside, something that used to make country music so special. And while his sound may strike one initially as very retro, his edge and ability to put his own life and interests in his songs keep his material fresh. Joey himself may be a country historian (when he covers old songs at his shows, he has been known to give background information of the songs and the artists that made them famous), and one may be able to hear flashes of the legends'' sounds in his music, but he is in no way a copycat artist. Always finding a way to make the traditional country sound his own, Allcorn is an original.

While his songs and sound are incredible, so too are his live shows. He has been playing country music for ten years now, and he and his Hillbilly Band are currently on top of their game. He may play the kind of country music popular in the 1950''s, but he brings the kind of energy to his performance usually only found at rock shows. This allows the older folks and the younger generation to equally enjoy the Joey Allcorn live experience. His shows usually feature a mix of country covers and his own originals, which more than hold their own with the classics he performs. If one wants to catch a country music show the way it is meant to be, he or she need not look any further than Joey Allcorn when he''s in town.

With his song, "I Just Don''t Know," being included on Shut Eye Records'' "The United States of Americana: Volume 2" compilation and receiving national airplay, and his debut full length album in the works, the future looks bright for this young, up and coming artist. Listening to clear channel radio, one may get the impression that real country music is dead. However, outstanding artists like Joey Allcorn are keeping it alive and well. Perhaps it is like he says in the title track of his upcoming album: "It might turn out that it was fate I was born fifty years too late."

- Jared Morningstar

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