Terry Allen is a Lubbock-born singer-songwriter whose music is but one facet of a larger artistic identity. Allen is into everything: sculpture, theater, mixed media installation, painting, writing, performance art. There’s nothing commericial about him. Like a Tom Waits of the American Southwest, Allen is daring, dark, funny, devoted to language, and way, way ahead of the creative curve.
As a musician, the man runs in great company. The Flatlanders (Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore) consider him a mentor. David Byrne, who came to know Allen well during the filming of “True Stories,” is a close friend. So was the late singer and slide guitarist Lowell George, who recorded Allen’s song “New Delhi Freight Train” with Little Feat. Allen’s albums are diverse in theme and approach. “Lubbock (On Everything)” feels like a West Texas short-story collection. “Human Remains” is optimistic, often Existential. “Salivation” is savagely satirical as it confronts blind faith in “Jesus Cash” – capitalism, right-wing fundamentalism and material appetites.
“Allen’s songs extract strangeness from the known world and use it as a means of acquiring greater knowledge. This is an old man’s confirmation of a young man’s speculation, which is as good defintion of wisdom as any.” — The New Yorker “Mr. Allen’s magic strength is that he can keep two or more big ideas in the air at once, juxtaposing them without explicitly merging them until they kind of belong together: sex and real estate, love and colonization, greed or guilt… He’s pretty close to a master lyricist.” — New York Times
Terry Allen is re-releasing his first two groundbreaking albums on Paradise of Bachelors Records. Read all about it from Texas Monthly.
Check out Terry’s guest DJ appearance on KUTX