Season 8 “idol” winner Kris Allen broke his right wrist in a New Year’s Day head-on auto collision that wasn’t his fault. Fortunately, the wrist will heal,within a couple of months, he said, and he’ll be able to get back to playing guitar.
Also good news: his pregnant wife and high school sweetheart Katy made it out okay and the baby in her belly, due in July, is fine. Plus, his tour is alive and well. He will stop at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur January 20 for two shows. Details here. Tix are $15 in advance, $18 at the door.
“It definitely hurts,” he said in an interview Monday. “But the show must go on.”
He briefly described the accident:
“My wife and I were driving home. We were getting into a turning lane and this lady came out of nowhere and hit us head on. We were going about 25 miles an hour.”
His Ford Escape absorbed the shock.. He passed out, but his wife got him back awake. He realized immediately his wrist was messed up. He’s now in a cast, which he said is itchy (see right.)
“From the looks of the car, it could have been a lot worse,’ Allen said. “It kept us real safe. There were a lot of airbags.”
He plans to just sing and maybe play a tambourine with his left hand. “I’ll still be contributing,” he said. He’s adding a guitarist to bolster the crew. “It will be still be great – maybe even better,” he added.
Though he and RCA parted ways last fall after his sophomore album didn’t produce any hits, Allen still wants to get out there and promote the songs from that album. “Better late than never,” he said. “I love playing live shows. I love playing to the fans. A lot of fans want to see the the live stuff. I want to build a live following.”
Allen did a great job with covers on “Idol” (think ‘Heartless”) so he will always do them in concert. “People pay money to be entertained and hear music they know,” he said. “Not everyone knows every song on my records, which is totally understandable these days.”
One thing cool he’ll do: he’ll take Twitter suggestions for a song, learn it that afternoon and play it that night. He has tried on-the-spot requests but that didn’t always work out so well. “I’d know only half the lyrics,” he said. Good thing: he picks up songs quickly and retains them well. Otherwise, he noted,” I have the memory of a goldfish.”
He’s psyched to perform at Eddie’s Attic, aware of its history as a launching pad for the likes of John Mayer, Shawn Mullins and Jennifer Nettles. “It will be a treat for us,” he said. “A particular venue can throw off a vibe that can make a show great. I love going to places like that. It amps up the show.”
Last year, while recording his second album, he caught quite a bit of season 11 with his roommates. “They watched it religiously. The contestants were really good last year.” His favorite was Joshua Ledet. “One of the best voices I’ve ever heard on the show,” he said. “It’s really sad” he doesn’t have a record contract yet.
Post tour, he plans to write more songs. ‘I’m always writing,” he said. As for new music, he said he likes the Los Angeles rock band the Dawes. But otherwise, he sticks to the classics like the Beatles and Queen.
He is still in touch with several of the season 8 contestants, including Atlantan Anoop Desai. “He’s doing some awesome stuff,” he said. “If he’s in town, I will definitely go see him.”
And my colleague, Melissa Ruggieri, wrote an item about the new KISS and “Idol”-themed slot machines. The “Idol” machines feature Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, as well as the season 10 contestants. Read more here.
Billboard did a cover story on Philip Phillips and the incredible run of his coronation song “Home,” which has sold 3.3 million downlaods. Read it here.
The key for Phillips is to keep expanding musically, leaning on the training he got through jam sessions as teenager. “I always tell people that you have to play shows, you have to do what you can to get out there, and it can’t be about the money,” he says. “Jam out with a band for three or four hours. Do a live gig for food. You have to get out and do it.”
I love how honest Phillip is:
They had three weeks to make the album, and while Phillips co-wrote 10 of the 14 tracks, the label put some songs in front of him he didn’t care for. After he discarded a few of 19’s selections, he was handed “Gone, Gone, Gone” from the pen of Wattenberg, Fuhrmann and Todd Clark; it is his second single. “I’m glad we switched,” he says. “The other ones made me want to scream.”
MJ reports that season 9 runner up Crystal Bowersox will will be releasing her second studio album in March via Sanachie Entertainment.
Nicki Minaj tells TV Guide does not want the show to be “cheesy,” though many would say she is ultimately very much representative of that word.