Joey Allcorn wondered if he “could live a normal life” three years ago when he moved into his grandparents’ house off River Road.
An alt-country troubadour seasoned well past his 38 years, Allcorn made a big splash soon after graduating from Shaw by winning a regional talent contest. He spent 15 years traversing the South form show to show, back and forth to Nashville for studio sessions.
“I burned out and took a break for three years,” he explains.
How did the crack at living the normal life go?
“There’s a purpose to that, too,” Allcorn, interviewed by phone Wednesday night from his home, says of the normal life. “But it’s not as fun. When I was younger, I always thought that I’d rather this not be my whole life. Maybe I’d become a politician in my 50s. But I’ve gone too far.”
11 p.m.-1 a.m.
Friday, March 8
Sammie Saxon Photography
This path has taken him from cutting his first album at the Loft Studios since it opened 2006, then speaking in 2007 before Congress against royalty minimums. (Free online access to his music, he said at the time, was critical to his career success.) In early April, Allcorn will perform in Kentucky at HagFest, a tribute to late outlaw-country legend Merle Haggard.
“I’m so used to Hank Williams,” he says of his “hero and idol” connected to his career by Hank, Sr. covers and collaborations with his punk-rockin’ grandson, Hank III.
“I relate to somebody like Merle Haggard in never being part of the establishment, always on the periphery,” Allcorn says. “I’ve done something similar. I had it made—I could still come and go up there to Nashville to work and record but I never got caught up in any of the drama. It’s a fashion show mixed with a music festival.”
Allcorn knows the Music City well enough, spending time on every album at the East Nashville studio of producer Eric McConnell, who won a Grammy for his work on Jack White’s album with Loretta Lynn) at his East Nashville studio.
The Loft show kicks off a mini-tour (Macon’s The Hummingbird Saturday night) that brings the Columbus boy back to the stage in his hometown. “The band is as good as I’ve had in 10 years,” Allcorn brags of an all-Columbus line-up that includes Heath Williamson (upright bass), D.B. Woolbright (drums, familiar to Springer audiences for roles in musicals Patsy Cline Story and Sun Records, and local rockabilly fixture Larry Jones.
“I’m not a huge star,” Allcorn says. “I have a lot of good fans [dubbed the Alabama Chain Gang]. Even if I never played again, I’d be satisfied with what I’ve done. But here I am, coming back again.”