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Gary Allan at Britt

"I ain't really happy," sings Gary Allan on "Get off on the Pain," the down-home title track of his new MCA Nashville collection, "until the sky starts driving rain."

It's a frank, guitar-driven, rocked-out confession of a smart guy drawn to what the rest of the world calls wrong roads and long shots.

Gary Allan and his band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, at the Britt Pavilion.

As his eighth studio album, "Get off on the Pain" is about the most "Gary Allan" piece anyone could imagine.

"It represents the relentless quality of life on the road," states Allan in his press release. "You'll never hear me singing about tractors or farms because I don't know anything about that stuff. Dark horses I know about. Still, I think the pain can get to be kind of a positive for me because it connects to everything I've ever dreamed of."

Allan's dream was to become exactly what he has become: a singer and songwriter cognizant of country music's rough and storied past yet never enslaved by its stylistic or social traditions. He skipped the bars that didn't want to hear him play George Jones music, and he didn't worry about rocking things out in Nashville, Tenn., or missing an awards show.

"It's almost become a challenge to get into this town (Nashville). But I'm also really comfortable with where I am, being slightly on the outside," states Allan.

Allan says he doesn't want to be the latest, greatest thing because that usually goes straight up and then burns out. His goal is to be like Willie Nelson or George Strait — artists who consistently rise.

With that aspiration in mind, "Get off on the Pain" — produced by award-winning Nashville music man Mark Wright — shows no signs of musical fatigue. The songs proceed with the confidence of players who have recorded nine albums together, counting a greatest-hits album.

"It's more focused," states Allan. "Everybody just knows more of what we're going for now. I think with time, you just get better at it."

Country-rock and pop duo Bomshel will open the show. Tickets cost $68 for reserved seating, $38 for lawn seating and $26 for ages 12 and younger. Premium lawn seating for this performance is sold out.

Visit www.brittfest.org or call 541-773-6077.

Gary Allan