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Kris Allen to play Rev Room, minus guitar

By Linda Haymes

This article was published January 24, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.

Kris Allen

— Back in May 2009, Kris Allen was riding high as the winner of the eighth season of Fox’s American Idol singing competition TV show.

But, as is often the case, the fame was fleeting.

Allen scored Billboard and iTunes hits with his remake of Kanye West’s “Heartless” and his Idol coronation song, “No Boundaries.” His 2009 self-titled debut peaked at 11 on the Billboard 200.

Shortly after releasing his second album, Thank You Camellia, last spring, Allen - who was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in the fall of 2010 -parted ways with RCA and now records independently.

No matter. The 27-year-old, who still resides in Arkansas, remains committed and focused on pursuing his passion - a career in music, with his sights set firmly on the future.

“I plan on making new music and releasing it,” he says. “I want to put out the best music that I can and also to play a lot of live shows because I feel like I do a good job with that.”

Rather than setting goals such as making gold records, topping the charts, and attaining fame and fortune, Allen says that for now, he’s content to make and perform the music he loves.

And when he creates his next album, instead of using studio musicians, Allen will have his friends and bandmates backing him.

“Studio musicians are great, but I think when you go into the studio with people who are your friends, you come out with something that has a totally different vibe than you otherwise would; it’s different when you have someone in there with you who really cares about your music personally.”

Besides the songs, though, there’s much awaiting Allen in his future to be thankful for and to embrace.

On New Year’s Day, he and his wife, Katy, survived a head-on traffic wreck when another driver collided with them near Maumelle and was cited for reckless driving. Kris was the only one who was injured significantly, a broken wrist. Their Ford SUV, part of Kris’ prize package for his American Idol win, was heavily damaged.

The couple, who bought a new house in Conway last year, are about to becomeparents, with their first child expected in late July.

“When the wreck happened, the most important thing was making sure that the little one we have on the way was all right,” Allen says, adding that the baby is fine.

Earlier this month, he launched his aptly named “Out Alive” tour with about 35 dates stretching from Vermont to Colorado. He plays the Rev Room in Little Rock on Saturday and another show at the Performing Arts Center at Russellville High School in April.

“It’s always fun to play in Arkansas,” he says. “When I do, a lot of my family and friends always come out. And I’ve never played at the Rev Room before so I’m looking forward to do that.”

Don’t expect him to play guitar, though. A band member is filling in for him, as Allen’s wrist injury was complex.

“They had to do surgery on it,” he says, adding that the injury included four broken bones and some torn ligaments and will involve extensive physical therapy and take a while to heal.

His original cast, onto which Allen had written the title of his tour and some of the cities in which he was set to perform, was scheduled to come off last week and be replaced with a more flexible one. Allen says he is not sure how much physical therapy he will need before his wrist has completely healed or how long it will take.

Allen says he’s enjoying performing in smaller club venues and that the smaller scale of the shows is not as physically demanding as a larger venue and stage would be.

“It’s been great and the crowds have been good,” he says. “It has been some intimate shows; it feels a lot more personal.”

Kris Allen

Opening Act: Jillette Johnson

8:30 p.m., Saturday, The Rev Room, 300 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock

Admission: All ages; $12 advance, $15 day of show, $50 VIP

(501) 823-0090

Weekend, Pages 36 on 01/24/2013

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Katlyn says... January 24, 2013 at 4:29 p.m.

Looks like you forgot that Kris's Live Like We're Dying sold 1.7 million copies and was a pretty big hit - much bigger than Heartless or No Boundaries. But then again, why would you say something nice when you have your cat claws out? And if you want to know why his fame was "fleeting" why don't you ask his wife. I'm sure she can fill you in. After all, she was the one who "didn't want this any more."

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