By the Way

Gary Allan plays Beau Rivage for the first time

Eric Adkins

Gary Allan made a startling confession to the near sold-out crowd at Friday’s show at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

“This is the first time I’ve ever played the Beau Rivage,” he said. “I’m sorry it took me 20 years to get here.”

Allan’s words would ring true throughout the night as he played hit after hit for his audience.

I seriously had forgotten how many hit songs Allan has had. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since “Used Heart for Sale,” his debut album, was released.

One of the songs that received the biggest response was “Best I Ever Had” from his 2005 album “Tough All Over.” The song was originally recorded by Vertical Horizon in 1999.

Allan has always had the ability to pick great songs.

“Nothing On but the Radio” from Allan’s 2004 album “See If I Care” was written by Byron Hill, Brice Long and Odie Blackmon.

Allan is a bold singer and he walked the walk Friday night when he opened his show with one of his biggest hits, “Watching Airplanes.” This is a song that could have easily been placed late in the set or even as as an encore. But not for Allan -- this was his first song out of the gate.

The song was written by the great Jonathan Singleton, who attended Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, a town north of Tupelo.

Singleton is a songwriter based in Nashville these days and he also fronts Jonathan Singleton and the Grove. Check them out if you haven’t heard them.

When Allan hit the first verse of “Watching Airplanes,” I seriously wondered how he would be able to top the song.

But almost two hours later, as he ended the show with the barn-burner “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey,” I had my answer.

Gary Allan discography

  • Used Heart For Sale (1996)
  • I Would Be You (1998)
  • Smoke Rings in the Dark (1999)
  • Alright Guy (2001)
  • See If I Care (2003)
  • Tough All Over (2005)
  • Living Hard (2007)
  • Get Off On The Pain (2010)
  • Set You Free (2013)