(Terry Allen’s Music Forest, mixed media on paper)
As one of the original inspirations of what we term alt-country Terry Allen doesn’t get the attention he deserves. His songs, like his art, are off the beaten path and are too real for your average listener. They dwarf the cliche ridden stuff of Nashville and even make the glib lyrics of Lyle Lovett seem a bit immature. His songs take the form of character studies, or they deal with a big issue like religion, or they deal with his life in the arts.
But his presence is minimal on YouTube. There are no three camera shoots of his stuff, no high budget CMT-style Chevy adverts disguised as country music videos. In fact the one polished video is a cover of his song “Amarillo Highway” by Robert Earl Keen. Anyway here’s what I was able to round up:
“New Delhi Freight Train”
“Gimme A Ride To Heaven Boy”
Robert Earl Keen’s take on “Amarillo Highway”