Benji Allen Debut CD
Mother Nature, A Cold One And Me
“My music? It’s laid back. It’s Texas. It’s about family, it’s respectful, catchy and it’s relaxin’. It’s sincere… there’s nothing fake about the vocals and, there’s not a lyric that comes out of my mouth that is not meant and truly believed by me.”- Benji Allen
Down here in Texas it’s very nearly an official state law that you have to love God, The Cowboys, Momma, and Country Music.
If that’s the rules in the Lone Star State, Benji’s the most law abiding man in Texas.
Growing up in the suburbs of Dallas, Benji Allen remembers frequent trips to his grandmother’s house with nothing to do but listen to the radio.
“We drove back and forth to her house in East Texas all the time, and it was country music the whole way there and back,” says Allen. “My parents hosted lots of parties when I was growing up, and that’s all they played and listened to was country.”
Like a long list of other Texas boys before him including Willie Nelson, George Strait, Tracy Byrd and Mark Chestnut, Benji seemed destined for life as a country music singer.
“Except for a couple of guitar playin’ uncles, I didn’t really have a musical family,” Benji says. “What I did have were parents that played the music, and didn’t mind when I sang along to the music. They encouraged me a lot to sing, especially my mother.”
Sing-along favorites for young Benji ran the gamut from country legends like George Jones and Merle Haggard to Alabama and one pint-sized lady that most manly music artists wouldn’t really admit to singing along with.
“Brenda Lee- remember her? She did this Christmas song I really loved to sing to,” says Benji. “My voice hadn’t changed yet, and I was a high soprano, so I sounded better singing the girl parts in country music back then”, he laughs.
Luckily for Benji the magical voice-deepening time of puberty came along, and his voice matured right along with the rest of him. From the first moment Benji sang in a band in front of a crowd, he knew that singing was what he was meant to do. “It’s been a long, hard, slow road”, says Benji. “Back in the earlier years, I sang a lot at the Johnnie High Review. Lots of folks in this business will promise you lots of things, but as the old saying goes, talk is cheap.” At one point in Benji’s career, he was offered a position in Branson, Missouri- as a Tim McGraw impersonator. “Can’t say I didn’t consider it, but my convictions wouldn’t let me try to be someone I wasn’t. I’m me- plain and simple,” Benji says.
“ I believe that if something’s meant to be, it’ll happen,” Benji says seriously. With Benji’s debut cd- Mother Nature, A Cold One And Me- it seems as if those things are finally beginning to happen for him. “The wheels that spun so slow for so many years are finally starting to roll. It took a lot of grease, though, to get ‘em rolling along,” Benji chuckles. Benji believes that all the years of doing what he loves has only made him the singer and man he is today. “I don’t know if I’d be this prepared or confident about taking it to the next level, if it hadn’t been for all the years of being on stage in front of folks.”
The spinning wheels have enabled Benji to get a video produced for his tune Beer Joint Baby, the album’s first track. “The neatest thing about that video was getting to work with Tommy Alverson”, Benji says. “I’ve always loved Tommy’s music and all he does for Texas artists. Getting to meet and become friends with someone you have looked up to for so long is sweet!”
In March 2008, Benji opened and closed for Moe Bandy in Fort Worth. “It’s such an honor to be invited to stand up on the same stage that Moe Bandy performs on! These are the guys I grew up listening to and singing along with,” says Benji.
In May of 2008, Benji won the 92.1 KTFW Battle Of The Bands. Two weeks later, he was chosen by online voters as one of the three finalists for the 95.9 The Ranch’s Battle Of The Bands. The top three bands competed in front of thousands of people at LaGrave Field in Ft. Worth, and Benji won that, too. He will be performing at both The Legend’s Fest and Ranch Bash ’08 at Sundance Square in Fort Worth in October 2008.
The only other regret Benji has about all the good things happening right now is that fact that his mother isn’t here to see and share it with him. “My mom, Betty, passed back in ’99. She was, by far, my biggest supporter and my biggest fan, and we were very close. She passed suddenly and it was one of those deals where it happened so fast, I wasn’t there when it happened.” Betty’s sudden illness progressed from her simply not feeling well one night, to literally fighting for her life on a respirator within hours. She’d had a brain hemorrhage and was on life support before she passed. “Every time I get on stage, a part of me is, you know, singing to her- playing for my momma and trying to make her proud.”
Benji’s other inspirations in life, you ask? Their names are Dylin and Graham. Benji’s boys- ages one and three- “are awesome,” Benji confides.
“Dylin is so fun at only a year old. Graham was born blind, and he’s really into music and sounds. He loves cd’s and his stereo. I sing to he and Dylin all the time, and that’s helped me… I get to certain points in a song, or a show and I can literally close my eyes and pretend like I am singing to my boys. Both boys are amazing, and with Graham, he’s right there next to my heart when I sing.”
Be sure to catch Benji Allen performing in the Texas and regional country music circuit soon.
When you do, close your eyes for a few moments, and experience the music the way Graham does, with your whole body, mind and soul.
“My music and the live show… to anybody that would wanna feel a part of something special, there’s no show about it, it’s all heartfelt.”