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Smoke Rings in the Dark

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Album Review

Gary Allan grows better and more assured with each album, and his third record, Smoke Rings in the Dark, is his best effort yet. Similar to the Mavericks, Allan stylishly blends a number of roots styles, from his signature Bakersfield country to dusty folk and pop crooning, into a neo-traditionalist sound that is curiously out of time. Allan is considerably more mainstream than the Mavericks, which means that the production is more polished and he doesn't really take musical risks. Even if he doesn't quite hold his own against some Americana artists, he certainly is stronger than many contemporary country artists, especially since he tries many different styles and sounds throughout Smoke Rings in the Dark. Not every song works, but even those that don't have still something recommendable in their performance or production. It's a fine album from an artist that keeps getting better.

Customer Reviews

This is Real Country Music

The relatively newer country artists struggle with the acceptance of true country legends like Hank, Merle and Willie but Gary need not worry. His music not only captures the essence of these legends but also displays a unique blend of haunting melodies with unforgettable lyrics. This is truely one of my favorite CD's of all time.


Normally, I'm a rocker/metal-head, but this album really shocked me. It doesn't dwell on the same material as everybody since Hank Sr., and shows genuine artistic creativity. Most country singers get ostracized for branching out stylistically, but Gary Allan took the risk, and it paid off. A definate must-buy for anyone remotely interested in blues, southern-rock, or plain good music.

Pure Country From A Future Legend!

This album contains some of his best songs. You dont come across many albums where you can listen to every song and enjoy them. Its worth the purchase because it is one of those albums. Gary Allan doesnt get as much publicity as the big names Tim McGraw or Tobey Keith and thats part of what I like about him. He puts out quality music and doesnt get overwhelmed with the Nashville music scene. This is only one of his albums in a catalog of others he has put out. Check out his other albums also they are all worth the price.


Born: December 5, 1967 in La Mirada, CA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Gary Allan hit the honky tonk circuit in his native Southern California at the seasoned age of 12. Playing in and out of the smoky, sweaty bars with his dad's band led Allan to follow in his father's footsteps and start his own band. When Allan returned to those same honky tonks with his own combo, the sound was true Bakersfield country: Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and the rest. Allan spent most of his twenties honing his skills as a new traditionalist country singer; finally, in 1996, he was picked...
Full Bio
Smoke Rings in the Dark, Gary Allan
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Customer Ratings

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