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Local musician spreading love, hope through music

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Performer Payton Allen, who has been performing since 2015, hopes to spread the word of hope to those currently struggling with addiction.

MCALISTERVILLE – Local musician Payton Allen is looking to spread the message of love and hope through his music to help those who had or are currently going through the struggles of addiction.

A self-taught performer, Allen got his start in 2010 playing the guitar before moving on to performing in 2015. But it wasn’t until his stint working for Firetree Ltd.’s Conewago Drug and Alcohol where he had found his inspiration for creating an album.

“I actually never struggled with addiction myself, but I’ve worked at a drug and alcohol rehab for probably around four months,” Allen said. “I gained a lot of experience with people that were addicted to drugs, alcohol, even kids my own age. And a lot of gentlemen older than me. But that’s my experience and that’s what kinda led me to write this first album.”

When it came down to what genre that Allen wanted to play for his album, he simply just looked back on his roots and found that country music felt just right to him. Allen drew inspiration from country legends such as George Jones, Waylen Jennings and Mark Haggard among others.

“I always loved country music growing up, but there for a while when I was in high school it was like metal music and rock music,” Allen said. “It was funny, when I got to college and I picked up a guitar and I really got back to my roots and really got into bluegrass music.”

“But country music, older country music like Waylen Jennings, Mark Haggard, George Jones, that stuff really drew me in,” Allen continued. “And that’s the kind of music I try to kinda put out there as well.”

Besides his experience working with people who were struggling with addiction, Allen also added tributes to a number of family members for the album.

“Really my family. There is a lot in the album about family,” Allen said. “There is a song in there that I wrote for my daughter a couple weeks after she was born. There is a song that I wrote for my son when he was born years after. There is a song in there for my grandpa and then some songs in there that are about addiction and that stuff I learned in drug and alcohol rehab. That was my inspiration.”

However, it took a little while for Allen to be able to get started on work for the album for one reason or another. But, when the world closed due to the pandemic, Allen quickly used this opportunity to get right to work and put the album together.

“It was awesome because I did it all myself. I had been saying I was going to it for years and I just never had the money or the time,” Allen said. “Then COVID happened and we all had a lot of time. I really taught myself how to use my MAC Book. I bought the recording equipment and sat down and did it all myself, and taught myself how to mix and master music as well. But it felt great to finally say ‘I did it.'”

Then finally in June of 2020, his album was made available to the public. According to Allen, he received many positive reactions. He appreciates all of it.

“Anytime someone hears a song I wrote it is always a good reaction,” Allen said. “People come to me and say your words mean something to them. The song I wrote for my daughter really got good reactions. It’s music people can relate to, but I also got some constructive criticism.”

But there will be more to come. According to Allen, there is another album in the works. In fact there are two albums Allen hopes to release to end the year with a bang.

“I’m hoping by the end of the year to get another CD out,” Allen said. “I actually have enough songs for another country album and I have enough for a whole Gospel album. It would be nice to get that out. That way everyone can hear it.”

For more information, visit PaytonAllenMusic.com.

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