An injured Kris Allen stays the course

CorrespondentJanuary 17, 2013 

Kris Allen

COURTESY OF KRIS ALLEN

  • More information Who: Kris Allen When: 8 p.m. Friday Where: The Clayton Center, 111 E. 2nd St., Clayton Cost: $30 Details: 919-553-1737

Kris Allen could have postponed or canceled his tour after he broke his right arm on New Year’s Day.

The singer-songwriter’s automobile was hit head-on when a woman swerved into Allen’s lane after he visited his parents in Arkansas.

“I’m hanging in there,” he says, in a call from Vienna, Va. “It could have been worse. It probably would have been best to not tour, in terms of common sense, but I’ve been looking forward to this tour. I was going to go onstage even if I had to wheel myself out there.”

The winner of the eighth season of ‘American Idol,’ is ambulatory but he can’t play guitar since he had surgery Jan. 11.

“I got this huge, stupid cast on it,” Allen says. “It’s getting better. My band is playing everything and I’m up there singing. I’m doing what I can so people can hear this album played live.”

The album is ‘Thank You Camellia.’ It’s Allen’s second disc and it’s full of straightforward, well-mannered pop-rock that reflects Allen, who is a calm, unpretentious performer.

“I’m trying to be myself,” he says. “I think that’s the only way to be. I’ve seen other people do the opposite and try to fit in what other people do best. I’m not one of those guys. The audiences are smarter than people give them credit for being. They know when someone is trying to be someone who they aren’t.”

Allen will deliver songs from ‘Thank You Camellia,’ and his eponymous debut album, which dropped in 2009. His initial effort is full of polite, innocuous but catchy songs that nearly mirror the follow-up album.

“There are similarities between the albums,” he says. “But I think you’ll see something different from my next album. I’m writing songs that hit home with me. The next one will be different since I’ll have my band and my guys recording on it. You’ll hear a different vibe next time.”

Allen, who will appear Friday at the Clayton Center, won’t disclose which music industry friends will sit in on his next project with his band. He’s also not ready to preview the new tunes. And he’s months away from recording the fresh material.

“I still have to go through some extensive rehab before I get fully back,” he says. “I’ll get there. I’m just glad it wasn’t worse. I think back to that accident and I’m so lucky. I passed out and when I woke up the airbags were deployed and my wife was yelling at me to get out of the car. I was never so freaked out in my life. I was so concerned because my family was in there.”

Allen’s wife, who is expecting, is fine. Their child is on course for a July delivery.

“We’ll get ready for that and have the child,” Allen says. “And then I’ll make another album. One thing at a time.”

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