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Bart Allmand

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Posted Sep 11, 2006 by Paul
Filed under: Exclusive Interview

Bart Allmand is one of a kind.

Years ago we helped put together a benefit for a friend of ours who’s wife had suddenly died. We had every artist in Nashville (more than 50), from Garth Brooks to Reba, donate autographed items for an auction held at Barbara’s. Thanks to the generosity of those artist, we were able to raise a decent sum.

While sitting at a table a very famous songwriter comes up and sits with us. Nicest guy in the world, but a little (and we apologize in advance) ‘out there’. He looked us in the eyes and said they were pointed in a different direction. This even though technically you can only look into one eye at a time. We spent hours sitting and talking. This writer was not Bart. But we get the idea that it could’ve been.

To give you an idea, we asked Bart “How far would you go to get a cut?” Kris Kristofferson famously (as legend has it) flew a helicopter to Johnny Cash’s house to drop off a demo tape. Bart? Well, we’re really not sure. He mumbles a little and then offers something about Bill Cosby. But we suppose when all you have to do is open the roledex and make a call directly, helicopters are unnecessary.

Bart, just like our new friend at the benefit, Earl Bud Lee, has what used to be known as ‘personality’. And maybe that’s why guys like Bart and Bud are such good songwriters. They have personality.

Bart co-wrote “You Cant Take The Honky Tonk Out Of The Girl” which Brooks & Dunn took to #3 on the charts. His new #1 is “Brand New Girlfriend” performed by Steve Holy.

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PKYou’ve had quite a career in Nashville. You’ve been not only able to stick around, you’ve been able to climb the ladder at every junction. What do you attribute that too?

BartI love this business! I love songs, writers, musicians, artists, record companies, radio stations, I love it all. I know that sounds like crap but it’s all the truth. I think I’ve been around because I know how to adapt without the constant bitching that people who can’t make it constantly, continue to do.PK

Have you ever faced Industry rejection?

Bart – Are you kidding? I did 15 years of record promotion. AND I WRITE SONGS!PK – Your initial plan wasn’t to become a top tier songwriter?

Bart – No, my intial plan was to suck at everything. After achieving that, I decided to try writing songs. I was so blessed to be able to write with the Mt. Rushmore of Nashville songwriters; Big Al Anderson, Craig Wiseman, Jeffrey Steele, and the guy that helped me pay off my house, Bob DePiero. I love these guys.PK

The first thing I think people notice about “Brand New Girlfriend” is, it’s a country song! Kind-of shocking in this day of over-driven rock influenced country

Bart – Well, Shane Minor, Jeffrey and myself all love country music. We dig the rock stuff too, but we love trying to write what’s missing in the market place. We also just love writing stuff that makes us smile.PK – The relationship between you and Jeffrey Steele is an interesting one. You signed him to Monument as an artist and later he signed you to 3 Ring Circus as a writer?

Bart – Yeah, I didn’t sign him as I was in promotion, but yeah he signed me as a writer. We’ve probably written 40 songs together. He taught me so much about writing and just letting it flow. Don’t be scared of the stupid idea, it might be dumb to you but it might be great to somebody else. We were also gay lovers. Kidding! I think.PK

– Your first song and first demo landed your first cut and your first single. I was trying to think if I had ever heard of that happening before and I haven’t.

Bart – I don’t know. Bob Dipiero let me write with him. His ex-assisant Racheal Adkins lined it up. Bob had just seen “Sweet Home Alabama”, and that’s were the title came from. We knew it was totally for B&D and Bob is good friends with Kix so he got it to them and they dug it. The rest is history.PK – How far would you go to get a cut?

Bart – Need anybody, uh, gone? Bill Cosby, anyone?PK

Everyone has or needs a champion. Who was your champion? The person who believed in you enough to help you out and get you into the position you’re in now?

Bart – Absolutely Jeff Steele and Bob Dipiero. Jeff believed in me and Bob wrote “Honky Tonk” with me. And the girl at Starbucks that let me “Shim Sham The German Sheperd”, if you know what I mean.PK – At one time you were a long haired hippy type and you cut all of your hair off. Tell us a little about Locks of Love and how you were introduced to them.

Bart – In my 15 years of record company executive, I helped raise over $1,000,000 a year with radio station promotions. When I got blown out of SONY, I realized I had no way to help out the St. Judes kids any more. My loving girlfriend, Amy Shepherd, told me about Locks Of Love. She was pretty tired of my hair so we cut about 21 inches off. I hope some kid is getting some use out of it. I hate the fact that these beautiful children are sick and have to be bald and ashamed of it. St. Judes is the most amazing charity I’ve ever been a part of. Go through the hospital, You will never be the same.PK

You’re turning 40 in October, what is life after 40 gonna look like for you?

Bart – I’m actually gonna be 42. My girfreind is a rocking 29 and freaking hot. What do you think it’s gonna look like?PK – What are your thoughts about Nashville?

Bart – I love it. I’m so thankful that I found a place that will encourage my particular brand of songs, or commerce, or art or whatever you want to call it. It’s a small town feeling that has enough culture to get us all through. God bless Nashville.

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