(American Idol Winner)
plus Jillette Johnson (Singer/Songwriter)
Monday, February 11 08:00 pm
$24 General Day of Show
$35 Reserved Seating
$50 Reserved with Pre-show Meet & Greet
Born in 1985 in Jacksonville, Arkansas, Kristopher Neil Allen embraced music at an early age. He took up the viola during middle school, earning a spot in Arkansas' all-state orchestra before teaching himself to play guitar several years later. While studying business at the University of Central Arkansas, he also focused on songwriting and recorded an EP, Brand New Shoes, with the help of two classmates. The EP's material showed traces of Jason Mraz's folk-pop. Moreover, it gave Allen enough confidence to audition for American Idol in mid-2008, and he returned early the following year as part of the show's cast.
Hailed as the competition's dark horse, Allen slowly amassed a TV following with performances of the Swell Season's "Falling Slowly," Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time," and Donna Summer's "She Works Hard for the Money." Although he shared a room with Adam Lambert throughout the season, Allen proved to be the stylistic opposite of his contender, whose theatrical performances often contrasted with Allen's unassuming demeanor and laid-back, guitar-driven arrangements. Such differences contributed to Allen's first place victory, and the singer hit the road shortly thereafter on the annual American Idol tour. He also prepped his debut album for release in late 2009, working with songwriters and producers including Eg White, Chris Daughtry, and David Hodges. The album's first single, "Live Like We're Dying," was released in September and peaked at number 89 on the singles charts, followed two months later by Allen's self-titled debut album. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi
On August 14th singer-songwriter Jillette Johnson releases the smoldering and passionate debut EP Whiskey & Frosting (Wind-up Records). It’s an intimate and boldly emotional five-song collection of stately pop from a unique and unflinchingly honest artist. Johnson’s commitment to her distinct vision is thorough and uncompromising, from her willingness to explore the raw and controversial in her lyrics, to her unwillingness to give into tempting hot ticket-career opportunities. Johnson audaciously declined a high-exposure spot on the television talent show The Voice to keep her creative autonomy.
“I realized those paths would be inauthentic to me. I know how to write my own music, and I want a say in my career,” Johnson explains.
Whiskey & Frosting is one of those rare and revelatory debuts where you experience a young songwriter with a highly mature sense of artistic self. The NYC-based singer-piano player wrote all the songs on the EP, and her upcoming album. The piano-based songs unfold with honeyed drama and grandeur, showcasing Johnson’s soaring vocals which manage to both be comforting and spiritually rousing.