Not many country singers can say that they ended up in the studio and on stage with the recording artist who inspired them as a child, but Casee Allen has done just that. Recording a new single, “I Blame It All on My Roots,” with country star Neal McCoy (“Wink,” “The Shake”), Allen has been able to work with the man whose kindness towards him in his elementary school days helped foster his love for music and determine his career path.
“I Blame It All on My Roots” is an uptempo rocker that finds Allen and McCoy each taking a verse and singing together on the choruses while clowning around in the studio. Powered by some wicked slide guitar, the song examines the things and people that have turned today’s country boys into, well, today’s country boys, from the music of Garth Brooks and Merle Haggard to, of course, alcohol.
A native of Coshocton, Ohio, Allen has been performing, writing and recording in Nashville for nearly a decade. But he never forgets where he came from, returning home each summer for a music festival he started there. His story is legend now, the tale of how his favorite singer as a boy was Neal McCoy, and how, through a teacher, Allen received concert tickets from McCoy and was able to meet him. Allen later decided to become a country singer, citing McCoy as one of his biggest influences, and he never forgot McCoy’s kindness towards him. He found the “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On” singer’s tour bus in 2013 and reintroduced himself, and, after he eventually opened a show for McCoy, the two stayed in touch. After years of playing the downtown honky-tonks of Nashville and developing his songwriting chops, Allen played “I Blame It All on My Roots” for McCoy. McCoy went for the song and they cut it together.
“I Blame It All on My Roots” was written by Allen and his longtime collaborator Jerry Jacobs, himself a national touring act and up-and-coming Nashville songwriter. “I started writing in 2014 and Jerry was one of my first co-writes,” Allen said, “and we’ve written about 150 songs together. Jerry’s great, he’s one of my favorite co-writers over the years.”
When Allen was growing up, the work of male singers from several genres affected him as he was developing his own style. “Aside from Neal and Garth,” he said, “there would’ve been Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Eric Church’s old stuff, there’s just so many…but taking it even further than that, guys like James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, I’m kind of all over the place. There are just people I love from every genre.”
Allen is gaining popularity digitally, with nearly 1,000,000 streams of his songs on Spotify alone, his most popular song possibly being last year’s “Drunk in My Drank.” A prolific writer, he’s also regularly releasing new material, following the trend that has developed for so many artists to release a new single every month or two instead of waiting to record a whole album. “I just released a new single called ‘Hometown Girl,’” he said, “and it’s doing real well so far, seems to be getting a good response.”
Allen has opened for such prominent artists as Brad Paisley, Jake Owen, Chris Janson and others, and who knows what stages the future will take him to. He will be making his first national television appearance next Wednesday, September 21st, on Ride of Your Life with host Courtney Hansen on MotorTrend+ and MotorTrend TV. You can keep up with him at caseeallen.com and at the usual socials.