Concert Reviews

Jimmie Allen Electrifies Fans at Thirsty Cowboy

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It was four years and a day ago when we first saw Jimmie Allen perform live as he opened for David Nail at Thirsty Cowboy in Medina. I vividly recall that there was a lot of buzz surrounding this highly talented singer/songwriter from Milton, Delaware at the time. I invite you to revisit the article “Jimmie Allen to Open for David Nail at Thirsty Cowboy” from November 17, 2017 in Cleveland Country Magazine to see what I’m talking about.

In that first show at Thirsty Cowboy Allen was a struggling singer who had survived ten very difficult years in Nashville, But through all of the tough times, including sleeping in his car while he worked every kind of job to scrape together the money to afford an apartment, he never gave up on his dream or himself. I remember him coming out on stage wearing jeans, a tee shirt and a ball cap. There was nothing fancy or pretentious about the kid. He sat on a stool, played his guitar and sang. And when he did, it was like magic happened. We looked at each other and said that he truly had the talent to make his mark in country music. Only time would tell.

Fast forward to this past Friday night (Nov. 19) This time there was a packed house at Thirsty Cowboy, and you could just feel the anticipation and energy in the air as show time drew nearer. Fresh off of winning the 2021 CMA Award for New Artist of the Year, it was a very different Jimmie Allen who took the stage with his exceptional band. Still humble and lacking in pretention, this was a much more confident and energetic Jimmie Allen who loves his music and his fans. But one thing was immediately apparent: this was Jimmie Allen the ENTERTAINER. One thing I love in people is authenticity. And Jimmie Allen is authentic. He wears a fedora and not a cowboy hat. He brings a bit of Jay-Z and dare I say Michael Jackson to his stage performance. But his music is still country at heart, even if it is colored with a bit of R&B and pop.

The music is uniquely Jimmie Allen. I find it to be a little more soulful take on country music, and gauging from the audience reaction, it’s exactly what his fans want to hear. In all honesty, the audience engagement during this special night of music was virtually equal to that of the late Joe Diffie during his last show at Thirsty Cowboy a few months before passing from Covid-19.

It may be a while before we see Jimmie Allen at Thirsty Cowboy again. I have a really strong feeling that the venues and audiences are going to grow to be a bit bigger. Stages like Blossom and Rocket Mortgage Field House come to mind. So too do I see more music industry awards in his future. Male Vocalist of the Year and even Entertainer of the Year are within the realm of possibility for this incredibly gifted young man. We here in Northeast Ohio wish you well, Jimmie Allen, and look forward to seeing you again here soon.

Set List
Make Me Want To
Good Times Roll
Big In A Small Town
Shallow
Like You Do
21
Livin’ Man (w/ Neon Union)
American Heart
Get Country
Down Home (a yet to be released song dedicated to his late father)
Somebody
This Is Us
Freedom Was A Highway
Best Shot
Underdogs

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