Though Allan Hall is known as part of the Christian group Selah, he also has a love for a more "rootsier" style of music. This year both Hall and Amy Perry have taken time away to record their own solo projects. Hall's "Work of Love" has just been released on Curb Records and its getting rave reviews especially here at Hallels.com. We are so honored to be able to catch up with him for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: Allan, thanks for your time. It has been 10 years since your first solo record "House of a Thousand Dreams." Why did you decide to do another solo record now?
The new album has been in the works for quite a while, actually! My "day job" (ha!ha!) with Selah keeps me really busy, of course, so I would record songs here and there as time allowed. I always have a "working list" of great songs that have moved my heart to pull from, so the album was definitely planned out deliberately; just recorded in pieces over time as my Selah schedule allowed.
Hallels: For our readers who may not have heard "Work of Love" yet, how's it different from your Selah records?
I grew up in East Tennessee, so my solo work definitely is influenced by music from that region -- a good mix of bluegrass, acoustic country (NOT the country music on the radio today), folk ballads, hymns, "mountain" songs, etc. My solo work has all of those flavors and is "rootsier" than Selah's music. My solo stuff is also almost all acoustic instrumentation, whereas Selah will use full pop band arrangements on some of our songs.
Hallels: I was floored when I heard your version of Emmylou Harris' "The Light." It's one of her lesser known songs but it's one of my absolute favorites, why did you choose to cover "The Light"?
Emmylou Harris is one of the greatest artists of all time, and her work has meant so much to me since I discovered her back in the late 1970s when I was just a kid. I collected all of her albums and know her work deeply. "The Light" has always been a favorite of mine as well -- I love the minor key, the feel of the song, and, of course, the lyrics. Emmylou writes so eloquently about having questions and doubts on this journey of life that we're all on, but I love that this song also holds out a ray of hope: "I see the light at the end of the tunnel...."
Hallels: What's happening with Selah? I know you guys have a new record coming out this year. Can you give us a preview of what it'll be like?
The new Selah record has some great songs on it and keeps to the pattern of a little "something for everybody" that we've done all these years. It has piano/vocal hymns, full band songs, an African song, etc. One thing I'm excited about is having two co-writes on original tunes on this new album! I usually just arrange the hymns and traditional songs, but I'm slowly turning my hand to writing. Todd has written for quite a while and had songs on our albums throughout the years, but this is the first time any of my originals are on a Selah album! Amy also writes and has been contributing some nice things. I think this will be a fun path to follow as we move ahead!
We also just had the lead single (and title track) "You Amaze Us" debut at #1 on the Billboard Christian Soft AC chart, and that is the first time in the history of the chart (it was created in 2006) that has happened, so we are very happy and gratified at the response to the first single!!
Hallels: It's an understatement to say I love both your solo albums a lot. Do we have to wait 10 more years for another solo project?
Haha!! Thank you for your kind words, and I'm so glad you like the albums. NO, it will not take another 10 years for a new solo album, I promise! I always have my "working list" of songs to pull from, so gathering material is not a big issue for me and I plan to be more concentrated and intentional about scheduling solo recording time so I can get more music out there! I have a lot more where that came from, and I want to share it with folks!!
Tags : Allan Hall Allan Hall Work of Love allan hall nterview allah hall hallels' exclusive interview Allan Hall Work of Love allan hall country album allan hall rootsier solo album allan hall new album Selah Selah allan hall Selah Amy Perry Amy Perry Amy Perry solo album Selah you amaze us