By David Knox
Michael Allen isn’t a household name — not yet, anyway — but the 30-year-old native of Hawaii is known to regulars at the Shine On series singer/songwriter competition at the Lynchburg Winery.
Allen earned his way onto the Lynchburg Music Festival Main Stage by winning a “shootout” over other Shine On winners.
He was the second act on Saturday’s main stage, the Jack Daniel’s stage — fellow Shine On mainstay and winner Matt Dillon was the first. And then Allen gets a shot as the closing act on the secondary stage, the Lynchburg Radio stage at 7:15 p.m., during a downtime for the main stage. He’ll be playing between the end of RaeLynn’s set at 7:15 and before Montgomery Gentry takes the stage at 7:45. And, he is scheduled for a full 30-minute set.
Allen, the rare Hawaiian country music artist — although his music is an eclectic mix — now lives in Hermitage, TN, with his wife Lynzee. She was the one who encouraged Allen that they move from their home in Los Angeles to Tennessee three years ago to get serious about his music career.
They drove down on St. Patrick’s Day to tour the Jack Daniel’s facility, dropped by American Craft Distillers and heard about the Shine On series.
He’s got an album out, Southern Summer, available on all streaming music platforms.
He’s grateful to Jonny Hill, CEO of Igniter Productions, the promoter of the Lynchburg Music Fest, and Marshall Liles for the Shine On series and the LMF.
“Jonny’s a songwriter,” Allen said, “he knows the pain of being turned down and they don’t know who you are. The Shine On series is really for unsigned and unknown singer/songwriters, and this festival, to get them in front of a large crowd, I appreciate that.
“It’s the best opportunity I’ve ever gotten.”