Kevin Allred
Gig Seeker Pro

Kevin Allred


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter




"Kevin Allred - Gasping for Breath"

That voice grabbed me right away. Kevin Allred is a storyteller, poet, activist, and singer/songwriter, and that voice has the passion and power for all those roles. Earnest, yearning, angry, energized – even during the quieter ballads, he sounds like he couldn’t sit still even if you nailed his red sneakers to the floor.

His images are vivid and extreme, even in “Eyes of Zapota,” a song about a love affair that sounds like it’s going well, despite the way he compares it to setting houses on fire, overturning cars, and crossing picket lines.

I didn’t quite catch on to why his love songs are so intensely confrontational until I realized that they’re about being in love and being gay. Which is why Allred is at his best in tracks like “500 Times” and “Strength to Say Goodbye.” In both cases, that brilliantly alive spirit and passionate voice come perfectly together in a style of songwriting that differs from the other tracks on the CD.

“500 Times” is an acoustic ballad -- a quiet, venting, profanity-riddled slammed-door of a song. His voice somehow conveys the strength of newfound determination and the pain of a broken heart at the same time. In “Strength to Say Goodbye,” he sings of loving someone who isn’t out of the closet yet. “I’m scared of the same things, too,” he explains in frustration, not wanting to come across like someone who should preach because he’s got it all together. The thoughts come tumbling out, uncensored and burning.

This is a gutsy CD filled with intensity and a voice that stays in your memory long after the music ends. A rallying cry in some moments, a quiet plea in others. Troubling, uncomfortable, and very well done. -, Jennifer Layton


Album: Distractions & Forgotten Songs - 2013
Album: Brave (Songs: 2005-2012) - 2013
Single: For Always - 2012
Album: Gasping For Breath - 2003
Album: Sick Today - 2000
Album: Demo Tape - 1999 (Out of Print)



Kevin Allred is a fierce performer, engaging audiences with a mix of humor and a heart-on-his-sleeve candor that is not readily available in today’s music scene. His live performances blend personal storytelling with raw emotion, all on top of a heavily strummed acoustic guitar and soaring, wide-range vocals. Think acoustic punk rock meets soul singing. Jennifer Layton of has described Allred as “earnest, yearning, angry, energized – even during the quieter ballads, he sounds like he couldn’t sit still if you nailed his sneakers to the floor.” His new album – Brave (Songs: 2005-2012) – harnesses that same live experience that has thrilled and moved listeners for years, into a collection of songs that forces the listener to both feel the intense pain Allred conveys while still proudly pumping their fist in the air: he sings for the outcasts, he rages, he preaches, he longs, he laments. And he makes it sound like he is sitting right in your living room with you while he does it.

The self described singer/songwriter/activist loved music from a young age. He picked up the guitar at 16 and, using the musical training he already had in piano, taught himself some chords. Soon, he was writing his own songs and performing for friends in living rooms and backyards. In 1999, and while still in high school, he released Demo Tape (now out of print). In 2000, Allred took his musical career to the next level by releasing his professionally recorded debut – Sick Today – on his own label, Gutter Folk Records. A track from that album was featured on the Queer Stock, Queer Soup compilation (2002 on Hurricane Doria Records) alongside Ani Difranco and many others.

In 2003, Allred released Gasping for Breath, upping the musical ante of his previous independent releases by adding full band arrangements to his songs. He continued to tour across the country – at small venues, festivals, and universities – and has appeared with fellow singer/songwriters Edie Carey, Doria Roberts, Eric Himan, and Gold-certified recording artist Sophie B. Hawkins. He has played shows from the Rainbow Room in Los Angeles, California, to the Middle East in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and most places in between.

Since his last release, Allred has nearly completed a Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, taught university courses on black feminism and Beyoncé Knowles, and completed study at Berklee College of Music in Boston where he was touted as “a refreshing mix of classic rock meets alt-country, with hints of old school R&B in the vocals.” He released a single showcasing this sound, “For Always,” in 2012. Allred will continue to write and tour to promote Brave in 2013.