The video, which is listed as a semi-finalist in the "Film About An Artist" category, tells how a life-changing experience prompted the singer-songwriter and mother to write and sing again. The title track of Allen's new album, "Someday Is Today," has risen to the Top 15 of the STS Main Country Chart and the Top 10 of the STS Indie Country Chart. This is a "dream come true" for Allen, who left the music industry in the 1990s after suffering a mild heart attack. Festival attendees can view Allen's film sometime between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Friday. The video can be viewed online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DkiCeCz73Y.
"I'm delighted to see my documentary chosen for the prestigious 'Artlightenment' festival," said Allen, who will perform at "Tunesmithing" near Music Row on Dec. 17. "My goal was to help others believe that no matter the circumstances, anything is possible."
Allen tells her story with heartfelt interviews; scenes from Nashville and her hometown of El Dorado, Ark.; and performances of her songs, "Putting The Music Back In Me" and "Someday Is Today". The video was directed by Frank Green, shot in Nashville by videographer Sean Green, and co-produced by Tracy Fort and Chuck Whiting. The project includes footage from W.O. Smith Community Music School, the Center for Spiritual Living Nashville, Music Row, and the Pedestrian Bridge crossing the Cumberland River. The artist's supporting cast includes Grammy-nominated The WannaBeatles, Nashville producer Denny Martin, and Nashville stylist Joel Green.
The singer-songwriter was only 20 years old when she was first "discovered" in an Arkansas honky-tonk by a music industry executive. Her rendition of Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" led her to the footsteps of Shoney's on Music Row and eventually a contract with an independent record label. With stars in her eyes, she recorded her first album with some of Nashville's top musicians.
Then came heartbreak. At age 22, Allen experienced a mild heart attack after going on a strict diet and losing more than 100 pounds. Although the artist was her ideal weight, she was told she must have plastic surgery to keep her contract. She faced a hard decision. She could continue to pursue her dreams under very difficult circumstances or return home to marry and raise a family. As her car climbed the ramp onto Interstate 40, she thought her days as a songwriter and singer in Nashville were over.
Some years later, while going through a very difficult divorce, Allen heard a 12-year-old girl singing songs from her first album, "Night Vision".
"It was as simple as that," the singer-songwriter added. "Somehow, every emotion flooded through my body at that very moment, as well as the first realization that my musical story was not over. I wrote 'Putting The Music Back In Me' for that teenager. That experience is what led me back to Nashville."
Allen has performed at venues ranging from the White House to the Ryman Auditorium. Her new album, "Someday Is Today", features 11 original songs inspired by real-life experiences. The artist describes her sound as a versatile mix of blues-accented country, pop and Americana with hints of Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Elton John, and Patsy Cline. She has opened for country acts such as John Conlee, Patty Loveless, and Brooks & Dunn. The album was named "New and Noteworthy" on the iTunes country music page when it was released in late September.
Recorded in Nashville, "Someday Is Today" offers heartfelt ballads, mid-tempo crowd pleasers, and rock-accented dance numbers. Allen is joined by an all-star cast of Nashville session musicians, including guitarist Scott Neubert, background vocalists Jaimee Paul and Vickie Carrico, electric guitarist Jason Roller, and keyboardist Steve Peffer. The album, which retails for $15, is distributed by Wormwood Records. Selections from the album are available at iTunes and other online retailers. To learn more Allen and her music, visit http://www.TheAmyAllen.com.
"Artlightenment" will run from Nov. 14-16 with movie showings, a visual art exhibition, seminars and live music. Attendees will enjoy presentations by landmark photographer Raeanne Rubenstein, award-winning film composer Greg Simms, documentary filmmaker Tom Neff, and the band Sherry Carlisle and the Impalers. To learn more, visit http://www.Artlightenment.com.