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Five questions with Allen Nivens
Allen Nivens plays Saturday at Scott's on the Square in Gainesville.

Allen Nivens

When: Saturday evening
Where: Scott’s on the Square, 110 Main St. SW, Gainesville
More info: 770-536-1111

Allen Nivens has been rockin’ the Gainesville music scene with Southern and classic rock for years, either solo or with the bands Midlife Crisis and more recently The Allen Nivens Band.

This week he will be taking his solo act to Scott’s on the Square for a late-night performance.

We had a chance to catch up with Nivens and see what he has planned for this weekend and for the future.

Question: What do you have planned for your performance at Scott’s on the Square this week?

Answer: We’re probably going to do about 80 percent classic and popular cover songs and for balance 20 percent of original stuff. I do have a friend of mine that plays the fiddle (Kelly Russo) that’s going to come out and sit in with me for a little bit and then another buddy (Phil Hardman) that’s going to come and play another acoustic guitar. ... It will be a straight up acoustic show but we will have a little variation.

Q: What are some of your favorite bands right now and why?

A: I’m not listening to anything current or popular, honestly ... but some stuff that I’ve recently gotten on that I just kinda can’t get off of is Reckless Kelly. It’s kind of that Texas, country sound ... to me what I love about them is that their great melodies and lyrics, they don’t waste a word but it’s also the kind of sound that I’m really liking right now.

A songwriter out of Nashville, that’s written so many hits that are on the radio that’s also one of the best vocalists that I’ve ever heard is Jeffrey Steele. Pound for pound, he’s probably the hottest writer in Nashville right now and probably the best singer — just unbelievable.

Q: What songs have you downloaded recently on your iPod?

A: The last three things that I downloaded — and some of the stuff I wish was cooler than it actually is — but these are actually good: Brantley Gilbert, The Steeldrivers ... and Colt Ford.

Q: When did you start singing and playing the guitar? Were both easy for you or was one harder than the other?

A: I started somewhere around 12 and I’ll always just be an average guitar player. I’m certainly maybe not even average, but I can play enough to get by. And I’m probably just a decent vocalist, but the ... vocal is the thing that has always come more naturally to me. Guitar is really a platform so I can do some singing.

Q: Give locals an update on what has been going on with Allen Nivens musically and what you have planned in the near future.

A: We just got a ton of new songs written lately and lots of new dates in the spring and summer that we’re excited about. I guess my goals are always evolving musically as my life changes, but right now I feel like we are just kind of in it for all the right reasons, in it for the love. Our band members, all five, we are all at the same place at the same time. ... Everyone is going down the same road. Our new dates will be Athens, Atlanta, Gainesville, just our usual territory.

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