As a father of three adult children, country star Gary Allan knows firsthand how a parent’s heart can be in many places, especially as kids grow older and begin to leave home to make their own dreams come true. And while that can be a fact of life that any parent can find hard to adjust to, it’s something that Allan says he absolutely loves.

“One of the things I love about getting older myself is seeing my kids get older,” chuckles Allan during a recent interview with Taste of Country. “Sure, sometimes I still have to make sure they are pointing in the right direction, but they are all doing pretty good. The relationship is just really different now.”

Indeed, there comes a time in any parent-child relationship where moms and dads get to that age that they step back a bit and watch their kids fly. And Allan—whose kids are now in their 20s—knows all about what that feels like.

“Me and my kids are more like friends now and because of that, I have to check myself a lot and not say too much,” he said. “It’s fun to sit back and see them contemplate life’s big decisions.”

It’s these twists and turns in his own life that has Allan at one of his most creative points of his professional life. “It’s been quite a writing frenzy lately,” said Allan, who is currently working on a new album. “In three months, I have written 30 songs that I now have to go through. I love them all, I just have to give them some space now and see.”

Yet, getting older means Allan’s writing is changing a bit also. “I don’t think writing is as pained as it used to be, but I still have to be in that place a bit,” says Allan. “I tried to put a positive [spin] on my writing, and how to have negative lines have a bit of an uplifting sort of message, but I don’t know. I’m just me.”

It's that authentic person that his fans still can’t get enough of, over a career that has spanned more than 20 years. “My fans are quite the passionate bunch,” said Allan. “If you like my stuff, you have been through some stuff. Chances are you have been through hell.

"I mean, even when I lost my wife and I needed to tell my story, [the fans] were there, and we bonded and that bond has never gone away. It’s not all about the sunshine. I think that’s how we come together. We find our way through. I’ve grown up with them, and I have shared so many moments with them, and so many emotions with them.”

So now at 50 years of age, Allan says he feels quite content, both professionally and personally. He still loves tattoos ("I just got two new ones," he notes) and he de-stresses by working on his own jewelry line—"It’s how I wind down these days."

“There is a certain amount of comfort in getting older,” he says. “I do like getting older. I could just use more energy, maybe," he admits, with a laugh.

See Photos of Gary Allan at the 2016 ToC Festival

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