published Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Chattanooga songwriter Scott Allison getting back into the game

Fact File

Name: Scott Allison.

Hometown: Chattanooga.

Age: 50.

Education: Hixson High School, Chattanooga State.

Children: Ivy, 17, Sam, 15.


Movie: "Dead Poets Society."

Play: "Man of La Mancha."

Performerl: Jimi Hendrix.

Actor: James Dean.

Book: The Bible.

Quotation: "You must do the things you think you can not do." -- Elenor Roosevelt.

Scott Allison started playing the guitar at age 11 thanks to an older brother who taught him a few chords.

After playing with a local band, Different Methods, he moved to Los Angeles and joined a group called Devon La Crosse. They had a minor hit with a song called "Vamp," that was used in a Grace Jones film with the same name.

Like a lot of people, he tired of vans, smoky bars and the late nights. These days he has focused his energies on writing and the publishing business and family.

"When my dad got sick, I moved back home and focused on writing," he said.

Thom Cavin of the Chattanooga Songwriters Association asked Allison to participate in the Thursday night showcases at Sugar's downtown. Allison will perform there tonight from 7-9 p.m.

Q: How do you write? Are you a disciplined writer who sits down every day, or do you wait for the muse to strike?

A: I'm pretty disciplined. I usually start with a melody. I've got two suitcases full of napkins and torn pieces of paper and I go through those all the time. I usually write out of a reactive process or for cathartic reasons.

Q: Are you writing for yourself or for others?

A: Both. I wrote a song for Missy Crutchfield's "Remember Your Dream" iniative. What I'm most proud of is a thing I did for in Los Angeles. They use it in their video that they show across the country. It teaches teenagers about the safe haven law where they can drop an unwanted baby off at a hospital or a police station and not be in trouble.

Right now, I'm really focusing on the higher power. I will focus on doing that in 2012.

Q: What do you write about?

A: Things that have happened to me and stories I want to tell. I'm not doing it for fame and fortune anymore but because it is what I do. I'm being drawn toward praise and worship music. Bands like NeedToBreathe and Jars of Clay are a big influence. You can hear The Beatles influence in there.

Nashville is the hub of Christian music, so I will be going there more often.

Q: You are doing the songwriter's showcase tonight at Sugar's. How did that come up?

A: Thom Cavin called and asked if I was interested. I checked it out and it is really cool. I'm glad somebody is doing it. He seems to be doing it for the right reasons and I thought I should get out of my comfort zone and try it.

I'm looking to get back into the game in 2012 and see how it goes.

Contact Barry Courter at or at 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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