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What Musician Jimmie Allen Can’t Live Without

Photo: Courtesy of Jimmie Allen

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hairspray and the electric toothbrush. We asked musician Jimmie Allen — whose new album Bettie James is out now — about the fishing rods, socks, and streaming service he can’t live without.

These are the only socks I’ll buy. They’re not too thick, but not thin either. I wear them around the house sometimes as slippers and with my boots and sneakers. I also wear them for everything from playing basketball to fishing to running errands to performing. The only thing I don’t do is wear them with sandals. I don’t get why people do that. I’m not that type of person.

I’ve been a Disney fan forever, but I only started going to Disney World in 2012. Before the pandemic, I would go with my family at least five or six times a year — we’re usually season-ticket holders. To get my Disney fix now, though, I use Disney+. Since Hamilton dropped, we’ve been watching that a bunch. We got to see it in New York City last year, so it has been nice to watch it again. I’m also a huge Christmas movie fan. It doesn’t matter the season.

I drink Maker’s Mark before my shows and sip it during them, too. It keeps my vocals nice and warm. My dad put me onto it: Maker’s Mark was the first drink he bought me when I turned 21, and we’d drink it together. I don’t know if it’s a sentimental thing or a taste thing — I do love the taste, but every time I drink it I remember my dad, who passed away last year. When my son turns 21, this will definitely be the first drink I buy him.

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I go fishing about four times a week. I like to fish for bass from the banks, before they move in too deep. So in the summer I start early, around 4:45, 5 o’clock in the morning, and finish around 9 o’clock because it starts getting really hot, and around 9:30 the bass move into deeper water. I love these rods because they’re light, so you can use them in freshwater or saltwater — I’ve caught everything from one- to three-pound bass to a 65-pound drum fish on it. The biggest fish I’ve ever caught was a 192-pound tuna in Delaware a couple weeks ago. That was a great day.

I used this guitar for most of the writing-and-recording process for my new album. I also use it in all my live shows. I got it about three or four years ago; it was the first guitar I played on after I got my record deal and started touring. It’s great, the sound is amazing, but it’s the sentimental value that I think makes it really special. Gibson is the brand I’ve been using for a long, long time. I learned how to play the guitar on a Gibson. I saw so many people playing them when I was getting into music, and I just fell in love with the brand.

The last time I counted, I owned 507 different pairs of sneakers — and probably about 220 different pairs of Jordans alone. They are so comfortable and they make whatever you wear look cool. I’ve been collecting them for awhile now. I keep them in my closet, storage space, and attic — they definitely can’t all fit in my closet. I wear the simple ones, like these in black and white. They’re classic. But I also wear these Jordan Concords that just came out, and I somehow got a pair of the Off White Jordan 1s.

I always wear a hat. I used to wear fedoras back in the day, then switched over to cowboy hats, but this one is kind of a mix between a cowboy hat and a fedora. It’s like a cowboy hat up top, but instead of the ends folding up at the sides like on a cowboy hat, it’s straight all around, which is actually really hard to find. I first saw this hat on someone else while I was working on a show and I was like, “I need to get that.” I probably own 13 of them now. I wore it on my album cover.

I play NBA 2K, Madden, MLB The Show — I’m more of a sports-game person. I like how they have a start and an end. When the game is done, I’m done. My son and I play a lot together now that he’s a little older. It’s really fun. He loves the Spiderman game because he’s really into superheroes. We play online a lot, too, and actually made a couple buddies doing that. So now we can play against each other.

When I’m at home and I write a song, I want to lay down a quick demo while it’s still in my head. It’s easier to do that when you have the right stuff, and to record anything properly, you need an interface. I’m not a pro with all this audio equipment yet — it takes a while to get the hang of. My engineer, Parker, is a genius with all this tech stuff, so when I asked him what interface is really good for beginners, he recommended the Focusrite. You get most of the same effects that you would from a higher-end interface like an Apollo, but it’s a lot easier to navigate for someone just starting out with their own recordings.

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What Musician Jimmie Allen Can’t Live Without