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Allan Pray (Cincinnati)
Allan Pray grew up in a house where tennis and music were expected studies. Pray latched on to tennis hard, dropping out of college to attend a prestigious tennis academy in Florida and becoming a pro, playing the ATP circuit. Though he never stopped playing music, it was secondary until late in the ’00s when Pray wrote an album of songs for his older sister as a wedding present. Inspired by the process, Pray was soon done with tennis and began exploring music with the same passion. The prolific Pray’s latest album is the sprawling, ambitious Race: The Portrait of a Town, a four-CD set that he wrote and recorded himself. The songs are about an intricate miniature town his mother had built in her attic; Pray wrote the songs about all of the people, places and things within the imaginary city. Pray performs the songs live with his brother and sister, as well as a nine-piece string ensemble.
YDIIYD: Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens. (MB)