Jackson's gone bluegrass
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
– He's gone bluegrass. That's the news from traditional country singer Alan Jackson, who once eschewed those who tried to cash in on country music.
"The Bluegrass Album" will be released Sept. 24 on Jackson's ACR label, distributed by EMI Records Nashville. Eight of the tracks are Jackson originals, along with covers of The Dillards' There Is A Time, John Anderson's Wild And Blue and a slow, 3/4 time version of Blue Moon Of Kentucky.
When he brought Alison Krauss in to produce his 2006 project, "Like Red On A Rose," some thought Jackson might veer towards bluegrass, but the disc stayed in the country realm.
This year, though, Jackson assembled an all-star cast of bluegrass pickers and singers in April, and tracked a new all-acoustic record at The Castle outside of Nashville. Sammy Shelor on banjo, Adam Steffey on mandolin, Tim Crouch on fiddle, Tim Dishman on bass, Rob Ickes on reso-guitar, and Scott Coney on guitar all participated. Ronnie Bowman and Don Rigsby were on hand to provide harmony vocals, with Keith Stegall and Adam Wright (he is Jackson's nephew and one-half of The Wrights with his wife, Shannon) producing.
Shelor said that they tracked all the rhythms and most of the vocals in five sessions over two days. The band sat in a circle with half dividers between them so that everyone could see each other, with Jackson and the backup singers tracking live with the band. "The most we did on any song was three takes; we got most of them the first time. We worked from charts, but Alan knew what he wanted on every song before we started," said Shelor in a story posted on Jackson's web site.
Coney also plays guitar, fiddle and banjo in Jackson's country band.
Jackson told Coney to put a band together for this record, but that he didn't want it to 'sound like all the other bluegrass albums country artists cut in this town.'"
"Alan's voice lends itself perfectly to bluegrass, in my opinion. If you like Ronnie Bowman or Marty Raybon singing bluegrass, you'll love Alan Jackson doing it," Shelor said.
"I'm extremely blessed and happy to be a part of this project. It's a great bluegrass record, and its Alan Jackson singing. What more could you ask?"
Current plans suggest that Jackson will do some television and selected live shows to promote "The Bluegrass Album" around the release date, with a likelihood of further touring to follow. They hope to hit a number of major bluegrass festivals next year as well, using the same musicians who appear on the album.
Songs on the disc are:
1.) Long Hard Road - Alan Jackson
2.) Mary - Jackson
3.) Appalachian Mountain Girl - Jackson
4.) Tie Me Down - Alan Jackson
5.) Way Beyond The Blue - Mark D. Sanders/Randy Albright/Lisa Silver
6.) Ain't Got Trouble Now - Adam Wright
7.) Blue Ridge Mountain Song - Alan Jackson
8.) Blacktop - Alan Jackson
9.) Blue Side of Heaven - Alan Jackson
10.) There Is A Time - Rodney Dillard/Mitch Jayne
11.) Wild and Blue - John Scott Sherrill
12.) Knew All Along - Adam Wright/Shannon Wright
13.) Let's Get Back to Me and You - Alan Jackson
14.) Blue Moon of Kentucky - Bill Monroe
More news for Alan Jackson
CD reviews for Alan Jackson
Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story
Howdy Skies Records
Reviewed by Donald Teplyske
It is difficult to tally exactly how many albums of new material Tim O'Brien has released since first appearing as part of Hot Rize, the venerable bluegrass band experiencing a well-received resurgence. More than 20 by any count, 30-plus when one considers solo, duet and group offerings, including his most recent success as part of the Earls of Leicester.
Aside from a brief flirtation with the »»»
Angels and Alcohol
Alan Jackson, circa 2015, now might be, unfortunately, considered a retro artist. Jackson, thankfully, does not veer from his traditional country beat on his first new studio disc in three years. It's the traditional sound that makes him a throwback today.
In an age of rock and rap meshing with country, Jackson will have none of that on this meat-and-potatoes rendering. Jackson's viewpoint has always been about the simple truths of life. He makes that clear in the leadoff track, »»»
The Bluegrass Album
Alan Jackson makes his statement crystal clear with the title - "The Bluegrass Album." The traditional country singer has "gone bluegrass," although the idea of a bluegrass disc should not come off as all that far fetched. Yes, there's no pedal steel here, but the sounds, subject and voice are not very different from a typical AJ disc.
And this is not the first time that Jackson has veered off the straight and narrow path as his gospel albums indicated. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Old, new, it's all good for Platt & The Honeycutters
Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters were not mounting the stage with anything particularly new to push. The quartet's self-titled fifth album came out just over 1 ½-years ago. Lest one think that Platt and band were growing tired of life on the road, far from it.
In a well-delivered 85-minute set, Platt and The Honeycutters turned that ancient... »»»
Concert Review: Lake Street Dive ends the year in style
Lake Street Dive may have been looking back when it offered that traditional New Year's song "Auld Lang Syne" as the new year rolled in. No matter which way the band looks - forwards or backwards - life is good.
For the second time in six weeks, Lake Street Dive was back home (the Brooklyn-based group formed at the local New England... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Suffice it to say that the past has always loomed large throughout Chip Taylor's career. That's all the more obvious if only for the fact that Taylor wrote some of the biggest pop hits of the '60s, "Wild Thing"... »»»
Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Ronnie Milsap: The Duets
Is Ronnie Milsap proud of his age? For a clue, look no further than the name of his "76 for 76" Tour. There are some other numbers the North Carolina native is probably fond of, such as 40 number 1 records or 6 Grammys. »»»
Into the Blue
California country singer-songwriter Alice Wallace is back with her fourth album, as "Into the Blue" marks her debut for the female-owned Rebelle Road label, a group intent on giving women a stronger platform in music. »»»
Formed in 2007, Balsam Range already earned many international Bluegrass Music Association Awards across six albums. On their seventh, the acoustic quintet features four-part harmonies on most tunes, while the »»»
Telling All My Secrets
Mitchell Tenpenny is yet one more artist stretching the definition of country music - nearly to the breaking point. While he sings with a distinctly enjoyable, Otis Redding-like soulful voice, the arrangements to these songs »»»
Dumplin' Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Dolly Parton's soundtrack to the movie "Dumplin'" includes a whole lot of Dolly music, both old and new. This movie tells character Sillowdean "Dumplin'" Dickson's story of participating in a local beauty pageant. »»»
There's not a lot of room for argument to say that men singing country music today are different than the stars on the old Porter Wagoner show. Many have ditched the cowboy hat. They're hip-hop fans... »»»