For more than 25 years Alan Jackson’s music has provided a soundtrack for American life. Whether someone is plowing a Kansas field or toiling away in a factory in an urban metropolis, Jackson’s songs have chronicled the hopes, dreams and values of everyday people. Hits like “Remember When,” “Drive” and “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” have become an enduring part of America’s musical landscape, but Jackson’s restless creative spirit won’t let him sit on his considerable laurels.
With Angels and Alcohol, Jackson’s first studio album of new music in three years, he continues to deliver the kind of insightful and thoroughly engaging songs that have long been the foundation of his successful career. From the pensive title track to the up-tempo first single, “Jim and Jack and Hank,” Jackson takes the listener on an emotional journey. “I’ve always got my eyes and ears open for ideas, melodies and things,” Jackson says. “I keep a running list of good hooks and titles, and if I have a melody that I come up with now, I just put it on my phone so I won’t forget. If I get inspired by something, I’ll sit down and write a whole song right away, but most of the time I just collect ideas and hooks and melodies and eventually I’ll get around to writing it.”
Jackson’s observational skills have served him well throughout his 25-year career. The Newnan, Georgia native has sold nearly 60 million albums and released more than 60 singles with 50 landing in the top ten and 35 soaring all the way to No. 1. A member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, Jackson has won more than 150 industry awards, including 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, two Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards. He also received the first-ever ASCAP Heritage Award in 2014 having earned the title of most performed country music songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years.
Among all the accolades he’s earned, Jackson admits that being recognized for his songwriting means the most to him. “If I had to pick something, I’d rather them remember me for songwriting,” he says of his legacy. “I’ve always been proud of that and I feel that’s the most important part of the business. I’d like to think that my songwriting made a difference. I’ve had so many people tell me that my songs are the reason they moved to Nashville. I’ve heard that so many times and it makes me feel good that I’ve inspired somebody.”
Angels and Alcohol comes 25 years after the release of Jackson’s landmark debut album Here in the Real World. Since then he’s released 22 albums, including two Christmas collections, two gospel albums, three Greatest Hits packages and his highly acclaimed The Bluegrass Album, which included eight original songs. His commitment to the craft of songwriting continues as Jackson penned seven of the 10 songs on Angels and Alcohol. The lead single, “Jim and Jack and Hank” is an up-tempo break-up song with a clever lyric and infectious melody. “The girl leaves guy and this time he’s not going to be heartbroken. He says, ‘Just go out the door and take all your junk and everything. I don’t need anything. I got all I need. I got my friends Jim, Jack and Hank— Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Hank Williams, Sr. or Jr. or both. My mama won’t like this song I know,” Jackson admits with a grin, “but it’s a fun way of looking at that guy losing his girl and acting like he didn’t care.”
A track sure to win Mama Jackson’s approval is the opening cut “You Can Always Come Home,” penned for his three daughters. “Ali, my middle daughter, moved out to California last fall and that’s when I wrote it. It reminded me of when I moved to Nashville and didn’t know anybody. I’d call my folks at home. My mama and daddy were supportive even though they were worried about me coming up here. My daddy said, ‘You can always come home. If it doesn’t work out, you can always come home.’ I’ve always remembered that so it reminded me of Ali and that’s where that one came from.”
“You Never Know” is a buoyant country number that serves as a reminder of life’s unexpected gifts. Jackson admits the first verse draws on his memory of meeting Denise and falling in love. “That verse about the stringy blonde hair and 20-inch waist, I was thinking about her when I first met her,” he says. “‘You Never Know’ is kind of a rockabilly thing. I always liked that early George Jones rockabilly, those Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis kind of melodies. That’s what this one reminded me of. It’s a fun song about how you never know when love is going to grab a hold of you.”
“Angels and Alcohol” is a cautionary tale about the dangers of addiction and the impact it can have on relationships. “I’ve had that hook laying around for a while,” he shares. “I don’t know where I got ‘Angels and Alcohol.’ At first, I thought it sounded like an album title more than anything and I just had it laying there. One day, I sat down and tried to write it and it just came out. It’s about alcohol abuse and how it effects your whole life and relationships and dealing with your own problems. It’s just hard to do anything when that has an affect on you.”
Angels and Alcohol was produced by Keith Stegall, who has helmed every one of Jackson’s albums with the exception of 2006’s Like Red on a Rose, which was produced by Alison Krauss. Together they have crafted a stunning collection teaming with stone country toe-tappers and heart-tugging ballads. Adam and Shannon Wright contribute “The One You’re Waiting On,” a barroom treatise on a woman looking for love. Troy Jones and Greg Becker penned “When God Paints,” a beautiful ballad that gets a tender reading from Jackson’s rich, evocative voice. “Flaws” is a lively number about imperfections. “That song is a kind of a silly little swing thing,” Jackson shares. “It’s fun.”
In a day and age when country music has become an interesting cornucopia of styles and influences, Jackson’s brilliance lies in his consistency. Fans have always counted on him to deliver the kind of meat and potatoes country music that has enriched their lives and soothed their hard-working souls. “[During] the whole 25 years, it was about keeping it country and I’ve tried to do that,” Jackson says. “I just wanted to make this album and for people to say, ‘That’s what he’s done. He’s kept it country.’ You could probably play this next to my first album and there wouldn’t be a lot of difference in song content or production. My voice was a lot higher back then. My voice has gotten deeper with age, but other than that there probably isn’t much difference, and I’m proud of that.”
Over the course of 25 years, Alan Jackson has kept it country and along the way he’s earned the respect of his peers across all genres. He is in the elite company of Paul McCartney and John Lennon among songwriters who’ve written more than 20 songs that have hit No. 1. The soft-spoken Georgian is also one of the best-selling artists since the inception of SoundScan, ranking among Eminem and Metallica.
“My wife, Denise, and I still sit down and look back and think: ‘What in the world? How did all this happen?” Jackson says humbly marveling at his success. “From where we came from to come up here and have all this happen, she thinks this is divinely orchestrated. I’ve seen people have one or two hits and disappear, and if they are lucky, their career would last five years and that’s what I was expecting. Now we are here 25 years later and I’m still able to go out and play if I want to and sell a few records. It’s amazing.”
Amazing! Yes. And well earned through a lot of long miles on the road and many quiet nights alone with a pen and a guitar. Alan Jackson personifies the working man’s musician, a hard-working troubadour from humble roots who has risen to the top of his field. Though he might describe himself as “a singer of simple songs,” Alan Jackson is so much more. He’s a gentle, intelligent soul who documents the world around him and shares those observations through country music. The first 25 years have indeed been amazing, and if Angels and Alcohol is any indication, there’s so much more to come.
Wednesday is Valentine’s Day (February 14th), and we’ve got some thoughts and feelings more about love, romance and marriage from several of your favorite country artists. Some are new and some have become our favorites over the years. Which country stars are romantic? Which ones aren’t? Which ones have a good reason to celebrate the holiday that’s all about love?
AJ (Valentine’s Day) OC: …continue to. :24
“We got a lot of history together now, and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. So, she’s still beautiful, and she’s always inspired songs. I mean, one of my early hits was a song called ‘I’d Love You All Over Again,’ I wrote for her for our 10th anniversary. I mean, there’s been a zillion songs that have pieces of our good days and bad days inspired, and they continue to.”
Billy Currington (Valentine’s Day memory) OC: …took off running. :21
“Yeah, I remember my first girlfriend. I was in first or second grade, but anyway, I remember it was Valentine’s Day and your mom going, ‘You’ve got to give your girlfriend something, and you’ve got to go give it to her.’ I’ll never forget — we got her a box of chocolates or whatever it was. I remember going down to her classroom and knocking on the door, getting her to come to the door. I remember handing it to her, and then I took off running.”
Darius Rucker (wife) OC: …her and country music saved my life. :43
“I don’t know what it was about her. I mean, it was EVERYTHING about her. I knew, I told her I was going to marry her on our first date, [laughs] yeah. Beth’s a strong woman. It takes a strong woman to be married to a musician, especially a musician who was drinking and partying as hard as I was, and I think life for us is where we are now. It took a long time for us to get to where we are now, and we say to each other all the time, ‘I love us. I love our family. I love us.’ And I thank her every day for staying with me and being the strong woman she is, because with Hootie & the Blowfish, I could be gone for three months and then I’d come home for two days and then I’d be gone again for a month, and she put up with all that crap. You know, her and country music saved my life.”
Dierks Bentley (first date tips for guys) OC: …first date. :19
“You know, just opening the door, it’s such a big deal. It’s just a nice thing to do. It’s a car door, unlocking the door for somebody to get in the car first and hold the door to get in, and I just think that’s just, if you’re doing that, then you’re obviously thinking about ways to be respectful, be considerate, be kind and be thoughtful and make for a good first date.”
Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day-most interesting gift he’s given his wife) OC: …formulate yourself. 1:19
“When ‘What Was I Thinkin’’ was released in 2003, I didn’t know what my life would look like, and all of a sudden, I found myself out on the road full-time, just gone. So, the place where I was staying, I had some friends pack it up and move it into a storage facility. This year, I got that whole thing dumped back out into my house. I’m going through just years of old stuff, and in there I found some letters that she and I had written back and forth when we were dating. I was working at The Nashville Network and she was working out in San Francisco and found some letters I had written her and I’d gotten back and some stuff she’d sent me, including a CD of songs she’d been listening to, back when you made CD mixes and there’s like these three hearts on that CD. I just found that it was so meaningful for me those gifts you give each other before any money, before anything else was going on, just music, giving of mixtapes was so cool. She reminded me of a mixtape I sent her. I’d sent it to her via FedEx, because it was so important she get this as quickly as possible. This was sadly before, I guess we had internet back then, but you really couldn’t send songs over the internet. I think the most interesting thing I’ve given her and she’s given me was just mixtapes, because there’s nothing like music to put into words and the thoughts you have in your head that you can’t formulate yourself.”
Eric Church (Valentine’s) OC: …love song is. :18
“True love to me is when you love a person in spite of all their fallibilities, and for me, I have a lot of ‘em. I’m definitely at times hard to love, and that’s what’s great about Katherine and the way she loves me. She loves me in spite of those things and really for those things.”
Josh Turner (Romantic) OC: …long time to come. :26
“If you ask my wife Jennifer if I was a romantic, she would definitely say, ‘Yes,’ but she knows that sometimes my hectic schedule and our busy lifestyles can kind of interfere with the romantic side of things. But we do try to make efforts towards being together and having adult conversations and taking time away from the children and doing things that husbands and wives do, so we’ll definitely try to continue that for a long time to come.”
Lauren Alaina (Valentine’s Day) OC: …pretty embarrassing. 1:37
“I think my first Valentine’s Day with Alex, I was trying to be super cute and cook him a Valentine’s Day dinner. I was 18 at the time, and I’d just moved into this brand new apartment in Chattanooga. I was trying to get used to not living with my parents before I moved to Nashville, so I did like six months in Chattanooga in an apartment. And [giggles] my mom makes these really great mashed potatoes, which I’ve modified the recipe, but they’re delicious and I wanted to make him these potatoes, because I knew I could make these potatoes. Well, I did not grow up with a very updated kitchen, so I didn’t have a [garbage] disposal, it was very new to me. So, I peeled the bag of potatoes and put the potato peels in to the sink and tried to use the disposal and it broke it before he got there. Annnd, I turned the water on, and I was baking chicken and I was cooking broccoli and mashed potatoes, and just turned the water on and then I forgot I had the water on, so I overflowed the kitchen sink with the potato peels, and it looked like something died in my sink and my sink was like spitting it up. It was horrible. I was panicking and trying to get it all cleaned up before he got there, and he knocked in the middle of it, like knocked on the door. He was early, of course. He’s always early, and he freaking knocked. I had like potato peels flying through the air, my potatoes were boiling over. I was still boiling the potatoes. I was running behind and he was running early, so it was just crazy. But, we’ve had some great Valentine’s.”
Little Big Town (Phillip – reasons fell in love) OC: …real love. :17
“I think everything that I had gone through before had prepared me to be ready to see that there was genuine love there for me, and my Rebecca. So, it was just a great time, I wouldn’t have been ready before I met her…Now it’s just been a really great journey to heal through the past and to know real love.”
Luke Bryan (Valentine’s Day) OC: …full day. :11
“Well, I mean Valentine’s Day is, it’s kinda me and Caroline’s day just to go and just being with one another for a full day.”
Alan Jackson takes his place among music’s most-notable composers and lyricists as it was announced today that he is among the 2018 inductees to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He’ll formally become a member during this year’s Induction & Awards Gala June 14 in New York City.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of composers and lyricists who create music. To qualify for induction, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs. Jackson will become one of just over 400 songwriters so honored.
Jackson’s induction to the Songwriters Hall of Fame comes just months after he was enshrined as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the latest in a long line of accolades that include three CMA Entertainer of the Year honors, more than 25 years of membership in the Grand Ole Opry, a 2016 Billboard ranking as one of the Top 10 Country Artists of All-Time, induction to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Heritage Award as the most-performed country songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years.
“I started writing because somebody told me I needed some original material. I’d never even thought about writing or studied songwriting,” Jackson recalls. “There are different aspects of your career, and they all bring different rewards and feelings…but the songwriting is very fulfilling,” the humble Georgian has said. “Songwriting is definitely the most creative part.”
Jackson is one of the most successful and respected singer-songwriters in music. He is in the elite company of Paul McCartney and John Lennon among songwriters who’ve written more than 20 songs that they’ve recorded and taken to the top of the charts. Beginning with his first hit, “Here in the Real World,” Jackson’s pen has given us some of country music’s most-memorable songs of the past 30 years – the immediately-recognized “Chattahoochee,” the haunting “Midnight in Montgomery,” the touching “Remember When,” the autobiographical “Livin’ On Love,” “Drive,” and “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” and the inspired “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).”
The man from rural Newnan, GA has sold nearly 60-million albums worldwide and ranks as one of the 10 best-selling male vocalists of all-time in all genres and one of the best-selling artists since the inception of SoundScan. He has released more than 60 singles – registering 50 Top Ten hits and 35 #1s (including 26 Billboard chart-toppers). He has earned more than 150 music industry awards – including 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of GRAMMYs and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards.
Jackson’s membership in the Songwriters Hall of Fame is a career-defining moment. The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates and honors the contributions of our great popular music songwriters, while developing new writing talent through workshops, showcases, scholarships, and digital initiatives. Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame honors those whose work represents a spectrum of the most beloved songs from the world’s popular music songbook. Out of the tens of thousands of songwriters of our era, there are just over 400 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined. The list includes Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland, Hal David & Burt Bacharach, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Merle Haggard, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond and Loretta Lynn. Jackson’s fellow 2018 inductees are John Mellencamp, Kool & the Gang members Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor, Jermaine Dupri, Allee Willis, Steve Dorff and Jackson’s fellow Opry member Bill Anderson.
Jackson recently released new music for his fans. “The Older I Get” – a first taste of what’s to come on Jackson’s next album – is his first new studio recording since 2015.
With a year of sold-out shows and packed houses in the rearview mirror, Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson’s Honky Tonk Highway Tour is about to add more miles as it rolls into 2018, with the first shows on tap next weekend. And the superstar will be bringing a diverse and exciting lineup of talent with him when he comes to a city near you in 2018!
Country hitmaker Randy Houser, vocalist Lauren Alaina, trio Runaway June and frequent collaborator Lee Ann Womack will be special guests on Jackson’s Honky Tonk Highway Tour throughout the new year (detailed list below). The news comes as Jackson prepares to kick off the tour next Friday, January 19 (in Lexington, KY) and Saturday, January 20 (in Little Rock, AR). Tickets for those shows and all concerts are on sale now by visiting www.alanjackson.com, where you can find information about Alan, his tour schedule, music and more. VIP tickets and packages are also available.
As previously announced, Georgia native Lauren Alaina joins Jackson for the first weekend of his tour. The recent CMA Best New Artist nominee captured America’s hearts when she appeared on Season 10 of American Idol. Last year, she followed up her #1 debuting first album with the release of the eagerly-awaited, Road Less Traveled, which features her first chart-topping hit and title track, “Road Less Traveled.”
With three-part female harmonies, ringing strings and stories that speak the language of modern women – vocal trio Runaway June mixes bluegrass tradition with dusty desert cool. Lead singer-guitarist Naomi Cooke, singer-mandolin picker Hannah Mulholland and singer-guitarist Jennifer Wayne (granddaughter of film icon John Wayne) fuse their individual influences to create a style that’s already scored chart success.
Hitmaker Randy Houser will join Jackson on the majority of his 2018 stops along the Honky Tonk Highway. Houser’s vocals have earned raves and his music has made him a staple on country radio over the past decade, as he topped the charts with “How Country Feels,” “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” “Goodnight Kiss” and “We Went.” Also known for such hits as “Boots On” and his critically-acclaimed powerful delivery of the Top 5 smash and CMA Song of the Year nominated “Like A Cowboy,” Houser has been working on a new project due out this year.
As a frequent Jackson duet partner, Lee Ann Womack has appeared on several of Alan’s albums, and the two have shared a number of stages, including the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall. The Grammy-winner has built a career singing songs that slice life wide open with a soprano that is all purity and ache, a theme she carried over into her latest critically acclaimed album, The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone. A CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year winner, Womack is one of the most distinctive and decorated vocalists in modern music.
Alan Jackson’s concerts find the country icon performing hits that have gained him legions of longtime fans, songs that continue to draw new crowds as a younger generation discovers his music. Jackson’s repertoire withstands the test of time; it has impacted a field of artists who cite Jackson as an influence. It’s these same songs – many of them written by Alan – that earned him his newfound place alongside country music’s greatest names and cemented his place in its history with his new membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Fans will hear the songs they love from the man who wrote them and made them famous, including his debut hit, “Here in The Real World”…signature songs such as “Chattahoochee,” “Drive” and “Gone Country”…party anthems “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and “Good Time”…and many, many more. Tickets for Alan Jackson’s Honky Tonk Highway Tour are on sale now.
ALAN JACKSON’S 2018 “HONKY TONK HIGHWAY TOUR”
(Still more dates to be announced/added)
All cities/shows listed are currently on sale! ^^
Friday, January 19 Lexington, KY (Rupp Arena) with Lauren Alaina
Saturday, January 20 Little Rock, AR (Verizon Arena) with Lauren Alaina
Thursday, February 8 Independence, MO (Silverstein Eye Centers Arena) with Runaway June
Friday, February 9 Indianapolis, IN (Bankers Life Fieldhouse) with Runaway June
Thursday, February 15 San Antonio, TX (San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo)
Friday, February 16 Grand Prairie, TX (Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie) with Randy Houser
Friday, March 16 Dayton, OH (Wright State University Nutter Center) **
Saturday, March 17 Rockford, IL (BMO Harris Bank Center) **
Friday, March 23 Toledo, OH (Huntington Center) with Randy Houser
Saturday, March 24 Pittsburgh, PA (Venue TBD) with Randy Houser
Friday, April 27 Baltimore, MD (Royal Farms Arena) with Randy Houser
Saturday, April 28 Albany, NY (Times Union Center) **
Friday, May 4 Tuscaloosa, AL (Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre) **
Saturday, June 23 Orange Beach, FL (The Wharf) with Randy Houser
Friday, July 27 Central Point, OR (Country Crossing Music Festival)
Saturday, July 28 Mountain Home, ID (Mountain Home Country Music Festival)
Saturday, August 11 Oro-Medonte, ONT (Boots ‘n’ Hearts Music Festival)
Thursday, August 16 Vienna, VA (Wolf Trap)^^ **
Friday, August 17 Gilford, NH (Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion) with Lee Ann Womack
Friday, September 14 North Charleston, SC (North Charleston Coliseum) with Randy Houser
Saturday, September 15 Charlotte, NC (Spectrum Center) with Randy Houser
** Special guest to be announced
^^ Vienna, VA (Wolf Trap) tickets not currently on sale
ABOUT ALAN JACKSON:
Recently inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Alan Jackson’s membership among country music’s all-time greats is the latest in a long line of career-defining accolades that include three CMA Entertainer of the Year honors, more than 25 years of membership in the Grand Ole Opry, a 2016 Billboard ranking as one of the Top 10 Country Artists of All-Time, induction to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Heritage Award as the most-performed country songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years.
The man from rural Newnan, GA has sold nearly 60-million albums worldwide, ranks as one of the 10 best-selling male vocalists of all-time in all genres. He has released more than 60 singles – registering 50 Top Ten hits and 35 #1s (including 26 Billboard chart-toppers). He has earned more than 150 music industry awards – including 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards.
Jackson is one of the most successful and respected singer-songwriters in music. He is in the elite company of Paul McCartney and John Lennon among songwriters who’ve written more than 20 songs that they’ve recorded and taken to the top of the charts. Jackson is one of the best-selling artists since the inception of SoundScan, ranking alongside the likes of Eminem and Metallica. He’s also the man behind one of Nashville’s most-popular new tourist stops, AJ’s Good Time Bar, a four-story honky-tonk in the heart of downtown (along a stretch of Broadway known as the “Honky Tonk Highway”) featuring daily live music and a rooftop view of Music City.
@RandyHouser, @Lauren_Alaina, @runawayjune, @leeannwomack joining Alan Jackson’s #HonkyTonkHighway Tour! Check out alanjackson.com/tour.html
Twitter Cheat Sheet: @OfficialJackson, #HonkyTonkHighway, @Lauren_Alaina, @RandyHouser, @runawayjune, @leeannwomack