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.
Glen Campbell passed away Tuesday afternoon (August 8th) after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The iconic singer, known for such classic songs as “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Southern Nights” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” was 81. The Country Music Hall of Famer was an inspiration and musical hero to many of today’s country stars.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81 https://t.co/zSv4RqjK4H
— Glen Campbell (@GlenCampbell) August 8, 2017
Glen Campbell… The artist. The songwriter. The musician. The man. Music will never be the same. Missing the Rhinestone Cowboy already!
— Darius Rucker (@dariusrucker) August 8, 2017
Glenn, thank you for the music. It's made us all better and your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace. 💔 pic.twitter.com/IN4UaxjNoR
— Little Big Town (@littlebigtown) August 8, 2017
The world lost a little sparkle today. Rest in rhinestoned peace, @GlenCampbell 💎 You inspired me so much.
— K A C E Y (@KaceyMusgraves) August 8, 2017
Glen Campbell was one of the finest musicians to ever grace country music. Hell, ALL music for that matter. Thanks for all you've done Glen.
— Brothers Osborne (@brothersosborne) August 8, 2017
Rest in peace, Glen Campbell https://t.co/UPBbDkskMJ
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) August 8, 2017
— Alan Jackson (@OfficialJackson) August 8, 2017
Keith Urban, who cites Glen as one of his musical idols, posted a heartfelt message about the legendary performer.
“What a powerful artistic and personal journey Glen Campbell’s passage has been. As a role model, singing guitar player he was a big influence on me.
His blend of genres created his own sound and style and his ability to entertain wasn’t limited to the stage. He blazed real trails through film (and especially television) where his charismatic southern charm and personality fit perfectly.
The night I won my first country music award, I got back to my hotel room and there was a fax on the floor.
“Welcome to the award winning world kid. You got it.” Glen Campbell.
Universal music, universal stories, universal spirit. No wonder he was a global superstar. I love Glen for so many reasons – but above all, for his humanity. My thoughts and prayers are with Kim and all of his extended family today. May peace be with you all. Go rest high on that mountain, Glen.” – KU
I love Glen for so many reasons – but above all, for his humanity. Go rest high on that mountain, Glen. – KU https://t.co/mJQseVHST5
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) August 9, 2017
Keith performed at last year’s 10TH ANNUAL ACM HONORS™ for a special tribute to Glen Campbell, who was honored with the ACM Career Achievement Award. Dierks Bentley also performed during the tribute, who said “He just has a way of performing that I’ve always felt like he’s one of those guys that if all of the power went out and there was no PA system and no band behind you and it just had to be just you and a guitar, he could entertain that crowd just as well as if they had all of the lights and production, and it’s Glen. He’s such a great singer, great musician and so funny, and such a great storyteller. He really carved out his niche. There’s no one that’ll ever sound like him – a classic legend.”
Thank you Glen Campbell for all you did for country music. You will be so very missed. pic.twitter.com/vsMaGw3N0i
— Eric Paslay (@ericpaslay) August 8, 2017
Glen Campbell is legendary, timeless & will forever have a huge mark on country music. We send our love and prayers to his family & friends.
— Lady Antebellum (@ladyantebellum) August 9, 2017
— Charles Kelley (@charleskelleyla) August 8, 2017
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) August 9, 2017
We lost a legend today. Thank you for your music, @GlenCampbell. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
— Easton Corbin (@eastoncorbin) August 8, 2017
Keith Urban (Glen Campbell) OC: …guitar player. :22
“I’ve always been a fan of what I like to call Guitartists, you know those guitar artists like Glen Campbell who’s probably one of my biggest influences. Those guys who knew a good song, had a great voice and played great and you know, just the all-around guys with the guitar you know? ‘Cause when you think of Glen Campbell you think off, I think of ‘Galveston’ and ‘Wichita Lineman’ then I also think of him being a phenomenal guitar player.”
Alan Jackson’s Honky Tonk Highway Tour became a celebration with fans in every city after it was announced that he’s a 2017 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee – now the superstar is extending that celebration through the late summer and toward year’s end with still more stops and performances, including several just-added cities. Multi-platinum singer Lee Ann Womack, who has thrilled crowds all year long, remains his special guest.
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.
The tour began in January with sold out stops in Oklahoma and Florida…followed by massive crowds at the Houston Rodeo and Atlanta, mere miles from his hometown…and a capacity crowd at downtown Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater early this summer. “More than 25 years after Alan Jackson released his debut album, all he has to do to hype up fans is casually step up to the microphone,” The Tennessean reported. “He did that and so much more – throughout the set, as on his albums, Jackson’s voice was unwavering and strong. His affable attitude beamed brighter than his
Lee Ann Womack joins Jackson on tour this year. As a Jackson duet partner of long-standing, Lee Ann has appeared on several of Alan’s albums, and the two have shared a number of stages, including the Grand Ole Opry. Lee Ann also honored Jackson at the 2014 CMT Music Awards when he received his Impact Award. On Alan’s Honky Tonk Highway Tour, fans are enjoying hits spanning Lee Ann’s career to date, as well as brand new and unreleased songs.
Tickets and information for all shows are available 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.
ALAN JACKSON’S 2017 “HONKY TONK HIGHWAY TOUR”
(All dates feature Lee Ann Womack unless noted. All dates already on-sale unless noted.)
Thursday, August 3 – Detroit Lakes, MI (WE Fest) ++
Friday, August 4 – Brookings, SD (Swiftel Center)
Saturday, August 12 – Sedalia, MO (Missouri State Fair)
Sunday, August 13 – West Allis (Milwaukee area), WI (Wisconsin State Fair)
Friday, August 25 – Evansville, IN (Ford Center)
Saturday, August 26 – Champaign, IL (State Farm Center)
Friday, September 8 – St. Charles (St. Louis area), MO (The Family Arena)
Saturday, September 9 – Cedar Rapids, IA (US Cellular Center)
Friday, September 22 – Charleston, WV (Charleston Civic Center)
Saturday, September 23 – Erie, PA (Erie Insurance Arena)
Friday, October 27 – Green Bay, WI (Resch Center)
Saturday, October 28 – Minneapolis, MN (Target Center)
Friday, November 3 – Lafayette, LA (CajunDome) **
Saturday, November 4 – Belton, TX (Bell County Expo Center) **
**Tickets on sale Friday, August 4th
++Festival event; Lee Ann does not perform at this show.
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. The holiday is commonly associated with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues and concerts. Some of your favorite country stars take time to remember their Fourth of July traditions, memories and what the holiday really means to them.
AJ (fave 4th of July memory) OC: …very cool. :58
Well, this one is hard to beat. A couple of years ago, maybe longer than that now, I had an old boat in Florida. It’s like an old antique motor yacht, and it was kind of a cool old boat. I had taken that boat, I’ve always wanted to take it up north like to New York and up in that area, up in the northeast where it’s so pretty. So, we took the boat up there and Denise and the girls, we all went up. They like going to New York City, which I don’t really care about going to the city. So, I got to stay in my boat there at the harbor tied up, which was cool anyway. So they spent time in the city a few days and then that was Fourth of July, and we went out in the Hudson River that night and they shot the fireworks off and we were anchored out in front of the Statue of Liberty and New York City was behind us, and the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks were going off sitting on that boat. That was the coolest thing and my girls still talk about that. I mean, that was the coolest thing on Fourth of July I can ever remember. I can’t top that one probably. It was emotional sitting there watching the Statue of Liberty and thinking about all that. It was very cool.”
Billy Currington (4th of July) OC: …of my life. :16
“My best memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. We’d go there every year, and we’d light our own fireworks and watch the ones that they had for us. They were the best times, some of the best times of my life.”
Canaan Smith (Fireworks July Fourth) OC: …kinds of stuff. :39
“Williamsburg, Virginia has a great fireworks display. It’s one of the best in the nation, they say or something like that. We’d go to the Governor’s Palace. They have a big lawn, and we’d sit out there and lay a blanket down. This was before I was old enough to drink, but we probably tried to sneak some in anyhow. And we’d just watch the [show], you know they’d have the grand finale, which always blew my mind ‘cause just when you thought it was over, they’d start bringing out all of the tricks and it just gets crazy. We did that on a regular basis. Other times, we’d do stuff in our own yard. We had a big yard when we were growing up with a dirt track in the back, and our neighbor’s yard was equally as big, so when you put ‘em together, we had a massive area to be destructive and do whatever we wanted. So, we blew up all kinds of stuff.”
Darius Rucker (4th of July) 1 OC: …in the world. :24
“The Fourth of July to me is a day to celebrate freedom. We get to travel all over the world and see a lot of stuff, and I’ve been to a lot of countries that aren’t like ours and that’s when you really appreciate the fact that you can do whatever you want. As long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences, you can do whatever you want, you know? [I] appreciate those soldiers who died for us to be sitting here doing this, and we live in the greatest country in the world.”
Darius Rucker (fireworks) OC: …off once. :15
“Oh, I love fireworks. We had the bottle rocket fights and all that good stuff. I was the typical little crazy kid, you know. In South Carolina, it was always legal, so we shot fireworks when it was legal. We did all that sort of stuff. I almost blew my hand off once.”
Dierks Bentley (4th of July-patriotic) OC: …all the time. :17
“I’m extremely patriotic. I love this country, and I love the history of this country. I read books on this country. I spend my time on the road traveling physically throughout the country. The soldiers and their families are constantly on my mind. We work closely with the Wounded Warriors Project. We think about this stuff all the time.”
Easton Corbin (Fourth of July) OC: …clown around. :28
“Fourth of July, I remember growing up and having cookouts, and course we did the whole fireworks thing. I remember my uncle, he’d always get fireworks and bring down like from Alabama, because in Florida, you couldn’t get the bottle rockets and stuff, so he’d always go up to Alabama, ‘cause they live in Tallahassee, which was close to the [state] line. So, he would go over the line and get the good fireworks and bring ‘em down to my Grandma’s for me and my cousin, and we’d just hang out all day and shoot off fireworks and clown around.”
Eric Church (4th of July) OC: …freedoms. 1:17
“The Fourth of July for me, growing up we would always go to the lake, we didn’t live on the lake but we would all go to the lake. Had a buddy who had a pontoon and we would always get on the pontoon and you go out and you’d tie all the pontoons together and just have a big time. This was before, I was younger then, the adults were having more fun than we were, you know it was just to go swim in the water and shoot off fireworks. Basically, water tailgating is what it was. And then as we got older, same thing…we would just, us younger kids had our own boat and we had as much fun as the adults.”
Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 1 OC: …an American. :18
“I think Fourth of July weekend is a special time to really sit back and be thankful for what we have – thankful to our military, thankful for family and for friends, just a time to really sit back and appreciate how great it is to be an American.”
Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 2 OC: …really cool. :17
“Probably baseball games, firework shows at baseball games. We’d go to Shreveport Captains games, so yeah, we’d do that or barbecues and fireworks. I can remember being on the lake for a couple of Fourth of Julys. We’d take the boat out and we’d watch the downtown fireworks show from the boat, which was really cool.”
Josh Turner (fireworks) OC: …of money. [laughs] :20
“Yeah, we had fireworks around, especially my Daddy’s family. All the individual families had a lot of competition with each other and tried to outdo each other to try to see who had the biggest and baddest fireworks and all that. [laughs] My daddy, I think, was the smartest one. He just went out and bought maybe $25 worth of fireworks and let everybody else put on the big show, so he saved a lot of money.” [laughs]
Keith Urban (coming to America 1st time) OC: …as I could. :39
“1989 was the first year I came to the States, and it had always been my goal, but I had no plan on how to get here. It was just a case of keep playing, keep getting better at what you do, and then hopefully, somehow, some way I’ll end up over here. The guy who was managing me at the time, we just planned a trip over here – it was actually for the New Music Seminar in New York. And we came over for that, and then we did a trip down to Nashville, and I was shopping my little demo around. I think I humored everybody more than anything else [laughs] with my tragic, ill-fitting demo for the time. So, I left there, but I was just so committed to coming back as quick as I could.”
Kip Moore (Fourth of July-soldiers) OC: …every day. :32
“I’m a very, very patriotic person, proud of the country that I live in, and I’m very proud of what those guys do for us each and every day, and I don’t take it for granted one bit. My grandparents were in the military, fought wars, and I’ve seen the battle that they go through, just the horror of remember things. When I start to think that I’m half-way tough, I realize how I’m not one bit when I talk to soldiers when I’m out and realize the things that they go through. I can’t imagine facing what those guys face every day.”
Lady A (4th of July-Hillary) OC: …on my hand. :29
“For many, many years in a row, we would be up at the lake for Fourth of July, and having those memories of being on the boat and going tubing and skiing and enjoying being out in the summertime, great weather on the water. But, then for me, Fourth of July was when [husband] Chris [Tyrell] proposed. So, I got proposed to on July 2nd up at the lake, the same lake I grew up going to, and so that’s probably the biggest highlight of Fourth of July to me – getting a rock on my hand.”
Lady A (Fourth of July-Dave) OC: …and America. :45
“July fourth is always, for me, my birthday week. My birthday is July 5th so we grew up going on family trips to the beach. We would d always go to Hilton Head, South Carolina and always take trips for my birthday, so that’s always a fun time of the year…watch fireworks. I think my best memory would be my birthday party when I was 9 or 10 years old. We went to the batting cages and I remember I was swinging so hard, it was 100 degrees outside, I was swinging in the batting cage and ended up passing out right there in the batting cage. You’re trying so hard to hit the ball, you’re a kid and you really don’t realize how much water you should be drinking and [CHARLES: “Dave was that kid.”] I was that kid who was on the ground in the batting cage, people fanning and pouring water all over my face. Happy Birthday to me and America.”
LBT (military) OC: (Karen) …whenever we can. (Kimberly: “Yeah.”) :22
“It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us, and not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. I mean, it’s just a huge commitment that they make, and what an honor. We love to be able to sing for them and entertain them and to say thank you whenever we can.” (Kimberly: “Yeah.”)
Luke Bryan (4th of July memories) OC: …we used to. :21
“Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with my family. I was always kind of in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all the fireworks and my nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all the fireworks. But, it was always a great memory, and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”
Sam Hunt (Fourth of July) OC: …good time. :39
“My granddad on the other side of my family, he would always take a lot of pride…fireworks were actually, I’m from Georgia, and most of them were illegal, I’m pretty sure, growing up. But over in Alabama, that’s where all the firework stands were, and we only had to drive 10, 15 minutes to get to the Alabama line, so we could go get a bundle of fireworks pretty easy. But he would always take a lot of pride in going and finding all the good stuff, and coming back with a big pile. He’d have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes. Such a good time.”