After a long successful run on Arista records American country superstar makes his debut on EMI Nashville (a partnership with his own ACR label) and released in the UK on Humphead. Jackson has remained solid, pure country through his 14-album career that started in 1990 (Here In The Real World) and shows no sign of deviating. Committed, fully to the cause the material is divided between those written by others and from his own-hand and the mix is perfect.
Aided by, among others Glenn Worf, Brent Mason, JT Corenflos, Greg Morrow, John Jarvis, Andy Leftwich, Larry Franklin, Gordon Mote, Dan Dugmore and Bobby Terry Jackson’s vocals are well assisted as he nails one after another finely penned country ballad. As he speaks of lost love, regret, a little bravado and as in ‘Dixie Highway’ nostalgia —this is where he recalls of having a chicken pen in the backyard, good ol' Georgia red clay, homemade biscuits, wood stove in the kitchen and church) in the company of his good friend, Zac Brown. With a relentless rhythm, banjo and lead guitar and slide solos plus with Brown right into singing his part of the partnership plus bursts of fiddle burst between verses it is arguably the best track on the record.
Of the imported songs, opening track from Chris Stapleton and Terry McBride ‘Gonna Come Back As A Country Song’, cheery ode ‘Talk Is Cheap’ and plaintive piece ‘Nothin’ Fancy’ plus, the keenly driven (a road song cum honky tonk affair) and all fired-up ‘Life Keeps Bringin’ Me Down’ (Shawn Camp, Al Anderson) they are all perfectly suited to Jackson. Who is able to nail the uptempo and heart tugging ballads as easy as a country man splits wood. Speaking of the latter style his own song ‘When I Saw You Leaving (For Nisey)’ concerns his wife, Denise’s battle with cancer over the last year. Talk about personal, it is as close to home as they come. It is near as fine a song he has written and he has written many. For company it has an equally beautiful song in ‘You Go Your Way’ (Troy Jones, Tony Lane, David Lee). Keeping to the theme of missing and appreciation of another Jackson’s song ‘Everything But The Wings’ contains a sensitive touch that creeps into one’s senses before you know it! When you buy one of Alan’s records you pretty much know what you will get, and though some have a broader appeal others are just as written on the tin as is the case here.
Add a Comment