Weekender

Jackson's 'Bluegrass' album still topping charts

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Alan Jackson

Country music superstar Alan Jackson’s first bluegrass album, “The Bluegrass Album,” has been the bestselling bluegrass album for four months, since its release on Sept. 24, 2013, as it continues at the top of Billboard’s Bluegrass Album Sales Chart.

The album by the Newnan-born and raised Jackson, has generated much acclaim from a diverse group of music critics, such as “Rolling Stone” recognizing that “…‘The Bluegrass Album’ is a labor of love, not a vanity project for the singer.” “American Songwriter” calls it “…an album that reaffirms Alan Jackson as one of our best living traditional songwriters.” And “Bluegrass Today” remarks, “You can feel his passion…his approach to bluegrass is filled with humility.” “The Wall Street Journal” calls “The Bluegrass Album” “…one of this year’s strongest country albums of any sort…” and Billboard says, “He does the genre proud…the highlights are the self-penned originals.”

Jackson’s video for “Blue Ridge Mountain Song,” from album, has once again taken over the number one spot on Great American Country’s Top 20 Country Countdown, voted by fans. The video features Jackson’s daughter, Ali, making her solo acting debut, but not her first music video, as she also appeared alongside sisters Mattie and Dani, in Jackson’s 2002 video, “Drive (For Daddy Gene).”

Jackson has enjoyed including family in some of his music videos over the years, in an effort to make them more personal for fans. His oldest daughter, Mattie, wrote the treatment for the 2010 “It’s Just That Way” music video and his wife Denise is in the nostalgic “Remember When” video of 2003.

According to Jackson’s website, Sammy Shelor, who plays banjo on the new album, says the idea was to produce a back-to-roots bluegrass album that didn’t, in the words of Jackson himself, “sound like all the other bluegrass albums country artists cut in this town.”

Jackson’s debut album, “Here in the Real World,” was released in 1989 and he’s never gone longer than two years in between albums. “The Bluegrass Album” was released on his own label, Alan’s Country Records, and is the followup to the 2012 release “Thirty Miles West.”

At 27 years old, Jackson packed up with his wife, Denise, and left Newnan for Nashville to pursue a music career. Many of Jackson’s family still reside in Newnan, and his presence is felt all over the city, even though he has returned sparingly in the 28 years since he left.

Jackson returns to the road this week, performing hits that have made him a country music staple for more than 20 years. Upcoming weeks will find him in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Mississippi and Alabama — a complete list of tour dates can be found at www.alanjackson.com .





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