New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Country superstar Alan Jackson
will release his first album of all new music in six years this spring - Where Have You Gone arrives Friday, May 14.
Packed with 21 performances, Where Have You Gone is Jackson's 16th studio album - his 25th in a storied career that includes two Christmas albums, two gospel albums, three Greatest Hits collections, a bluegrass album, and one boxed set.
Jackson - a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame - penned 15 of the album's songs, including the title track. Keith Stegall, his longtime producer, once again plays that role on Where Have You Gone.
"It's a little harder country than even I've done in the past," Jackson admits. "And it's funny, I was driving and listening to the final mixes Keith sent me, and I started to tear up. I was surprised to get so overly emotional, but I just love this kind of music."
"This kind of music" on Where Have You Gone runs the gamut of what embodies true country music. "When I write, I visualize back home and growing up," the Country Music
Hall of Fame member says. "Real country songs are life and love and heartache, drinking and Mama and having a good time...but it's the sounds of the instruments, too. The steel and acoustic guitar, the fiddle - those things have a sound and a tone...and getting that right, the way those things make you feel, that's country, too."
"Alan's taken his experiences over the last six years and implemented his poet's perspective to weave together a masterful love letter to country music," says UMG Nashville President Cindy Mabe. "This is Alan's story but it's also the story of country music. This music love letter was written about the most universal experiences in life, almost exclusively with Alan's own pen, and it's once again a reminder of what a one-of-a-kind creator he truly is."
Led by the self-penned title track, Where Have You Gone is highlighted by such songs as the poignant and thoughtful "Things That Matter
" and the heartache-filled "Way Down in My Whiskey." Never one to shy away from reflecting real life in his music, "You'll Always Be My Baby
" and "I Do" were written for his daughters' weddings...while "Where Her Heart
Has Always Been" was written for his mother's funeral and includes a recording of her reading from The Bible. There's also plenty of fun to be had on barnburners like "Livin' On Empty," "Back" and "Beer:10." And, in the spirit of the album's overall sound, "That's the Way Loves Goes (A Tribute to Merle Haggard)" is a bonus track. Watch the lyric video for "Where Have You Gone" below.