When country superstar Alan Jackson first talked to Alison Krauss about producing his next album, he wanted to make a bluegrass record.
But “Like Red on a Rose,” which comes out Tuesday, is something altogether different.
“She’s pretty creative,” the Georgia-born Jackson, 47, says of Krauss. “She described it as more of a country-based album, but more of a Don Williams type of, kind of bluesy, real reflective, moody, melancholy, I guess — songs from a man of my age, my viewpoint, is what she was trying to sell me on.
“It wasn’t easy. It was hard to hear what someone else was hearing in their head.”
Ultimately, Jackson and Krauss hit the studio to record three songs — including the title track, which is the album’s first single — in order for him to get a sense of her concept. The resulting collection has a quiet feel marked by touches of blues
and even jazz, which Jackson’s wife accurately describes as “Don Williams meets Norah
“Like Red on a Rose” is his second consecutive left-turn, following last year’s gospel album “Precious Memories,” which went platinum and is nominated for two Country Music Association Awards. Jackson, who will perform on the CMA Awards show Nov. 6, expects to return to a more “straightforward kind of country” sound, and to regular producer
on his next album, but he thinks his fans will still embrace what he’s done on his new effort.
“I’ve had a lot of ballads and meaty songs, emotional songs, on my records,” says Jackson, who has sold more than 45 million albums and notched 31 chart-topping country singles. “But radio tends to play the uptempo songs more. I think more people connect me to ‘Chattahoochee’ and (the Jimmy Buffett duet) ‘It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere’ than (the ballads), but I like a balance, a mixture of all of them.”
Alan Jackson, the Wreckers and Rodney Atkins perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (September 23rd) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $65 pavilion, $30 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit
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