Alan Jackson Shares What Makes Country Songs ‘Real’ With Timeless Pic

by Jim Casey

Alan Jackson has been keeping it country for more than 30 years. On April 26, AJ shared his recipe for “real country songs.”

Alan will drop his first new album in more than five years with Where Have You Gone on May 14. The 21-song offering features 15 tunes that Alan penned, including the title track, which poses a hypothetical question to “country music.” Ever the country traditionalist, Alan’s new album with serve as his answer.

Where Have You Gone

Alan has already shared a handful of tracks from the upcoming album, including the title track, “Way Down in My Whiskey,” “Things That Matter,” and “You’ll Always Be My Baby.” Alan penned the latter about his three daughters: Mattie, Ali, and Dani.

“I wrote [“You’ll Always Be My Baby”] for Mattie’s wedding the summer of 2017, but it was so hard to do,” said Alan in a release. “I told ’em, ‘I wrote this for all of you.'”

Alan also performed the touching tune, along with “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” at the 56th ACM Awards on April 18.

Alan Jackson’s Recipe for Success

In his 1975 single, “You Never Even Called Me by My Name,” David Alan Coe famously references his correspondence with one of the song’s co-writers, Steve Goodman. In a spoken epilogue preceding the song’s closing verse, Coe mentions that the perfect country and western song must reference “mama, trains, trucks, prison, and getting drunk.”

Alan Jackson has his own recipe. With more than 20 No. 1 hits over his career, it’s a proven winner.

Alan shared his recipe for “real country songs” via Twitter on April 26. Of course, the text was accompanied by a timeless photo of the Country Music Hall of Fame member. The tweeted text was taken from Alan’s quote in the press release announcing his new album.

“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.”

It’s hard impossible to argue with that.