Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Alan Jackson - Songs of Love and Heartache

Alan Jackson - Songs of Love and Heartache
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®

Tracklisting: Here In The Real World - She's Got The Rhythm (And I Got The Blues) - Tropical Depression - Livin' On Love You Can't Give Up On Love - Gone Crazy - When Somebody Loves You - Remember When - Rainy Day In June - A Woman's Love - That's What I'd Be Like Without You (Previously Unreleased) - Nothing Sure Looked Good On You (Previously Unreleased)

Not only do you leave your local Cracker Barrel store with a full stomach, you can also come away with a twelve song CD of Alan Jackson ballads. The folks at my favourite chain restaurants in the world, have added the great honky tonker to their growing list of featured artists. For the hardened fans like myself the bonus of this CD is the inclusion of a couple of unreleased gems.

I fell in love with AJ after hearing the brilliant title track of his debut album, Here In The Real World. As with most Nashville stuff at the time, the wonderful fiddle of Rob Hajacos gave the best songs a great, haunting feeling. One of the things I love about Alan Jackson is that his ballads are't usually about being suicidal because his wife has left him. There's usually a feeling of hope and mostly they're about family values and the simple country life. Basically, you can listen to him without feeling the need to check the ceiling beams, wondering if they're strong enough to hold a rope.

The other nine issued tracks come from all stages of his career and there's not a duffer in sight. There's a few omissions that I'd have included, like Dallas, Tonight I Climbed The Walls and Everything I Love, but when you're just looking for a dozen tracks in a career like his you're bound to miss a few out.

Anyway, what about the two unissued numbers. The best is his cover of Gene Watson's great Nothing Sure Looked Good On You. On AJ's superb 1999 cover album, Under The Influence, he said in the sleevnotes that "I think Gene Watson was one of the greatest country singers ever, still is". Well his performance here shows that Jackson himself belongs in that same category - class. That's What I'd Be Like Without You is pure Alan Jackson, strong country lyrics and a great honky tonk voice.

Whether you've got all his other albums is irrelevant, you need this for the Gene Watson cover. The CD is available only at Cracker Barrel and

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