Alan Jackson has announced his first album of all-new music for six years, and previewed it today (2) with no fewer than three tracks. The full set, Where Have You Gone, will be released by EMI Nashville on May 14.
The album, overseen by Jackson’s longtime producer Keith Stegall, features 21 performances and is the artist’s 16th studio release, from a career total of 25. The country superstar wrote 15 songs on the new record himself, including the title song, which is out now, accompanied by a lyric video.
Songwriters Hall of Fame and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Jackson says of the new material: “It’s a little harder country than even I’ve done in the past. 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.”
Jackson adds of his process as a composer: “When I write, I visualize back home and growing up. 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.”
UMG Nashville President Cindy Mabe enthuses: “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. 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.”
The lyrical subject matter on Where Have You Gone features some highly personal topics, including songs for his daughters’ weddings on “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and “I Do.” “Where Her Heart Has Always Been” was written for his mother’s funeral and is illustrated by a recording of her reading from the Bible.
The other newly-available previews are the poignant “Things That Matter” and the emotional “Way Down in My Whiskey.” More uptempo tracks include “Livin’ On Empty,” “Back,” and “Beer:10,” and “That’s the Way Loves Goes (A Tribute to Merle Haggard)” features as a bonus track.
Alan Jackson’s Where Have You Gone album is released on May 14. Pre-order it here.
The full Where Have You Gone tracklist is:
- “Where Have You Gone” (Alan Jackson)
- “Wishful Drinkin’” (Alan Jackson)
- “I Can Be That Something” (Alan Jackson)
- “Where the Cottonwood Grows” (Alan Jackson)
- “Way Down In My Whiskey” (Alan Jackson)
- “Things That Matter” (Robert Keith Stegall, Michael White)
- “Livin’ On Empty” (Alan Jackson)
- “You’ll Always Be My Baby (Written for Daughters’ Weddings)” (Alan Jackson)
- “Where Her Heart Has Always Been (Written for Mama’s funeral with an old recording of her reading from the Bible)” (Alan Jackson)
- “The Boot” (Adam Wright)
- “Back” (Alan Jackson)
- “Write It In Red” (Alan Jackson)
- “So Late So Soon” (Scotty Emerick, Daniel Tashian, Sarah Buxton)
- “This Heart Of Mine” (Adam Wright)
- “A Man Who Never Cries” (Alan Jackson)
- “Chain” (Alan Jackson)
- “I Was Tequila” (Alan Jackson)
- “I Do (Written for Daughters’ Weddings)” (Alan Jackson)
- “Beer:10” (Alan Jackson)
- “The Older I Get”* (Hailey Whitters, Adam Wright, Sarah Turner)
Extra Track: “That’s The Way Love Goes” (A Tribute to Merle Haggard) (Lefty Frizzell, Whitey Shafer)
Produced by Robert Keith Stegall
*Produced by Keith Stegall