Alan Jackson‘s first new studio album in three years, Angels and Alcohol, is out Friday featuring his latest single, “Jim and Jack and Hank,” and the title cut. Both of those songs deal with turning to the bottle to deal with heartache, and that’s a subject Alan has written about many times before.
He tells ABC Radio, “Somebody said I had a lot of drinking songs on there. I said, ‘Well, I pretty much always do have two or three on an album.'”
As for that title cut, Alan had that phrase “Angels and Alcohol” tucked away for several years.
He says, “It sounded like a song, and I hadn’t written it. It just kind of spilled out this time the way it did. It’s just one of my favorite cuts on the album.”
Of course, songs like “Angels and Alcohol” or country classics such as “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” and “Midnight in Montgomery” don’t just “spill out” of most people. We asked Alan where his songwriting talent comes from, and he admits he’s never analyzed it too much.
“I’ve never understood where it comes from with me,” Alan explains. “I never read much or didn’t study music and never had any training. I think it’s just something I was blessed with. It just comes out sometimes. I never have quite understood it, but I’m glad it’s working.”
Alan wrote seven of the 10 songs on Angels and Alcohol, and you’ll recognize some ongoing themes on the album if you’re a longtime fan. In fact, the opening track, “You Can Always Come Home,” could be the next chapter in the autobiographical story Alan started telling on his early hit, “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” and continued with “Drive (For Daddy Gene).” Just as he moved from Georgia to Nashville to chase his dream of country music stardom, Alan’s middle daughter, Ali, recently moved to California to find her calling in life. “You Can Always Come Home” is Alan’s way of passing on some advice his dad gave him when he left home.
Alan says, “Moving to Nashville was just a huge risk and scary event for me to move up there. I just remember my daddy, he didn’t know anything about the music business or anything. Neither did I, but he said, you know, ‘You can always come home. If it doesn’t work out, you can always come home.’ I always remembered that, and I wrote that in that song.”
Angels and Alcohol comes out just a little over 25 years after Alan’s debut album, Here in the Real World, hit stores in 1990.
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.