Alan Jackson returns with his first album of all-new music in six years, with his upcoming album, Where Have You Gone, on May 14.
Jackson penned 15 of the album’s 21 songs, including the title track. Where Have You Gone was produced by Jackson’s longtime producer Keith Stegall.
The title track and first release from the album is a haunting plea for the return of fiddles, steel guitar and country music songs of substance, from one of country music’s most revered singer-songwriters.
Soft steel guitar oh how I’ve missed you/Words from the heart let me hear you again/Sounds from the soul, fiddle I need you/Sweet country music where have you gone?/Sweet country music please come back home
“It’s a little harder country than even I’ve done in the past,” Jackson says via a press release. “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.”
He also teases the new album with the release of two more tracks, “Way Down in My Whiskey” and “Things That Matter.”
“When I write, I visualize back home and growing up,” Jackson added. “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.”
The songs are reflective of Jackson’s life over the past several years. “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and “I Do” were written for his daughters’ weddings, while “Where Her Heart Has Always Been” was penned for his mother’s funeral and incorporates a recording of her reading from the Bible. More lighthearted fare can be found on tracks like “Back” and “Beer:10.” The album also includes “That’s The Way Love Goes (A Tribute to Merle Haggard)” as a bonus track.
“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,” said UMG Nashville President Cindy Mabe. “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.”
See the album’s full track listing below:
1. “Where Have You Gone” (Alan Jackson)
2. “Wishful Drinkin’” (Alan Jackson)
3. “I Can Be That Something” (Alan Jackson)
4. “Where the Cottonwood Grows” (Alan Jackson)
5. “Way Down In My Whiskey” (Alan Jackson)
6. “Things That Matter” (Robert Keith Stegall, Michael White)
7. “Livin’ On Empty” (Alan Jackson)
8. “You’ll Always Be My Baby (Written for Daughters’ Weddings)” (Alan Jackson)
9. “Where Her Heart Has Always Been (Written for Mama’s funeral with an old recording of her reading from The Bible)” (Alan Jackson)
10. “The Boot” (Adam Wright)
11. “Back” (Alan Jackson)
12. “Write It In Red” (Alan Jackson)
13. “So Late So Soon” (Scotty Emerick, Daniel Tashian, Sarah Buxton)
14. “This Heart Of Mine” (Adam Wright)
15. “A Man Who Never Cries” (Alan Jackson)
16. “Chain” (Alan Jackson)
17. “I Was Tequila” (Alan Jackson)
18. “I Do (Written for Daughters’ Weddings)” (Alan Jackson)
19. “Beer:10” (Alan Jackson)
20. “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)