(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
New artists, listen up. Alan Jackson has revealed his M.O. for making music, and it would be a good idea to follow in his footsteps. He recently told the Los Angeles Times how he approaches making albums. "I'm just looking for a mixture of songs and topics that aren't the same thing over and over," he said. "Most are about love or heartache, so if you're not careful you can end up with 10 or 12 that sound the same." I can think of a few albums that are guilty of that. In fact, when I met Jackson for the first time this summer at the CMT Music Awards, I told him what I have always loved about his music is how he sings about topics like love so uniquely, using his old "Buicks to the Moon" as a perfect example. His current album, Thirty Miles West, is no different when it comes to sounding different. "So on this one there are some personal things on there, some fun things that don't account for anything. I have songs about everything, from gospel-tinged songs, drinking songs, heartache and love songs, family songs, songs about dying, we included all that," he told the Times. And when he looks ahead to his next albums, there will likely be a bluegrass one and another gospel one. And maybe even a collection of romantic ballads. "Something a little more like a date-night album ... not too artsy," Jackson said.