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CD: Alabama & Friends

Alabama & Friends


Tennessee River 4:22 Love in the First Degree 3:23 Old Flame 3:12
Lady Down on Love 3:57 The Closer You Get 3:38 Forever's As Far As I'll Go 3:35
She and I 3:57 I’m in a Hurry (And I Don’t Know Why) 2:51 That’s How I Was Raised 3:40 All American 3:13 My Home’s In Alabama 6:37

The alarm goes off, I pry one eye open, and notice its 6:00am. I garner enough energy to lift up my left palm, slam it down to shut it off, and accidently hit the play button.

The leaves crumble breaking beneath my boots. The black soles don’t rub off on the yellow, orange, and red fallen leaves with each step. The squirrels scurry for the leftover acorns before the breath of winter makes its way across the barren branches. A handful of birds are left chattering about their long northward bound flights to come. The kids are laughing as they look up to Lookout Mountain. Those travels ‘cross the mountains and into the bright lights still linger. The fiddle kept rotating with each wheel turning and revolved louder, spinning heart pounding anticipation as the mountain pictured stronger in the mind the closer to home the bus spun. I used to despise this place until we left. Then those moments of the jeering fans just pulsed as they screamed louder. It just made me want to come back here. To walk across these brittle leaves and dip my hands in the trickling water just washing it all away.

Wait a minute. That’s that band. That band, you know… That one….That band, you know…that one…that one that sings….. That song. You know….that song…from that album. Those guys that have guitars….and some microphones…and drums… a fiddle and keyboard. You remember, right? Those guys. Those three that have been playing together for forty years. That band that changed the face of country music. That band that won two Grammys, That band that received the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian award, That band that was awarded Entertainer of the Year awards three times from the CMA and five times from the ACM, as well as the latter's Artist of the Decade award. That one that had 21 Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum albums. And were named the RIAA's Country Group of the Century. That band that call themselves Alabama. And that song…..That song….that one that I opened this review up with, and was their first number 1 hit, Tennessee River.

If you know Alabama then you should be familiar with the majority of these songs, yet on this album each has a country star who puts their own spin on the song that influenced them the most during their careers. There are also two new songs thrown into the mix.

Jason Aldean, the Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Jamey Johnson, Trisha Yearwood, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Jamey Johnson and the Eli Young Band are the friends that are added to the album.
The two new songs are That’s How I Was Raised, which is a deep thought provoking song played on an acoustic with all the lessons people learn on their journey growing up. And,
All American which is lyrically amazing. With all the political arguing, the wrangling, the fighting; the red states, the blue states. With an acoustic guitar, soft taps of the percussion, a high hat and wise words from Randy Owen’s deep southern voice, comes a timeless message that underneath it all we have to remember we are all American.

The production of this album and the order of the song tracks were put together brilliantly. It begins with Tennessee River and ends with My Home’s In Alabama The latter being almost an explanation of the first. It takes the listener from those earlier days to the bright lights of L.A. and back to New York City. And while a bit of the leaves of this journey may have sprouted and at times had changed colors. The roots can never change. Without them, it never would have grown into what it has become.

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International


  1. Would have liked to read more about the songs in the review rather than a Achievement Awards listing for Alabama.
    Can Jeremy give a out of 5 or out of 10 rating?

  2. I started it off with a song by song description actually, but the only new songs on the album were the two I did go through. The second paragraph I thought I'd try to take the reader into the lyrics and what, I felt they portrayed. I could be wrong but I listened to "Tennessee River" over 12 times to try to get an understanding. I tried to minimize the achievement award section by writing as if I'd never heard of them Ex. "That song...you know...that band." This album all but two songs were basically their greatest hits. Sure, maybe I could have written, "_____sings Alabama's song____ so beautifully." I just felt that this was a waste of anyone's eyes. If you like country and don't know Alabama is like saying you like Rock & Roll but don't know the Rolling Stones. The idea for the rating system I have been thinking about myself. The 5-10 or the star thing is so outdone though. I would love to have some ideas thrown this way, so we could come up with a unique system. I think that would be great. Maybe put the out of 5 system into it, like a '3 out of 5 bucking broncos' or a '6 out of 10 silver spurs.' I am really glad you commented because it'll help me out with future reviews. Trust me(or read any of my past reviews) if I don't like something I'll say it. And, any comments or any ideas you can give for a rating system will be taken seriously.