Everything We Know About Alabama’s New Album, ‘Southern Drawl’
After a prolonged, 14-year break from making new music, Alabama are back -- almost. Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook have announced their forthcoming record, Southern Drawl, and fans are, without a doubt, waiting on pins and needles for its release.
"I gave more of my heart and soul to this one than anything I've been a part of in my life," Owen says via a press release. "I approached this album as if it could be my best, my first or my last. We were so glad to be back in the studio, we didn't take a moment of it for granted."
Gentry adds, "We loved being in the studio again. You have to know when you walk away that you did the best you could. We look forward to sharing the new music with our fans ... when the people can feel it, you know you've done your job."
The following is everything known so far about Southern Drawl.
Alabama's new album, their follow-up to 2001's When It All Goes South, will be called Southern Drawl.
The Release Date
Southern Drawl will drop on Sept. 18, 2015. It is available for pre-order on iTunes.
The Record Label
Southern Drawl is being released on BMG Chrysalis North America. It will be Alabama's first album with the label.
An old truck, some land outdoors and the three guys of Alabama are all you need for a successful album cover in this case. The band is prominently featured in the photo that is on the front of Southern Drawl, and they're posing in front of what looks to be an abandoned truck, with their band's name emblazoned on a huge sign behind them.
Alabama's new single, "Wasn't Through Lovin' You Yet," caught lead singer Owen's ear right away.
"It got my attention the first time I heard it, and I asked to hear it again two and three times and knew it was powerful," he says. "It can be a guy talking to his girlfriend or wife, or it can be the three of us talking to our fans. Either way, it is a wonderful song, and we got to put the magic Alabama harmony on it."
"Wasn't Through Lovin' You Yet" is a romantic ballad that brings a whole lot of feeling to the table. And the harmonies on the song are telltale Alabama.
"Country music when we took our vacation is not the same country it is today,” Cook says. “For people who knew the original Alabama, it’s going to be a little different to their ears."
The band admits that their new sound will surprise fans, but it's music that they really wanted to make.
"We had a decade break from recording as a band. All three of us felt that we had more to say and more music and songs floating around in our heads to share with the world and our fans," Owen explains.
One of the tracks, "Come Find Me," features Alison Krauss' vocals and fiddle.
“She sang some harmony on the bridge with Randy and me and played fiddle, too,” Gentry says. “I thought of her and thought it’d be neat to have her voice on there.”
Recorded over the span of six months, Southern Drawl's other tunes include an anthemic track called "American Farmer," and "I Wanna Be There," a song that will induce lots of tears. The title track is the first song on the album, and the current single is the second.
Southern Drawl Track Listing:
1. "Southern Drawl"
2. "Wasn't Through Lovin' You Yet"
3. "This Ain't Just a Song"
4. "As Long as There's Love"
5. "Back to the Country"
6. "Hillbilly Wins the Lotto Money"
7. "Come Find Me"
8. "No Bad Days"
9. "One on One"
10. "American Farmer"
11. "It's About Time"
12. "Footstompin' Music"
13. "I Wanna Be There"
A few lucky fans were able to hear some songs on Southern Drawl in June at a fan appreciation concert. There, Gentry invited fans into his car and played the new music for them. The response? Tears.
“Some of them would get out with tears running down their faces. Then I’d get three or four more,” he recalls. “I did that for two hours."
Alabama's fans are loyal, and because of that, the trio is anticipating a positive response.
"I'm so thankful people care about the music we made," Owen says. "They still come to the concerts, and they're very enthusiastic. Hopefully, this new music will be something they'll enjoy. I put everything I had in it.
"It's amazing that three people who see the world through very different eyes could come to the decision to put together and get it done and do a new CD," he adds.
10 Essential Albums for Your Country Music Education