Alabama Announce ‘Southern Drawl,’ First Album of New Songs in 14 Years
The country trio released both a live album and a gospel album in 2014, but Southern Drawl will be their first completely new project since 2001's When It All Goes South. Though Alabama will still have their trademark sound, the new record will feature a different side of the band, as they update their music for the ears of today's country fans.
"Country music when we took our vacation is not the same country it is today," Cook tells USA Today. "For people who knew the original Alabama, it's going to be a little different to their ears."
A few lucky fans have been able to hear a few of the songs on Southern Drawl. In June, Gentry showed up at the group's fan appreciation concert in Fort Payne, Ala., invited a handful of fans into his car and played them some the new music.
"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."
"Wasn't Through Lovin' You Yet" will be the record's first single. USA Today describes the track as "a pulsing romantic ballad," while the title track is reminiscent of Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney.
"They'll play to a new generation that didn't know them back in the '80s. I think that's exciting," Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, says. "When they came on the scene, that was the introduction of the country-rock sound. It changed the shape of country music. It opened the doors for some of the stars of today."
One of Southern Drawl's tracks, "Come Find Me," even features the gorgeous vocals of Alison Krauss.
"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."
Although Alabama have taken a significant break from recording new music, fans still very much care about the band -- and no one is more grateful than Owen, Gentry and Cook.
"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.
Southern Drawl is scheduled to drop on Sept. 18 from BMG Chrysalis North America. A complete track listing and pre-order information will be revealed at a later date.
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