Alan Jackson

A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'Bout Love)

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Three years after his first number one single, Alan Jackson took his brand of new honky tonk country and pushed it all the way into the mainstream, making it possible for another batch of acts to follow him. Sticking with producer Keith Stegall, Jackson wrote over half the tracks on the set, including a pair of singles, "She's Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)" and "Tonight I Climbed the Wall," as well as "Chattahoochee." The uptempo numbers with the jukebox kick are what works best with Jackson's restless country-soul voice -- check "I Don't Need the Booze (To Get a Buzz On)." The smoking Western swing of "Up to My Ears in Tears" walks a line between Bob Wills and Buck Owens, and could have been covered by Dwight Yoakam. But the set's winner is its closer, the Geddins/Douglas classic "Mercury Blues." Taking the tune back to its country roots and claiming it for the Fender Telecaster's particular brand of pinch and tang, Jackson sings the hell out of it. At this point in his career, Jackson established himself as one of the most consistent talents country had to offer.

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