The iconic, GRAMMY® award winning group ALABAMA is scheduled to release SOUTHERN DRAWL on BMG, due in stores Sept 18. The news was announced over the weekend on the cover of USA Today’s Sunday edition. The album will be the band’s first collection of new music in well over a decade.
USA Today claims, “It’s a brawny, good-humored country stomper, the sound of ALABAMA picking up a few tricks from fans such as Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney.” Guitarist Jeff Cook agrees adding “country music when we took our ‘vacation’ is not the same country it is today. For people who knew the original ALABAMA, it’s going to be a little different to their ears.”
While SOUTHERN DRAWL has a fresh and current sound that’s perfect for a new generation of listeners, ALABAMA fans will also find sounds reminiscent of those found on the band’s earlier, now iconic albums. USA Today boasts songs like “’American Farmer’ follows in the tradition of blue-collar anthems ‘Forty Hour Week (For A Livin’)’ and ‘Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)’ which paid tribute to truck drivers.”
Not only were those songs anthems, they were also #1 hits at country radio. In total, the band released a staggering 43 #1 hits at country radio. USA Today reminds us “ALABAMA became the most successful band in country music history, selling millions of albums at levels unprecedented for country acts.” To date, the band has sold over 73 million albums and has won countless awards including three GRAMMY® Awards and numerous CMA Awards. The band was also named ACM Entertainer of The Year an unprecedented 5 times in a row. After decades of recording, touring and selling out venues all over the country, ALABAMA embarked on a farewell tour in 2004.
After taking a break from recording for nearly 15 years, the band was refreshed, rejuvenated and excited to bring new music and ideas into the studio. With new songs in tow, and a supportive label handing them the reins, the band walked into the studio with complete creative control as the three co-produced the album. Lead singer, Randy Owen said “I gave more of my heart and soul to this one than anything I’ve been a part of in my life. 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.”
Teddy Gentry added, “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.”
Stand outs on the album include the lead single “Wasn’t Through Lovin’ You Yet,” the rowdy, in-your-face “Hillbilly Wins The Lotto Money,” the gorgeous “Come Find Me,” featuring vocals by Alison Krauss, the soon to be anthem American Farmer,” the title track “Southern Drawl,” and the heart-warming, tear inducing “I Wanna Be There.”
SOUTHERN DRAWL represents the best of what fans expect from ALABAMA. It’s a wonderful blend of the band’s signature harmonies, rocking guitars, heartfelt lyrics and the dose of levity for good measure. There’s a little familiarity to the album that is sure to please their longtime fans.
“I have never been more proud to represent a band and a record than I am with ALABAMA and SOUTHERN DRAWL,” said Kos Weaver, Executive Vice President, BMG. “We at BMG are very fortunate to get the opportunity to work with Jeff, Teddy and Randy on this highly anticipated album. These guys are icons and true artists, we are all very excited about sharing NEW Alabama music with the world.”