Alabama is back with Southern Drawl, their first new album of original country songs since 2001. Though they’ve produced a few gospel projects since then, the idea for a new country release didn’t take shape until Alabama’s manager approached them about it. The Country Music Hall of Fame members agreed to make the album on one condition.
The band’s Teddy Gentry tells ABC Radio, “We said, ‘Well, maybe.’ If we have total control of what we cut and nobody’s looking over our shoulder and telling us what to do. So, he came to us, and said, ‘We got you a deal.'”
Southern Drawl is the first country album Alabama has produced by themselves since their 1979 debut, My Home’s in Alabama. When it came time to choose songs for the album, lead singer Randy Owen dug into the bag of songs he’s been writing for the past few years. The band looked to Nashville’s top songwriters, too. In fact, the lead single from Southern Drawl, “Wasn’t Through Lovin’ You Yet,” was a result of that search.
Says Randy, “You’re stupid not to take those songs if you get the opportunity.”
Even though they haven’t made a straight-ahead country album in 14 years, Alabama’s sound on Southern Drawl isn’t that far off from the music of today’s top country stars like Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. Jason and Luke regularly cover Alabama’s hits in concert, and the Alabama band members are proud to have a friendly relationship with today’s top country singers.
Randy recalls meeting Luke Bryan for the first time thanks to an introduction from Jake Owen.
“Jake’s like, ‘Man, there’s this guy. He’s so nervous. He’s just getting started, and he’s crazy about you guys,'” Randy recalls. “I said, ‘Well, what’s his name?’ He says, ‘Luke Bryan.’ I said, ‘Well, bring him on the bus.’ You know, you see Luke today, he was anything but the way he was that night. He was real quiet.”
Randy adds, “To see him and Jason [and Jake] and all those guys, you know, what they’ve done — it’s just great to see. “
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