Alan Jackson is one of those performers that restores your faith in country music.
Once upon a time, country music was full of pure songs, little glitz and down-home friendliness. As country stars lean toward adding more rock influences to their songs and performances, Jackson stands out by turning out an array of songs about home, family and country.
"The problem with me is I've had 60-something singles," Jackson, 53, told the Los Angeles Times. "It's gotten to be that there are so many songs and there's always something some of the people really want to hear and we can't always play everything. It always ends up I leave something out that somebody wanted to hear, and I feel bad."
The embarrassment of riches that is Jackson's catalog has only grown in the past few years. He's currently touring behind his latest album, "Thirty Miles West," that includes the song "When I Saw You Leaving (for Nisey)," which he wrote for his wife, Denise, when she was battling cancer.
|When: 8 p.m. Sunday|
|Where: Wolf Trap's Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna|
|Info: Sold out at press time, but tickets might be available through resellers; 877-WOLFTRAP (965-3872); wolftrap.org|
Jackson is no stranger to writing about hard times. Soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Jackson released "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" that became an anthem in the U.S. More recently, he joined with 18 other major country stars including Keith Urban, Rodney Atkins and Reba McEntire, to record "The Choice" to benefit Soles4Souls, a charity that provides shoes to those in need.
But don't think Jackson is stuck in one groove.
Although the Grand Ole Opry member has sold more than 60 million albums, he's eyeing a turn toward bluegrass, perhaps in the not-too-distant future.
"I've always wanted to make a bluegrass album," Jackson told Gayle Thompson of the Boot. "I tried to do that before with ["Like Red On a Rose" produced by] Alison Krauss. She took me in there and we made that easy-listening album. It was a cool album and I'm really proud of that, too. But it was a long way from bluegrass by the time we got through with it. I still want to do a pure bluegrass album."
But don't think that means he's going to leave his country hits behind. Jackson, who said he occasionally listens to his earlier recordings to compare them with his recent work, knows that his fans are hooked on his hits, and he's grateful for their support.
"I'm just lucky to still be here and make the kind of music I like to make, and still go out there and sell a few tickets," he said.