(First published on Blogcritics.org)
I almost missed Alan Jackson. My mother and father were country music fans. They grew up in Chicago when the National Barn Dance on WLS was the home of country music on the radio. Chicago was what Nashville is now. When we moved to California, Town Hall Party was inflicted on me every Saturday night.
I say “inflicted” because like many teenagers, I rebelled against anything my parents liked. By the time Alan Jackson began his career, country music was for me, a distant memory. By the time I came back, he was on his 16th studio album.
His new concert DVD, Alan Jackson – Keepin’ It Country – Live at Red Rocks, helped me make up for those missing years. It will help you, Alan Jackson die-hard fan or not, have a fun evening.
The DVD contains the 25th stop on his 25th Anniversary tour, recorded May 17, 2015, in Morrison, Colorado. It’s a great concert DVD because it was a great concert.
You get that “being there” experience. Jackson throws t-shirts to the audience. He ad-libs words in his songs. You get to see the look on a little girl’s face when she sees that she is on the giant video screen.
I particularly liked three things about the concert.
First, Jackson projects a totally sincere desire to entertain. He never pointed the microphone at the audience to hear them sing his words. After all, they came there to hear him. His singing voice is so natural, he went from talking to singing without missing a beat. He also, unlike some performers I’ve seen, did not blab on-and-on.
Second, Jackson’s band is an unusually talented group. The concert allowed you to hear extended interludes by these musicians on guitar, fiddle, keyboard, mandolin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandolin ), and, Jackson’s favorite, steel guitar.
Lastly, during one segment of the concert, Jackson told his life story, using his songs. Some of these were shortened versions, but that was OK, because you were able to experience a greatest-hits medley.
Alan Jackson — Keepin’ It Country – Live At Red Rocks contains 26 songs, including “Gone Country,” “Good Time,” “Small Town Southern Man,” “Chattahoochee,” “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning),” “Remember When,” and “Where I Come From”. It helped me catch up with Alan Jackson and if you are not a fan when you start watching, you will be when you finish. Alan Jackson is an entertainer you do not want to miss.
Keepin’ It Country – Live At Red Rocks can be purchased at all the usual places, but at his online store they also have t-shirts.