View the original review at: http://www.countryweekly.com/reviews/bluegrass-album-alan-jackson
Alan finally delivers a project he’s longed to complete, an album that showcases his bluegrass roots and undying love for the genre. And Alan sounds right at home, singing with enough ease and confidence to indicate that he could have been a bluegrass stalwart had he chosen that particular direction.
He wrote several originals for the project, any of which could fit neatly into any bluegrass catalog. In fact, Alan’s credible writing might be the album’s most revelatory element.
The opening track, “Long Hard Road,” covers the traditional bluegrass territories of struggle, love and redemption without seeming contrived. Two more Alan originals, the lively “Appalachian Mountain Girl” and the romantic “Mary,” pay respect to tradition but also sound contemporary enough to appeal to the uninitiated.
The personal highlight is Alan’s perfectly plaintive rendering of The Dillards’ “There Is a Time,” doing more than considerable justice to the classic.
The musicians Alan enlisted contribute to the overall authentic feel, with mandolinist Adam Steffey and Dobro player Rob Ickes particularly shining through.
This isn’t some country star’s halfhearted vanity attempt at bluegrass—Alan’s album is the real thing, a “must” whether you’re a bluegrass buff or just a fan of fine music.