Many, many years ago...a much younger "Mom" was strictly interested in Rock and Roll music. Country music, at the time meant Johnny Cash, George Jones and Loretta Lynn...all of which were way too country for "Mom's" 20-something ears to stand.
Along came Randy Owen (above), Teddy Gentry, Mark Herndon and Jeff Cook with the band Alabama to change my mind. Songs Tennessee River, Feels So Right, Mountain Music, The Closer You Get and so many more country pop songs, made me for the first time take notice of the genre. I bought all of their albums, saw their concerts and even had a kiss on the cheek from Randy right before the picture above was taken (yes, that is a leather headband around my forehead, it was the 80's!). I was a fan...not of all country music, but certainly of Alabama. I wasn't the only one. Their list of awards is long and varied. For several years, they were the face of country music.
In 2003-2004, the group went on their Farewell Tour and while they have reunited for special events since, the band that was a part of my music life for many years, had pretty much disappeared off of the radar.
I was excited to see the release of their new album, Alabama & Friends, in August. It includes some of their old songs, sung by their friends as well as two new songs by the group themselves. As I played the music, I remembered why it was that they were my first, favorite country group. The new Alabama songs are fresh and timely, the older songs are wonderfully sung by current artists. I couldn't help but sing and smile my way through the entire thing. I am still a rock and roll girl, but Alabama opened my eyes to contemporary country music back in the 80's and I am still a fan today.
I wasn't given this album to review,
nor was I compensated in any way.