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on October 12, 2013
I have been an Alan fan forever and have nearly all his albums. I am not really a bluegrass fan and almost passed on this one. Boy, am I glad I didn't. Yes, he may not have the "high lonesome sound" of Bill Monroe or Jimmy Martin or Vince Gill, but his voice carries the story.

The band is tremendous as others have noted, and they get plenty of time to show their skills. The fact that he wrote most of the songs shows another side of Alan. Some of them seem like they could be old handed-down story songs. I too really like "Blue Ridge Mountain Song"; so far that is my favorite.

I am glad that there is at least one real country singer out there who refuses to give into the pop sound coming out of Nashville today.
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on October 8, 2013
I have always enjoyed Alan's recordings and got a lot of his CDs but I really enjoyed this one. I lost my husband last November. He was a big Alan Jackson fan as am I. He also loved Bluegrass music and played the fiddle behind a lot of different musicians over the years. He would have loved this also. So congrads to Alan for trying something he always wanted to do.
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on September 27, 2013
This is a very good album but I don't think I can agree that it is "bluegrass", it's more country. I enjoyed it and love Alan Jackson!!! I would definitely recommend purchasing it but not with a " bluegrass" expectation!!!
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on September 24, 2013
This is a awesome album 14 songs 8 of which Alan Jackson wrote. He is a legend and Country Music Superstar and it clearly shows in the quality,it consists of earthy, Lonesome music showing American roots. The band is handpicked of the best in the USA. I haven't heard any better and can't say enough about it! It's a MUST HAVE. ENJOY IT
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on October 31, 2013
If you're an Alan Jackson fan, this album is great, or so his fans tell me. If you're a bluegrass fan, the album is average at best. Nothing wrong with the instrumentals, they're very good. Jackson treats a song beautifully and does so on this album. My problem is that its just another slick, formula driven Nashville production. Bluegrass is traditionally a team effort, with no one individual totally in the spotlight, this album features Jackson rather than the music and the team effort. You could hear the whole Nashville formula: we have "the star", rendering all the others to back-up status, and who ever heard to backup singers in bluegrass? Its a team effort. Of course the song mix had some old and new, throwing in some religious references about every third song, framed like the hundreds of other cookie cutter albums Nashville cranks out every year. If you're a big Alan Jackson fan, buy it. If you're a bluegrass fan, you can do better. This is stereotype country music with slightly different instrumentation.
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on October 5, 2013
This album has some sweet music. It's hard for me, as a straight-up Bluegrass fan, to call it straight-up Bluegrass...some songs hit that better than others. But Alan Jackson is one of the best country singers of all time, and of course that country sound is going to come through because it's who he is. He's got some great musicians on it, and they do a great job. I'm enjoying the music very much, so no need to get too picky about a label for it.
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on October 27, 2013
I read several of the lower ratings, and the most common theme seems to be 'this isn't bluegrass' or 'Alan Jackson is not a bluegrass singer'. I will not be so high-handed as to say what is and what is not bluegrass, but after listening to this CD - and thoroughly enjoying it - I found such reviews to be pretentious, misguided, and, well...irritating.

All bluegrass does not fit into a single mold and it does not all have to sound like Ricky Skaggs, or like Bill Monroe from the 1940's (although I love that music too). I am hearing master musicians play acoustic guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, dobro, and I am hearing some harmonious singing. These people that say this isn't bluegrass are simply wrong and needlessly judgmental. Regarding Alan Jackson's voice, maybe it does not have that pure high lonesome sound, but no less so than Tony Rice or Lester Flatt (as two examples), and do you want to discount their picking & singing as not bluegrass? If you do not like Alan Jackson's singing voice, then maybe you should stay away, but I think it is pompous to say he cannot sing bluegrass just because he does not hit any soprano notes. I believe that there are some bluegrass snobs who have a problem with a "country" singer releasing a bluegrass album, but this is every bit bluegrass as many of the traditional bluegrass bands releasing music on traditional bluegrass labels.

I don't listen to much "country" music coming out of Nashville these days, but Alan Jackson is one performer that I do enjoy. I have always loved bluegrass and old-time country, so this CD seemed like it was worth a shot. I am glad I took the shot, because this is terrific music. It is a good value as well with 14 tracks and over an hour of playing time. Enough said.
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on May 11, 2014
...But it is not a the great bluegrass album it should be. When you have some of the greatest bluegrass singers and players, the likes of Scott Coney (acoustic guitar), Sammy Shelor (banjo), Adam Steffey (mandolin), Tim Crouch (fiddle), Tim Dishman (bass), Rob Ickes (dobro) and Ronnie Bowman and Don Rigsby (vocals) it is not the album I had hoped for. It still has that Nashville (not make cup of tea) country sound, just because you put a banjo on a record it doesn't make it bluegrass.
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on October 3, 2013
I thought this was possibly the best bluegrass album of the year. The songs that A.J. wrote are pure Bluegrass, very traditional. The backup is perfect. It is the type of album that just cheers you up when you hear it. The only very slight complaint I might have is that it might be a tad too smooth. It lacks a little of the rawness of the older bluegrass albums. I don't normally give 5 star recommendations, this album deserves every star. The long extended instrumentals on each song are a pleasure. There is nothing I can say negative about this. I got it yesterday and have played it 3 times already. Good thing you can't wear out a CD.
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on February 22, 2015
I love this CD! A few of the songs are a bit similar in style, but the more you listen to it, the more and more you will like it. I highly recommend. I have always enjoyed Alan Jackson's music. It is very nice to see him making some songs that are a bit more serious as well as exploring different styles. I would have to say that, thus far, my favorite songs are: Long Hard Road (top song, so much fun), Blue Ridge Mountain Song (this is a beautiful song, listen to the words) Ain't Got Trouble Now (catchy), Tie Me Down (also catchy-fusion between country and bluegrass), There is a Time (faster tempo, nice music accompaniments), Let's Get Back to Me and You (fun little song), Blacktop (reminds me of something that would be in the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack), Mary (smooth). Honestly, though, I love them all, as you can probably tell by me listing out 7 of the 14 songs as my top. If you get this CD, I don't think you will be disappointed!!
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