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Alan Jackson Slows Pace Down on 'Like Red on a Rose'

Country star Alan Jackson, 48, has dominated the Country charts throughout the past two decades. He's best-known for such uptempo hits as "Don't Rock the Jukebox," "Chattahoochee" and his Grammy-winning duet with Jimmy Buffett, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere." But Alan slows the pace down on his latest album of love songs, "Like Red On A Rose."

Alan Jackson turned to award-winning bluegrass artist Alison Krauss to produce his latest album, Like Red On A Rose. The result wasn't what Alan first had in mind, however. Last year, he recorded a gospel collection, and he wanted to follow that with a bluegrass album. Instead, Alison convinced him to move in a different direction. Alan describes the songs they chose for the collection as "bluesy, reflective and melancholy."

According to Alan, many of the tracks on Like Red on a Rose are also autobiographical. He says, "I'm at a point in my life where I've lived through a lot, survived a lot, enjoyed a lot, had tears, and laughter and all of that, and a lot of these songs are that story."

Since arriving on the Country scene in 1989, Alan has sold more than 48 million albums and he's topped Billboard's Country Singles chart 22 times. He's also won close to 100 industry awards, and still holds the record as the most-nominated artist in the 40-year history of the Country Music Association Awards. Alan remains humble about his success, and says it's important to keep it all in perspective.

"You learn, especially as you get older, what's really important, and what simple values are, and how valuable every day is. I'm at a good place, you know. I've got a wonderful life and family and [my] career has been more than I could ever ask for. Life is good. You get to an age where you're a little more reflective and understand things, hopefully, a little better, and it makes life much happier," he says.

Unlike many of his previous albums, Alan wrote only one of the songs on his new CD. "A Woman's Love" originally appeared on his 1998 album, High Mileage. Alison re-worked the arrangement to give it a more moody sound.

The title track of "Like Red On A Rose" peaked at Number 15 on the Country chart, and propelled the collection to a Number One debut on the Country Albums list. Alan says when he heard the song, he immediately knew it would set the tone of the album.

"It was written by Robert Lee Castleman, a writer from Nashville, who writes really interesting lyrics and melodies both. Alison Krauss produced the whole album, and this was one of the first songs she played for me. I knew then that it was just a well-written song with a beautiful melody, and I needed to do it," he says.