Late last year Alana Jackson released his latest full-length studio recording Angels and Alcohol. Ahead of its release, the country music legend launched a tour in support of his first album since 2012’s Thirty Miles West. The “25th Anniversary Keepin’ It Country” tour launched January 8th, 2015 in Fort Meyers, Florida and ran through the better part of the year. It included a performance at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 17th, 2015. That performance serves as the basis for Jackson’s new live recording Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks. Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks will be released in stores and online this Friday, May 6th on DVD and digital. There is a lot to like about this latest offering from the veteran performer beginning with its set list. The show’s choice of songs and its ordering are both important to note in regards to its overall presentation. That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Jackson and company’s stage presence throughout the concert is just as important to note. And as with every one of Eagle Rock Entertainment’s live recordings, the concert’s production values (I.E. its audio and video mix). This is one of those concerts that looks and sounds just as great on a standard HD monitor as it does with a home theater system. Together with the concert’s set list and the musicians’ performance of said set list all three elements come together to make the recording in whole one that country fans of all ages will enjoy and that proves yet again why Eagle Rock Entertainment is still to this day the leader in live recordings.
Alan Jackson’s new live recording Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks is a concert recording that country fans of all ages and tastes will enjoy. That is thanks in large part to the show’s selected set list and its order. The show’s extensive twenty-six song set runs a total of an hour and forty-six minutes. That’s just under the two hour mark. Though, because of the set’s order and the group’s stage presence, which will be discussed later, that time feels like even more. That is meant in the best way possible, too. The set list itself pulls from a rather healthy portion of his lengthy career. It represents no less than ten of his albums and indeed his twenty-five year career. Given, not every album is represented here. But a good compliment of his albums is represented. It goes all the way back to his U.S. debut record, 1990’s Here In The Real World. There are even some numbers that he recorded with others such as ‘As She’s Walking Away,’ which was included in the Zac Brown Band album You Get What You Give. Perhaps the only con to the whole set list (to this critic alone) is the omission of ‘Summertime Blues.’ That song is one of this critic’s favorite songs from Alan Jackson. Of course everybody has his or her favorite song(s). So in the end, the set list still proves at least in terms of its featured songs, to be an impressive, important part of this recording. The set list’s order is just as important to note as its featured songs. Audiences will appreciate the attention to detail in regards to the set list’s order. It balances the songs’ energy expertly from one song to the next right to the show’s end. From the show’s up-tempo opener ‘Gone Country’ to the equally playful and energetic ‘I Don’t Even Know Your Name’ to the more laid back ‘Livin’ On Love’ and beyond, the show’s energy will keep home viewers just as entertained and engaged as those that were in attendance at the concert. Keeping this in mind, both the show’s set list and its order prove to be equally important to the recording’s presentation if not the most important of its elements.
The set list and its order are both key elements in the overall presentation of Alan Jackson’s new live recording. The set list is itself quite extensive, going back indeed a quarter of a century to his debut album and even up to his latest album. The set list’s order is just as important as the set itself as it maintains a solid balance of energy from beginning to end. While both elements are undeniably important to the recording’s presentation, they are not its only important element. The band’s stage presence (especially that of Jackson) is another pivotal element in the recording’s presentation. Audiences will be pleased to see and hear how natural the performance feels in experiencing it for themselves. Considering Jackson’s two decades-plus long career it should come as no surprise that he acts right at home on stage. What’s more there is still a certain sense of humility from him throughout his performance. Even despite being considered one of the modern legends of country music, he shows in his performance that he hasn’t let such a label go to his head. Between songs, he spends ample time interacting with the audience in an almost Storytellers sort of vibe. He takes time to joke with the audience at some points. At others, he takes some time to discuss the roots of certain songs. The laughter and the insight offered in these moments, coupled with the professionalism of Jackson’s fellow musicians makes for a performance that, again, audiences at home will enjoy just as much as those that were there in attendance. It is not the last of the recording’s most important elements, either. The recording’s production values round out the whole thing.
The set list and its order are important in their own right to Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks. They serve in their own fashion to keep viewers entertained and engaged. The same can be said of Jackson’s stage presence and that of his fellow musicians. The talent and professionalism of all involved proves this just as much as the totally natural feel of the performances. For all of the importance of these elements, they are not the only important elements to note in this recording’s presentation. The recording’s production values (I.E. its audio and video) are just as important to note as the other mentioned elements. Just as with so many of its previous live recordings, Eagle Rock Entertainment has given audiences the absolute best seat in the house. That is even with the fame and notoriety of the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The concert’s camera crew and director capture the concert from every one of its best angles. This includes shots from all around the stage, from the vast sea of fans, and from even other spots that would seem to most impossible to get. All in all, the shots captured by the camera crew and their director heighten the viewing experience even more for audiences. As impressive as their work was, the editors charged with assembling the final product are to be applauded just as much. The combined efforts of all involved results in a visual experience that is just as enjoyable as being there in person, if not more so. Of course that is not to overlook the work of those manning the audio boards. This is very important to note. Thanks to those behind the boards, this concert is one that sounds just as good on a standard high definition monitor as a full home theater system. This is important to note because believe it or not there are some recordings out there whose audio mix is best experienced on a home theater system. There are others that are best served on just a standard monitor. This concert is neither of those. Its audio is so well balanced that it works just as well on a standard monitor as on a home theater system. Audiences that listen to it on a standard monitor won’t be losing out on anything. Both audiences will get the same enjoyable experience. Considering this, the audio—thanks both to those that manned the boards and those that handled it in post production—proves to be just as important to this recording as its video. It and the show’s video mix round out the recording, showing one more time exactly why every country music fan and every Alan Jackson fan will enjoy this recording. They also combine to, again, show why Eagle Rock is still today the leading name in live recordings.
Alan Jackson’s new live recording Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks is a recording that both country fans and fans of his of all ages will enjoy. It also shows once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment still stands today as the leader in live recordings. This is evident in the show’s extensive and obviously well thought out set it. It is a set list that will keep audiences both entertained and engaged from beginning to end. The same an be said of the band’s stage presence, including that of Jackson. The performance in whole feels completely natural. And Jackson himself even comes across as being so personable as he interacts with the audience between almost every song, sharing both laughs and insight. The recording’s production values round out its presentation. Each element is important in its own way to the recording’s presentation. Altogether, they make this recording, once more, one that country music fans and Alan Jackson fans of all ages will enjoy. It also serves to show once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. It will be available this Friday, May 6th in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:
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