“In Nashville, everybody wants to categorize you as either an ‘artist’ or a ‘writer,’” says Jessi Alexander, “but there was never a distinction for me.” The CMA and ACM Song of the Year winner’s extraordinary new album, ‘Decatur County Red,’ is proof of that. Recorded at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground studio with a cast of Nashville’s finest, the collection finds Alexander at her most honest and vulnerable, looking back on her humble Tennessee roots and tracing her remarkable journey through heartbreak and joy, pain and reconciliation, disappointment and triumph. The songs here reflect a lifetime spent obsessing over southern rock and classic country, showcasing the melodic instincts that have garnered her multiple #1’s while at the same time stretching her sound beyond the mainstream pop hits she’s written for the likes of Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus, Lee Brice, Tim McGraw, Celine Dion, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett, Trisha Yearwood, and Ashley Monroe among others. Reckoning the darkness that drove her away from home and the ties that will forever bind her, the album is at once a celebration of the simplicity of Southern living and a love letter to the music that raised her. “A lot of people like to argue what is and isn’t country music,” says Alexander, “but I think it’s pretty simple. Be real, be raw. That’s country music to me.” With ‘Decatur County Red,’ Jessi Alexander is as country as it gets.
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