Fresh off the platinum success of his largely self-written Good Time album, Alan Jackson took a night off his spring tour to preview some new tracks from his forthcoming album of Clarence Carter covers for a select group of internet media.
“Well, I’ve always been partial to, you know, those ol’ gritty sounding rhythm and blues songs and they don’t get any grittier than Clarence,” Jackson laughed genially as he started off the evening.
I settled into my chair as Jackson began his opening selection – and incidentally also the upcoming album’s lead single – the bawdy “Sixty Minute Man,” which includes the line “fifteen minutes of something you’ve been missing.” Sounding as confident as ever, Jackson put a little pelvic thrusting into the hook lines, drawing gasps and a little stifled laughter from the audience.
Next, Jackson brought Alison Krauss, producer of the album (and his previous dip into R&B, Like Red on a Rose), onstage with him to do backing vocals on the randy “Take It Off Him, Put It On Me.” They grinned like drunken college kids as they pulled off the number with peculiar aplomb.
Alison exited as Alan continued his set with the classic “Patches” before returning to Carter’s seedy side with “Back Door Santa,” donning a Santa hat and doing an awkward “butt spank” dance move during the performance. After some muddled applause and whispering, someone in the crowd hollered out “Do Strokin’!” and the long tall Georgian complied.
“I’d like to bring up a very special guest for my last song tonight,” smiled Alan as he helped the elder soulman Carter onto the small stage. The two traded libidinous lyrics with huge smiles on their faces to the crowd’s mix of embarrassment and excitement. The bizarreness of hearing Jackson sing “that’s what I been doin'” while shaking his skinny hips cannot be adequately conveyed with any words in my vocabulary.
Concerns over whether this was the long and dirty version of “Strokin'” were put to rest when Jackson changed the lyrics “you can stick it up my ***” to “you can take care of yourself.” “We gotta keep things PG-13,” he said with his famous aw-shucks drawl as the song faded. The crowd dispersed quickly after a short, confused semi-ovation.
Reported by “Trailer” Parkman of Farce the Music