Review: Alan Jackson - Precious Memories: Live at the Ryman

A review of the country singer's live concert recording

Alan Jackson - Precious Memories, Live at the Ryman
Alan Jackson - Precious Memories, Live at the Ryman. Arista

Recorded live at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, Precious Memories: Live at the Ryman, is something that will touch your soul. During the acoustic performance, the spotlight is on Alan Jackson as he delivers a powerful performance of the hymns from his 2006 surprise hit, Precious Memories. In addition to the moving music, the DVD also includes interviews and footage of Jackson's family, making it a wonderful addition to any country music lover's collection, whether they are a longtime fan of his or not.

Album Review:

Precious Memories originally started out for a Christmas present for Jackson's mother. She had always wanted him to record a gospel album, and the small project ended up turning into a full-fledged album of Jackson's favorite hymns. Precious Memories was issued in 2006, and although no singles were released, the album soared to the tops of Billboard's country and Christian charts, was certified platinum, and earned Jackson a Dove Award for Country Album of the Year.

Naturally, the massive breakaway success of the album prompted a live performance. Precious Memories, Live at the Ryman, is a 48-minute DVD captured in front of a sold-out crowed in the Ford Theater at the Ryman Auditorium, "The Mother Church of Country Music," in Nashville. The acoustic concert features all 14 of the album's hymns, including "Blessed Assurance," "I Love To Tell the Story," "Are You Washed in the Blood, "I'll Fly Away" and "The Old Rugged Cross," to name a few.

Jackson's beautiful rendition of the iconic country gospel hymn "How Great Thou Art" is not to be missed. If you are an avid gospel-listener, you will recognize many, if not all, of the tracks he performs. If you aren't a fan of gospel, allow Jackson to change your mind.

In between performances, the DVD features interviews with Alan, his mother, his wife and kids, offering an intimate look at the country star's life and upbringing.

The DVD, based on an album that is very personal in nature, follows a similar production style. It's very tastefully produced. You won't find any flashy production techniques here. The DVD keeps it simple, focusing on the music, with family photos interspersed throughout, as well as exclusive bonus footage of family stories and history. The family band is also introduced, showing viewers that Jackson isn't the only one with musical talent in the group. Precious Memories: Live at the Ryman does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the Jackson family's closeness and solidarity.

If you already own the album, this DVD would make a lovely complement. This is something any Jackson fan would treasure in their collection.

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