"There's this highway that's been in existence for forever now -- it's called the Dixie Highway and it runs from north of Michigan all the way down to South Florida, and I wrote a song about it that's on the album," Alan explains. "I grew up on Highway 34 outside of Newnan, Georgia, and that's where we came up with Thirty Miles West. I think we were about thirty miles west of the official part of the Dixie Highway that runs through Georgia."
The project, the living legend's first for his own Alan's Country Records in a joint venture with EMI Records, is set for release on June 5. Its first single is the poignant "So You Don't Have To Love Me Anymore," written by Jay Knowles and Alan's nephew, Adam Wright.
"At first, it raised the hair on my arms when I heard the demo," Alan tells The Boot. "It's the kind of song that made me want to be in country music. I'm such a big fan of that kind of song. Sad songs, break-up songs and heartache songs are always the best ones to bring that emotion out.
"I just think it's one of the better songs to come out of Nashville in a long time," he continues. "People are comparing it to a new 'He Stopped Loving Her Today.' I wouldn't want to put myself in that category with George [Jones], but it is a great song."
Thirty Miles West follows 2010's Freight Train, which spawned the hit singles "It's Just That Way" and "Hard Hat and a Hammer." Alan also re-released his gospel album, Precious Memories, last month, due to fan demand after his former label stopped producing copies.