Gary Graff,

With his 15th studio album, "Good Time," still spewing out hits -- the latest is the top 20 "Country Boy" -- Alan Jackson says he's not necessarily in a hurry to start working on the next one.

"I usually record in the winter time, but this winter might be a little early to start putting stuff down," Jackson tells Billboard.com. "I don't like to (work ahead) because things change and sometimes your whole perspective changes before you get to the finish line. So I like to wait."
When he does hunker down, however, Jackson says he's already got a good start from the sessions for "Good Time."

"I had so much material; I cut 25 things for this album that I'd written, and we only used 17, so I've got eight things in the can that I thought I'd save for the next album," he explains. "But then I've written a couple of new things and we'll start looking for outside material before long, just to get it going."

"Good Time" marked Jackson's return to mainstream country after his bluegrass-styled 2006 collaboration with Alison Krauss, "Like Red on a Rose," and the same year's gospel set, "Precious Memories." It debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, meaning Jackson's audience stayed intact while he was experimenting.

"I don't know that I worried about it too much," he says of his audience's loyalty. "I think it worked out pretty good. I've always had an album a year for nearly 20 years, just bam, bam, bam. So maybe it was a good time to take a little break and give us a chance to come up with all this material and make a good album."

"Country Boy" is the third single drawn from "Good Time," and Jackson thinks Arista Nashville might try to "squeeze out five singles" before the cycle is done.

Meanwhile, Jackson is prepping for this year's Country Music Association Award show, where he'll perform and is nominated in four categories, including male Vocalist and album of the year. Nevertheless, he predicts -- with a laugh -- that, "I'll lose everything."

"I told 'em two years ago when they were still giving me awards that, 'Man, y'all need to start voting for some of these younger guys. We gotta keep the industry going,'" says Jackson, who has 16 CMA Awards. "I've always felt if you have some real exceptional song or something, it's nice to get recognized. As far as the award for male vocalist or something, I've already won that. But it's always nice to win, too."



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