Alabama lead singer Randy Owen said the band had never played the Beacon Theater in New York until recently when they made a stop on their tour supporting "Southern Drawl," Alabama's first album of original music since 2001.
"The first night we opened on Southern Drawl was at the Beacon Theater in New York City, and it's a beautiful place," he said. "It's interesting, because we were signing autographs on the sidewalk there with folks and visiting with them -- we met a lot of folks that were there from New Jersey."
Alabama will be bringing the Southern Drawl tour to Biloxi at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Coast Coliseum, 2350 Beach Blvd., Biloxi.
Owen and his band mates -- Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry -- have sold more than 73 million records and have had 43 No. 1 hits, including "Feels So Right," "Old Flame" and "Mountain Music," all of which have featured Owen's distinct smooth baritone,
He said the band thought it was time to do something new.
"We just felt it was time to give the fans some new music, so we recorded 'Southern Drawl,'" Owen said.
The album's first single, "Wasn't Through Lovin' You Yet," was released in summer 2015.
Owen said he is pleased with the new album.
"If you can't be happy about it, you may as well not record," he said. "I just went and did it -- maybe I had taken an extra pass at or song or two, but it just boils down to having a good feel for the songs, even if you didn't write them, you can identify with them."
From the foot-stomping title track about the joys of living in the South to the ballad "One On One," "Southern Drawl" has all of
the elements of what has become the band's keys to success.
"We just try to get in there and make a better record than we did the last time but still stick to what sounds like Alabama," Owen said. "I think it's something that maybe folks are ready to hear and the folks that don't know anything about us -- they're interested to see what it sounds like."
While the band was on extended hiatus from recording, they were approached by Brad Paisley about recording together. The result was 2011's "Old Alabama," which had the band recreating the bridge from "Mountain Music." It would be their first No. 1 hit since 1993.
"I didn't think anybody cared about hearing us anymore," Owen said of the song. "That was an eye-opener that people still wanted to hear us play and sing."
Owen said one of the things that made "Old Alabama" was his guitar tone.
"I have a very specific guitar tone and they kept trying to recapture that," he said. "Finally, I just told them that I would bring in my guitar and play it and it sounded like my guitar because it was my guitar and I was playing it."
Tickets for Sunday's show start at $23 and are available at www.ticketmaster.com.