If Randy Owen and Alabama seem a little reflective right now, well, they've earned it.
Owen, who along with cousins Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook form the group Alabama, comes to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Aug. 10 in what's being billed as the Back to the Bowery tour, a reference to the Bowery Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. That's where the Northeast Alabama trio took its first steps in 1973, spending the summer as the venue's house band.
Alabama went on to record 34 Billboard No. 1 country songs during the 1980s and '90s. Renowned favorites include "Tennessee River," "Feels So Right" and "If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)."
"It was 40 years ago, but it seems like it's been no time," Owen says in a phone interview. "We were getting ready to go to this place called the Bowery and work for tips and start an adventure of this crazy thing of being a group. And I was stupid enough to embark on this."
The band hasn't been on the road since the American Farewell Tour in 2002. And, like Cher, Juwan Howard and every heavyweight boxer before them, Alabama's farewell wasn't its last.
"For me, I really needed some time off," Owen says. "I had no intentions, honestly, of ever getting and playing on stage again. That was as truthful as I could be."
But respect for Alabama's music remains strong, as evidenced by two forthcoming tribute albums. The group is generating the first one, titled "Alabama & Friends" and featuring two new songs and such stars as Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts revisiting some of the band's classics. It's due out Sept. 3.
The second album, "High Cotton: A Tribute to Alabama," will have more of an Americana vibe. Memphis rockers Lucero ("The Closer You Get") and string band Old Crow Medicine Show ("Dixieland Delight") are among the contributors.
Alabama also has a fan cruise set to leave Miami Oct. 24-28 aboard the Norwegian Pearl ship. The trip to the Bahamas and Great Stirrup Cay will include Diamond Rio and Craig Morgan. Go to AlabamaFestivalAtSea.com.
Alabama will perform 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. Tickets cost $91.45 to $183.65. Go to Ticketmaster.com.Copyright © 2015, South Florida