Alan Jackson is getting ready to celebrate 25 years of making country music with a silver anniversary tour. He kicks it off in January, and he's bringing young blood with him.

"I've been touring so long, I didn't want people to be thinking, 'Gosh, here comes Alan Jackson again,' " the singer modestly told PEOPLE.

He loves the business and performing, and realizes that he's got to put a new spin on the tour.

"I have fans who have been coming to my shows for 25 years, I meet them and they'll pull out a picture they took of me 25 years ago! This is a way to make it new – put together something special that pulls together those 25 years. Some people don't like to talk about how many years they've been around – it makes them feel old. I'm proud of it and glad to do it."

He's bringing Jon Pardi and Brandy Clark with him.

"Of all the new guys I've heard, I like that Jon is closer to country than most of the others and I thought his songwriting was better than what I've heard in a while," Jackson said. "And I love Brandy's songwriting," he added. "There's a song on her album [12 Stories] "In Some Corner" that I thought about covering on the new album. I really studied it. It's written from a girl's perspective, and I couldn't figure out a clean way to make it come from a guy. She's really a talented singer. She sounds new and old at the same time."

Jackson will be in Texas on March 6, at Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie.