Friday, August 26, 2011

Jamey Johnson: The Guitar Song (4/5)

Year: 2010
Genre: Progressive Country
Label: Mercury Nashville
TRT: 1:45:33

I'll be the first to admit that I'm far from an expert on country music. Outside of a Johnny Cash, I've never really been impressed by what I've heard from the genre. So when NPR was reviewing this album last year I was dubious, but intrigued. And when they played Lonely at the Top, I immediately tracked down the album for further investigation.

While The Guitar Song is a sprawling release, covering two discs and close to two hours, it's remarkably consistent in quality. Sure there's a few tracks here and there that cross into the twang, honky-tonk and "good 'ol boy" stylings that initially caused me to dismiss the genre outright. But for every one song like that, there's two or three that are poignant, earnest and refreshingly down to earth. Tracks such as the aforementioned album opener, Can't Cash My Checks, Good Morning Sunrise, et cetera, are frank, honest (sometimes painfully so) and you can sense that Johnson is in this to exercise his own demons, and any fame or fortune that might come along with that are merely added bonuses.

Apparently he's pretty popular and well known in the country music scene, so it's not like I'm unearthing an obscure gem here, but for someone quite far from informed on the matter, he's quite a find, and has sparked my interest to find similar artists of his mettle. Perhaps he'll do the same for you.

Disc 1 (Black)
1Lonely At the Top
2Cover Your Eyes
3Poor Man Blues
4Set 'Em Up Joe
5Playing the Part
6Baby Don't Cry
7Heaven Bound
8Can't Cash My Checks
9That's How I Don't Love You
11Mental Revenge
12Even the Skies Are Blue

Disc 2 (White)
1By the Seat of Your Pants
2California Riots
3Dog in the Yard
4The Guitar Song (Featuring Bill Anderson)
5That's Why I Write Songs
7Thankful for the Rain
8Good Morning Sunrise
9Front Porch Swing Afternoon
10I Remember You
11Good Time Ain't What They Used to Be
12For the Good Times
13My Way to You

EDIT: file was reported by the IFPI, you'll have to google it for yourself.

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