Following a deep period of introspection, Jamey Johnson entered the recording studio in April 2007 and emerged with That Lonesome Song, a collection of extraordinary compositions that is equally noteworthy for its lyrical craftsmanship and its strikingly original sound. Jamey is the co-writer of the CMA and ACM 2007 Song of the Year 'Give It Away,' recorded by George Strait. Trace Adkins and George Jones have also recorded his songs but Jamey is not content with just providing hits for others, this singer and songwriter has a powerful drive to sing, record and perform.
The final cut on That Lonesome Song
—kind of a concept album meets musical manifesto—is titled "Between Jennings and Jones," which is where Jamey Johnson finds himself shelved in the CD racks, and also how he describes his sound. Actually, there's way more Jennings than Jones, with two cuts covered from Waylon's classic Dreaming My Dreams
(the title track and "The Door Is Always Open"), another paying tribute to him by name ("The Last Cowboy") and several others borrowing liberally from his sound. Yet in terms of both concept and sound, the bare-bones intimacy of this bittersweet divorce album remind more of Willie Nelson's Phases and Stages
(at least side one, the man's side), with the opening "High Cost of Living" ("ain’t nothing like the cost of living high") setting the "Bloody Mary Morning" tone, extended by the sad country waltz of "Angel" and continuing through the down-and-out epiphany of the title track. Only the comparatively lightweight novelty of "Women" indicates that this is the same guy who wrote "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" for Trace Adkins. --Don McLeese