Jamey Johnson can lend his voice to just about anything and it’ll come out fantastic.
Doesn’t matter of he’s singing a Jamey Johnson classic like “In Color,” covering a John Anderson hit, or reading the back of a cereal block… the man just embodies everything that is good country music.
Featuring the late great John Prine, Sierra Ferrell, Brent Cobb, Nathaniel Rateliff, Eric Church, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Tyler Childers, Luke Combs, Sturgill Simpson, Brothers Osborne, Del McCoury & Sierra Hull, Ashley McBryde, and Jamey himself, the project is downright phenomenal.
Johnson closes out the project with a cover of Anderson’s “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday),” which was originally written and recorded by Billy Joe Shaver.
Anderson released his version in March of 1981 as the first single from his sophomore album, John Anderson 2.
And the original:
Jamey Johnson On Covering The Country Music Greats
Talk about wisdom from a legend.
Jamey Johnson is about as real as they come, as he prides himself in writing songs about real life, everything from hardships growing up, to personal experiences.
Recently, he sat down for an interview with the Country Music Hall of Fame, discussing the importance of carrying on the legacy of country stars who both inspired and came before him.
In the video, he talks about how many of the all time greats in country music have passed on, from Merle Haggard, to Johnny Cash, to George Jones.
His biggest fear is that shallow songwriting about “beer” and “partyin'” could erase the memory and importance of the true country music legends.
“Without people like me out there covering their songs, they just stop. If nobody was singing Johnny Cash, there’s a whole generation that would grow up without Johnny Cash. And if you ask me, that’s not gonna be a good world.
The young artists today… it’s important they learn those songs, it’s important that they pass it along. That you pay respect but that you also pass along the ministry of those important singers.
They had a lot to say that matters.”
He also discussed how he didn’t realize the importance and relatability of those songs until a little later in his music career:
“You don’t realize that until you get some age to ya… when I was young, I didn’t understand Merle Haggard lyrics, the same way that I did when I got to be 25, 30, 40 years old.
Those lyrics hold more truth, and more wisdom, and more meaning than you could possibly realize.
I just view myself as a torch that’s passing down (music) from one generation to the next, and if I could be used in that way, maybe that’s a good purpose.”
Real recognizes real.
All I gotta say is, we need some new Jamey Johnson music soon. It’s been way too long.