The Guitar Song

Studio Album by released in 2010
The Guitar Song's tracklist:
Lonely at the Top
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Cover Your Eyes
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Poor Man Blues
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Set 'em Up Joe
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Playing the Part
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Baby Don't Cry
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Heaven Bound
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Can't Cash My Checks
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That's How I Don't Love You
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Heartache
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Mental Revenge
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Even the Skies Are Blue
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By the Seat of Your Pants
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California Riots
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Dog in the Yard
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The Guitar Song (feat. Bill Anderson)
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That's Why I Write Songs
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Macon
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Thankful for the Rain
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Good Morning Sunrise
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Front Porch Swinging Afternoon
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I Remember You
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Good Times Ain't What They Used to Be
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For the Good Times
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My Way to You
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The Guitar Song review

Creative freedom and massive output of Jamey Johnson

Redeemer of country-rock traditions, Jamey Johnson has presented his third full-format effort, The Guitar Song, as a big start already and as a new hope of the permanently music city Nashville. After the label cooperating with the artist provided him with complete creative liberty, Jamey and his backup musicians, The Kent Hardly Playboys band, recorded a huge lot of material that was too much for a standard CD. As a result, they compiled a set of twenty five songs. Formally, this country-music wealth was divided into two parts according to some concept, which is also marked by the album’s thorough symbolic cover. You have a wonderful example of a classic ideological solution: combination of dark and bright sides of one and the same art. However, in reality, there are no contrasts here. It was rather a marketing move serving to attract each and everyone. The cover, indeed, is impressive while the massive set is able to send shivers of delight down your spine.

The Guitar Song is a multitude of sings about everything

If Jamey Johnson had given the raw version of The Guitar Song to an editor, a censor or anyone else who has dedicated his life to merciless extraction out of products of creative activity of what he deems extraneous, improper or uninteresting, the total of twenty five songs would have gone down to fifteen, and there would have been no need for a second CD. The vast field of self-expression equal to a hundred and five minutes allowed Johnson to play and sing songs about everything and sometimes more than once. In line with this, as you step into the second hour of this record, you may notice that you have already heard something like this a couple of minutes ago. However, we must remember that this is a classic country-music album, not an experimental work at all. All the songs are nice, but the most fascinating are those where Johnson sings as if telling his own story of life. In Poor Man’s Blues, the main character is from Alabama, just like Johnson himself. That’s Why I Write Songs unveils the secrets of inspiration, and Can’t Cash My Checks may be biographical for anyone bitten by the economic recession. As it has already been mentioned, the stated classification of the set based on the ‘dark and depressive against bright and positive’ principle is not, in fact, the case here. Sure, there are those tracks with slightly more intense guitars and slightly higher tempos, like Heartache, but it is not sufficient to speak about two different categories of songs.

Johnson’s new album features all the best country music has

Just like any artist beginning a solo career who has already managed to get spotted by masses and reach some considerable results, Jamey Johnson did not have the right to make a mistake making his third album. If The Guitar Song, this large-scale and ambitious work, did not justify the hard labor of the musicians and long anticipation of the audience, the credits for the artist’s first two albums would mean nothing. Yet this never happened. In its essence, the musician’s new record is a collection of cliches, a strict observation of traditions and imitation of the styles of the best representatives of this genre with speculations on topics always familiar to country music makers and listeners. In the meantime, the album is far from causing a sensation of secondary-class work; and you will not blame these musicians for plagiarism. Why? Because, country is not a music matching for innovations and experiments, but a music that needs refreshing. Johnson is not playing it to get an easy access to fame and financial success. He does so because this is where his heart rests. The Guitar Song sounds so fresh and sincere that it seems like no one has ever played anything like this before. This is certainly a must for all fans of this genre.