Jamey Johnson – Real Deal or Patsy ?

March 30, 2009 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  79 Comments

I get a lot of questions from people. I think that questions are a really interesting way to judge the mood or the interest of people at any given time. Its funny, because I rarely get the a question just once. It seems like the same things are racing through people’s minds at the same time. Recently the biggest question is, “What do you think about Jamey Johnson?” And that question is almost ALWAYS chased with, “You know, he wrote that ‘Honky Tonk Badonka-Donk’ song.”

This is the deal:

The power brokers who puppetmaster pop country may be dumb, but they’re not stupid. They are sitting on a big mountain of cash because they have made some intelligent, business savvy moves. They are constantly pouring over data from marketing tests and demographic polls. They know who they’re listeners are. They know what their listeners want.

Nashville’s major labels and the media outlets they control are a little concerned right now. This underground/outlaw country movement is gaining some steam. When Hank III’s album Damn Right, Rebel Proud hit #2 on the Billboard charts, I declared The Revolution Had Begun.

Nashville noticed that album, make no mistake. They don’t want the country audience going outside of their sphere of influence, or listening to someone they can’t control. But they also understand people want variety, and they themselves are a little worried that lately, just like we’ve been saying for years, country hasn’t been delivering much variety. (If you don’t believe me, read this.)

Enter Jamey Johnson.

Jamey JohnsonI can just see a bunch of suits sitting around a table in some high rise in Nashville saying, “OK, so what do these filthy people who would dare listen to Hank III want to hear?” And someone responds, “Someone who actually writes his own songs, unlike pretty much all of our stars.” And then someone else would say, “And someone ugly I guess, they don’t like all the glitz and pretty faces.” Then someone chimed in “I got it! Jamey Johnson! He’s ugly as homemade soap with that Bin Laden beard, and he writes songs like that Honky Tonk Badonka Donk!”

And boom, another country star is born to be shoved down the masses throats as “variety” or a “Modern Day Outlaw.”

I know that if I tried to evaluate Jamey’s music knowing he wrote “Badonka,” (a song I can’t say I’ve ever heard in it’s entirety) then I can almost guarantee I’d hate everything he does. But I wanted to give him a fighting chance, so I tried to forget this little fact that seems to follow his name wherever he goes, and just tried to evaluate his stuff on its own merit.

I have to say, compared to 90% of the stuff on pop country radio, it is not bad. Is it good? Well I wouldn’t spend any hard earned money on it, but in a war you have to pick your battles. I don’t think Jamey Johnson is the problem. And I think if Nashville thinks Jamey is the solution to the groundswell of REAL country fans, I think they are delusional. But he’s not a pretty face, and he does write his own stuff.

Also Jamey is far from one of these 14-year-old starlets trying to make the transition from a Disney sitcom to country. He was born in Enterprise, Alabama, about as down home as it gets. He served eight years in the Marine Corps. EIGHT YEARS. It’s hard to imagine that in eight years he didn’t pay some dues in life, and unlike a lot of these pop country acts, he can speak from the heart when supporting the military, not do it just because it is something hip to do in country music right now. It’s also interesting to note that one of Jamey’s first gigs was opening for David Allan Coe.

But if you ask me, there are dozens of artists with much more talent that deserve more recognition than Jamey. His songs are decent, but they work from that same tired Nashville formula: Take words and switch them around, like “The cost of high living ain’t nuthin’ like the cost of living high.” (Research pop country songs, and you’ll be blown away how many times they use this trick.)

He was dropped from his first label BNA Records in 2006. Jamey is clearly ambitious, and I think he learned the hard way that if you want to make it big in country music, you have to play their game. And for now, he’s playing.

For a few reasons, and one just being a gut feeling, I’m just not willing at the moment to lump Jamey Johnson in with the other filth of pop country. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not singing his praises either, but I think the man is going to have a clear choice in the next few years: Become a true, REAL country performer who does it for the music, fame and money be damned. Or become pop country’s patsy: an excuse for Nashville to say they offer variety in an all too manufactured, collusive, and non-creative genre.

What do YOU think? And I want to hear from the Jamey Johnson fans as well, because I know you’re out there.

79 Comments to “Jamey Johnson – Real Deal or Patsy ?”

  • Well let me tell you my Jamey Johnson story.. my brother had his CD… I’d never heard of him before and didnt know he had cursed the world with his black booty song. So I listened to the new album. Felt that he sounded alot like DAC, that his songs were so so… there was a couple i liked… then I did some research.. yes we here at IBWIP actually do a little research besides watching porn clips. Once I found out he wrote the black booty song I was upset with myself for entertaining the idea of his music. Then I saw him with Shooter on CMT… All I could think while I watched it was.. he keeps looking at Shooter and thinking.. your singing is fucking up my sons asshole. watch the video.. a couple times he has that look cuz Shooter is singing in a different key and not WITH JJ. Anyway, I sent a request for an interview but heard nothing back. That makes only (2) artists that have ever blew off IBWIP. So I summerize with this… the dude has a couple good songs. We will see what he does with the recognition that he is getting. Does he play the patsy or does he say Im in now lets do it the right way.

    • I do not think it gets any more real than Jamey Johnson. I am a bartender and i bust my butt just to get by. His songs have gotten me through some really nights. They are real and heart felt. REAL DEAL.

      • Srry sweety. There is nothing real bout jamey jonson. I say this because I felt the same way. The lonsome song was like a mirror of my life. Once thought like me was a former marine who lack of copeing skills caused the loss of everything dwn to his freedom when hard work wasn’t paying off. Turns out he was a reservist frat boy who never lost touch with a love one to the point of a death to the finish divorce due to deployments addiiction or imprisoment. He can’t write from the heart of things he never experince. He writes with his head because he knows what we want to hear as common back breakers. And yes I know all bout that I work in a saw mill

    • Jamey Johnson Is So Country, he’s Metal!! He’s Legit, period.

  • I need to watch that JJ/Scooter vid, I’ve heard a lot about it. I usually avoid those things because most of the time they just anger my blood.

  • This has absolutely nothing to do with Jamey Johnson because I still have no idea who the hell he is. Joey Allcorn is going to be in Spokane May 31st…anyone in?

  • What if your house sells before?

    If he’s playing Spokane, then he’s probably playing somewhere closer to me as well. Money is tight.

  • Oh you’re no fun!

  • I have asked myself this exact same question. I can’t seem to get over the fact that he wrote Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, or otherwise Exhibit A in The People vs. Pop Country Music. I do like the few of his songs that I have heard on the car radio and apparently he writes them. Plus, Rolling Stone and my brother-in-law like him – and he is a TRUE country badass.

    I can’t help but feel like I have seen this dance before, though (Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins). Let’s face it, popular country music belongs to the American housewife. The market forces dictate that artists be pussyfied to sell records and concert tickets.

    But, and bear with me on this one, I wouldn’t mind seeing a trend that pushes the popular country music scene closer to the rap model. Basically, rap artists have conceded that in order to be commercially successful they have to have radio hits and songs for the ladies. So they make sure that they have their hits, a few songs for the ladies, but the rest of the album is theirs to do whatever they want artistically. In between label releases they put out mixtapes, that in any other genre are called bootlegs, to appease their core fans and stay true to their roots. The problem in popular country music is that the only shit of substance on most albums are the radio hits, and most of them are just that – shit.

    This is getting a little long, but my point is that with an artist like Jamey Johnson who writes his own material. He actually has the opportunity to say, “OK label, I will give you two hits BUT the rest of the album is mine to say what I like.” Maybe this way albums will be more substantive, while radio will, of course, continue to suck.

  • Wow…glad I’m not a housewife if that’s all I had to look forward to!

  • Hey Big A, I totally understand what you’re talking about with the rap model, and you’re totally right about the demographic of the suburban housewife ruling pop country. In fact, that is the exact thing that CMT blog I linked to up top talks about. It’s not that housewives shouldn’t get music played that they like, but right now that is all that there is, and this has robbed the genre of variety and its very soul.

    Good points.

  • I was not aware that Jamey Johnson wrote that commercial piece of crap. And that song is one big reason that I do not listen to commercial country radio. His other songs are receiving airplay on alternative stations such as WDVX in Knoxville, TN , WNCW in Spindale, NC and WXLV in Schnecksville, PA. These are stations that play my music as well, and I am under no delusions that my songs will ever be played on mainstream country. My favorite Jamey Johnson tune is “Somewhere Between Jennings And Jones”. A good tune.

    • You sir are wrong. look up the video of Jamey singing the song. he tells the story. its a bunch of artist sitting around writing a song for fun, to have fun not to sell. it got picked up and turned into a commerical song, but was not intended to be a “hit”

  • [...] this year they made an exception for Jamey Johnson’s That Lonesome Song. Last week I wrote THIS BLOG wondering if Jamey Johnson was the real deal, or pop country’s patsy. I did not answer that [...]

  • I got to check your music out James. I think Jamey is getting a lot of airplay on virtually all country music stations, including the mainstream ones. I guess my lingering question is “Why?”

  • I come at this topic from a different perspective, because I first listened to Jamey (outside of his first single off “the dollar”) was when i heard his first release of “the lonesome song.” So, it came as a shock to find out he wrote “honky-tonk badonkadonk”, but i did more research and realized he had written quite a few songs for the country elite. I also learned the story of his whole ordeal with BNA records on how they basically tried to mold him into bullshit and he wouldn’t accept it. Subsequently getting dropped from the label and left high and dry because he wouldn’t play the song and dance. In an interview i read JJ talked about the fact that after being dropped, the only way he had to survive was writing songs for Nashville. So yea, i definitely believe he played the song and dance when writing that monstrosity of a song, but at the same time i think it was a big FU to Nashville when he finally released his own record (it was later picked up by Mercury Nashville and re-released) So now a year and a half later down the road JJ is blowing up all over radio,TV etc… he’s Nashville’s new golden goose for the outlaw movement, but i wouldn’t put it past JJ to buck the marketing ploy Nashville is pushing on him now, he’s done it before. I think the man is genuine, and smart. Yea, he played the game, but everyone has to eat.

  • Jamey Johnson’s music is good, but since i found out he wrote that song, i’ve had my doubts. I recently bought his album “That Lonesome Song”, and I’m impressed, theres not really one bad song on there.

  • fuck jamey johnson, shooter jennings,toby keith and any other pop artist who deems themselves outlaws.

  • I agree with your points and like that this is a topic being thrown around. As a fan also, as much as I wish my favorite bands like Hank III, Nashville Pussy, The .357 String Band, Bob Wayne, Joe Buck, Rachel Brooke and so many others success on the level that their art is self-sustaining. I gotta say that I never want to see Hank III play stadium gigs. The intense energy and the camaraderie of fans would be separated. There has to be a happy medium.

    Keep up the great blogging!

  • [...] And of course Chet Flippo paraded around pop country’s lame excuse for variety, Jamey Johnson, AS I PREDICTED THEY WOULD IN THIS ARTICLE. [...]

  • Here is a quote from an interview with Cody Canada from Cross Canadian Ragweed that I thought was just the shit.

    UW: So you’re not a big “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” fan? *laughs*

    *laughs* I am probably the biggest enemy of that song. You know, there was one night in Nashville, and there was this guy, and he bought everybody a round. He held up his glass and said, “Here’s to ‘Honky Tonk Badonkadonk’!” And I said, “Why in the f*** are you toasting that s*** song? That is the worst song ever.” He laughed and said, “I wrote it.” *laughs* Yeah I didn’t apologize.

  • It is amazing to me that all you Hank III guys don’t remember that hank copyed wayne hancocks songs and style. I know I know you guys are going to come after me but before you do just let me say this. I have seen Hank III about 2 dozen times in concert so I am a big fan. Also Jamey Johnson made that album with NO RECORD Company, I first got it on itunes the day it went up and he is not a sell out. I have seen him in concert and he leases his own busses and equipment his self. He also plays real country songs. most concerts go on for atleast 3 hours and I was in Winchester Ky. where he played for almost 4 hours. as for Cross Canadian Ragweed they do cover songs and I dare say If he insulted Jamey Johnson the way he says he did he would have got the shit kicked out of him. Like him or don’t like him he is a bad ass. P.S. I think if you talked to Hank III he would agree that J.J. is the real deal.

  • [...] REAL country has yet to go mainstream, but the debate weather the pop influences have taken over mainstream country has. We all know the cliche about the clearly racist guy renouncing his guilt by saying “Hey, I have a black friend.” Well this is the exact way that pop country is using Jamey Johnson. I see it in blogs, articles, comments on message boards and videos: Jamey Johnson, Jamey Johnson, JAMEY JOHNSON, AH! And the irony is I predicted THIS VERY THING in this article. [...]

  • I think he is very talented as a songwriter. I love his voice
    (makes me quiver with that alone) and no, he is NOT as ugly as homemade soap… opinions are like anuses, we all have one. I find him HOT HOT HOT ! I really love his sound.

  • I can’t stand to listen to mainstream country radio in denver. As far as JJ writing the Adkins hit, I view it this way: Country radio is gonna play that junk anyway, so if JJ writes hits like that for others ( he also wrote Strait’s Give it a Way) it affords him to make his own albums as he sees fit. Sure the record company is gonna beg for another In Color.

    I also don’t recall In Color getting very much airplay here, but as I said, not a big listener of the 2 country stations here.

    Im new here, Interesting blog!

  • I think Jamey Johnson is a true country music budding superstar. He seems very balanced and has a lowkey personality. His voice is pure country and that is what will take him to the top of country music. Congratulations Jamey for winning CMA country song of the year tonight. I look forward to seeing you perform in person someday.

  • Jamey is the real deal!!!! Finally some great country music acts come out west without the bullshit pop culture. Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser , what can I say. Get a chnce to see them together, do so. You will not be disappointed. Thanks to CMT for sending them out west. Keep the older tradition alive and rolling. Best of luck on the rest of your careers.

  • I’ve seen Jamey twice this year and will go see him anytime he is around. There is no doubt he is the real deal. He not only writes and sings real country but also sings traditional gold which makes it even better. Do you think dumb bimbo bitches like Carrie Underwood would have the slightest idea who Vern Gosdin, Ray Price, Faron Young is to mention a few. Hell no she wouldn’t. Today’s country music is pop and therefor it is crap and I will leave it to the Democrats who produce it to listen to it. It is anti-American and so are they. Good luck with it because you will never get my money for that garbage.

    • See, this right here I think proves that Jamey is a real star. Kyle and I are probably as different as night and day, but we both listen to Jamey Johnson. I’m a liberal young female living in New England, and according to Kyle I might be anti-American, but we might actually be able to have a beer together thanks to Jamey.

  • I have seen and met jamey and heard every song he has to offer and some u can’t even get!when it comes to writing ur own music and singing it he is a true country star!!Unlike all of the artists calling themselves country these days.Not gonna mention any names but they no who they are!!Real country stars like george jones,webb pierce,faron young,kitty wells,ernust tubb ect. would be and are pretty pissed off about what most radio and tv shows are calling country these days!!Jamey has just begun his journey in country music and i feel we havn’t seen anything from this great star yet!!Song of the year winner and it’s about time!!!Real country fans want the steel guitar and a man singing about real issues that hit home with us everyday!!!He is doin a great job and i can’t wait till his next album is out!!

  • Listen Jamey ain’t perfect, but neither were the original outlaws, Yes, he’s written some songs that are not true to the roots, songs that help him make a living, I happen to be a big fan of the lonesome song, not in color, jennings and jones, the last cowboy, these are real songs, these are real country, For all of the Haters please show up to one of the small bars he plays in,(because he doesn’t play amphitheaters and coliseums, because he says he never wants anyone paying more than $30 for one of his tickets) he may play 45 minutes of his music, and then he plays 2-3 hours straight of the old classics and non classics “whatever the hell he wants to play” No wardrobe change, no pushing t-shirts, hell he barely takes time to introduce the band, the man just stands there and plays his quitar and entertains all night long. No he’s not pefect, but I think he’s doing his best to stay true while allowing a lot of people to hear his stories

  • You people need to atleast timeline your research of Jamey Johnson. I am a huge supporter of what he’s doing and this is why:

    The Jamey Johnson that first came to Nashville is not the Jamey that is there now.

    He tried to play by the rules, he genuinely did. Most likely, he wanted to be the outlaw patsy of country pop. You gotta do what you gotta do to make money and get the option to be original in Nashville, and if that means giving them what they want for a couple years, to buy you a lifetime of creative control, so be it.

    So he wrote several songs: Honkytonk Badonka Donk, Give It Away (george strait), and more.

    But then, he released an album : The Dollar.

    It has pop-country written all over it. The label “shelved all his songs” and gave him a list to play. So you have “the Dollar”, “ray Ray’s juke joint”, “Rebelicious” and a bunch of other, no totally mainstream, but still crap.

    Then, after playing fair, as most artists know you have to do, his label dropped him.

    Enter depression and cocaine. “High Cost of Living” is a true story from front to back, written to set the record straight. He messed up, lost his wife, lost his freedom, and got busted and sent to prison.

    You’ll not that the clean-cut Jamey Johnson who first came to nashville is not an “Osama bearded ugly face” and the music has changed.

    He’s always been inspired more by Waylon than by anyone, hence the Shooter CMT Crossroads. Shooter and Jamey are really good friends, so whatever “looks” were there, I don’t know what to tell you.

    So Jamey gets to work, writesan album, then can’t get a label to pick it up. So he releases it HIMSELF. Solo. No label. Completely indie. And “In Color”, the one song on the album that has pop-country interest almost wins a GRAMMY.

    So, only after this, does a label re-approach Jamey. He says yeah, but on his terms. His creative control. And he uses that control to insist that his first label released single is the one that will tell the world what he did and set the record straight. “High Cost of Living” becomes the first song on Nashville Radio to mention both cocaine and whores UNEDITED.

    Now, for whatever reason, Pop-country fans LOVE IT. Jamey gets sh*t for airplay, but what he does get is simply based on critical acclaim and nothing else.

    He was a patsy. Nashville sold him out. Now he’s back and so far, he’s done it his way, and noone elses.

    You’ll notice that atleast 2 songs from his new album are Waylon Jennings covers, both from the same Waylon album.

    The guy doesn’t talk. He’ll play 8 songs before saying a word to the crowd. Interviews fall short, because he answers questions with simple yes or no answers, barely another word.

    Watch the video of Keith Urban inviting Jamey onstage to sing In Color, compare that with your Shooter video, and see in which one Jamey looks more uncomfortable.

    I don’t argue that he wants to make money. Who doesn’t. But he’s gonna do it his way, either way.

    And, so far (the future, obviously, remains to be seen), he’s kicking it’s ass.

    Rather than say he’s all pop, or all outlaw, I’d be fair enough to call him the next George Jones or George Strait.

    Give him a fair chance.

    We all did things we regret.

    Badonka Donk or not.

    • Ahh. No. Jamey himself said he never even tried coke and would probably die not knowing what it was like. He never went to prison and as far as I can figure dosent know anything bout anything he writes. Hank3 is so far out outa touch his music holds very little relvance to the real world just like cross canadian only truely makes since to tweeked out junkies. Jj least has that going for him. Its this simple people country outlaws are usualy dead or out of circulation before they are deemed outlaws and never intended to be. Hank sr is a outlaw johnny cash and yes charly pride and freddy fener. These guys broke boundries and mold in the name of the music they loved. Not for a fucking title. Let’s not forget waylon started in a 50s rock band with buddy holly. Willy started in pop and kris in folk. These guys never kissed corperate ass or had to be excessive to prove a point. George did his antics merle and coe did their time for real. Outlaw!

  • PS, corss canadian ragweed has made a career out of covering more mainstrem songs than Jamey has to date. Think about CCRag’s covers… Just because you’re red-dirt doesn’t mean you have permissing to play all of Willie’s mainstream stuff.

    But i bet he did meet Jamey and insult the song.

    And I bet Jamey bought him a beer and said, “yeah it sucks. But can you buy us all a round?”

  • you all are jerks. this man is what country music needs. the old style. and a little new

    • I am a country music buff. Never been American, but I DO REALLY LOVE Jamey’s songs singing country. Make me feel like I am singing the song,heartfelt,warm,purely played guitar. A special point in his albums their bein’ attached to one another not makin’ you wait for the next song. I truly wish him success. :D

  • It seems that a lot of you are lost in a false Nashville propagated fog. I will admit that I like a couple of Jamey’s songs. I don’t like Badonka Donk, never have and never will. And, to those who say “well, he had to do it to eat”, all I can say is, NO he didn’t. Nobody HAS to do anything. There are thousands of artists out there right now that can blow all of Nashville’s “stars” out of the water. They don’t write sell out songs in order to eat. They WORK. But then they spend their non-work time writing and playing true country songs. If you need to eat….get a fuckin’ job, but don’t sell out, or write sell out songs. And, to say that now he’s doing it his way by putting a couple of sell out songs on an album and then the rest is what HE wants to do, is the equivalent of somebody saying they’re HALF gay. There’s no such thing. If you suck a dick….you’re gay. If you put even ONE sell out song on an album, you’re a sell out.
    I’m with Triggerman on this one. I’m not quite sure WHAT to make of Jamey Johnson. Time will definitely tell.
    I’ll say this though. Waylon and/or Johnny and/or any of the others WOULD NOT put a sell out pop song on one of their albums just for the sake of selling the album to a bunch of pussy ass pop fucks. The record label would be lucky if they didn’t get their ass kicked for even mentioning such a thing.

  • i thought this thing was about trying to save REAL country music, from what i hear, the person who wrote that wouldnt know real country music even if it jumped up and bit him, its them pretty ones you might wanna question, the greatest have always been uugly
    George Jones, Willie Nelson,Johnny Cash, Waylon jennings
    all ugly! but REAL!

  • Jamey Johnson Never recorded Honkytonk badonkadonk, it was NEVER on a Jamey Johnson record, He Wrote the song, Trace Adkins recorded it, get your facts straight, Have You ever listened to a jamey johnson record? and Johnny cash recorded an album with american recordings label, known for rap and hard rock, you calling him a sell-out?!

  • Jamey Johnson is the closest thing to real Country music in a long time. I dont know why everyone is so down on him. He can sing, he writes his own songs (which are great…listen to the album)and he is doing it the way he wants to!!! Yeah he wrote Honky Tonk Badonkadonk but he also wrote Give It Away for George Strait and he did that so he could have the money to do an album that was what he wanted to do. As a country music singer/songwriter I have the upmost respect for him and I hope that he helps open the door back up to a more traditional country sound rather than the bullshit on the radio today. There should be not pop country. COUNTRY SHOULD BE COUNTRY AND POP SHOULD BE POP!!!!

  • How about we just call him a musician. I don’t understand the need to put a label on any artist. It’s almost like there has to be some certain type of bad-ass indicator for an artist to be called “country”. Music is always evolving and the artists will evolve with it. Jamey, in his own right, is a phenomenal songwriter and an excellent entertainer and that’s all anyone should be concerned about, so if he’s not your type of artist, then don’t listen to him. There’s no need at all to beat a man (or woman) down simply because you think his songs are too pop to be country or too country to be pop or whatever. Personally, I think the man is pretty damn good at what he does. I love Vern Gosdin, Eddie Arnold, George Strait, Merle, Waylon, D.O.C, Hank Sr, Jr, and III. At the same time though, I will crank up some Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Kid Rock, Big and Rich, James Otto, Jamey Johnson, Luke Bryan, and Justin Moore. It’s all about who moves you, who sings a song that you can relate to. I believe that music should be it’s own genre and let the people decide what they want to listen to.

  • I would keep your judgements of Jamey on hold… some new stuff is coming out in July. Buckle up. It will shake up things. And it won’t be positive for pop country.

    *** Less all you forget, Waylon, Willie, Cash, all started out playing by the rules of the industry.(they were all patsys in the begining) Just as Jamey did when he arrived. Then they changed and brought their style out. Jamey appears to be doing the same thing. The “industry way” wasn’t working for him (he was never going to be a teen star), but he can’t be ignored by the industry due to his talent.
    *** Also, you ever think that maybe Jamey was so taken back by what the “industry experts” thought was good, that he sat back and said, “watch me write the worst country song of all time, ‘Badonkadonk’, and these fools will push it to #1.”
    Jamey is just toying with them right now with his talent.
    The new album is coming!

  • ok let me just say this, when i first saw your website “saving country music” i thought” man that is awesome, its about time a website pays tribute to real country music”, but let me say after readin this article im very dissapointed.jamey johnson is one of my personal favs and if he is doin anything in this buisness he is saving country music! i would have thought that would have been obvious by his cds, that is of course if u have bothered to look at all them. the great bill anderson said that jamey has a good chance of being this generations hank williams,and i sincerly hope that more ppl realize that jamey is true country…

  • kc,

    I understand what you’re saying, but this article is 1 1/2 years old. Here’s my most relevant article on Jamey, where I listed him as one of the four most likely people to Save Country Music:

    Should also have a review of his new album up shortly.

  • you sir are obviously either stirin it up for J J or you dont know real talent when it slaps you in the face . while i like HW111 he has ridden some coattails and i listen for the new homky tonk redneck southern country singers because thry are what country is all about .JJ is a great singer/writer and he will prove you wring but alas maybe you degrade him because your a touch stuck on HW111 or you think hes gotten too far to fast but hell hes paid his dues and now hes finally getting some respect at least from those who know true talent

  • Don’t understand why so many people are reading only 1/2 of an 18-moth-old article and acting like I’m bashing Jamey Johnson. I think I went out of my way to state why I think he has a legitimate case for saying he’s the real deal. I know reading might make your head hurt, but don’t just read the top half and then come down to the comments to kick me in the nuts in bad grammar. You’re not doing yourself or Jamey Johnson any favors.

  • Triggerman,

    You don’t flat out bash Jamey, and I would expect your opinion of him has somewhat come to a conclusion since the article was written. So I am interested to see what your take will be post 9/14/10 when The Guitar Song album drops.
    I like all country, less the teen-pop country. But there is no way you can write a review on Jamey after this new album drops and say he doesn’t blow HWIII out of the water or any of the others that struggle and strife in the underground world.
    There is a reason they are underground and Jamey isn’t. Sure some early work was bowing to the industry to break in, but since That Lonesome Song, Jamey has already proven he can write songs 10times better than 95% of ANYONE out there currently. What his future holds…if he doesn’t go by the way of Hank Williams, Jamey has A LOT more in the tank.

  • This was clearly and admittedly written by someone who didn’t take the time to listen to his music or find out jack about the man before writing your scathing assumed idea of him. This guy is so authentic and sweet it puts all those bubble gum acts to shame. He’s genuine, beautiful (I’m not sure why you called him ugly. I saw him on the 2010 music awards and my heart melted.) and incredibly talented.

    I know what’s good and Jamey Johnson has seriously captured my heart with his music and his smile. Whoever wrote this lame review of him sounds like a horribly unhappy and rude person.

    • I’ve said this numerous times and I’ll say it again: This article was written 18 months ago, and is really not relevant to either Jamey Johnson, or my opinions of him. And again, I don’t understand why some seem to read only half this article. I think I did a pretty fair job answering Jamey Johnson’s critics. Don’t read the first half and get so heated you make it to the comments section before reading the second half.

      Thank you.

  • Jamey Johnson has got the voice…theres not many that have that voice…David Allan Coe had it,Waylon Jennings had it and so does Jamey Johnson… long as he dont sell out he should become a country legend…as far as Shooter Jennings goes someone should just shoot shooter cause as far as talent goes hes a real piece of horseshit,ridin on his daddys name,crossroads showed what a sack of no talent shit he is…he should quit tryin to make music and maybe think about a different career

  • the whole crossroads show was completely ruined by Shooter Jennings,he seems so over indulgent in music with absolutely no talent…one of them guys to many people agree with and tell him hes got talent probably for sake of lining there pockets,if anyone out there thinks he can sing or has any talent what so ever you should probably see a Dr. cause you might have some brain damage….now if you wanna listen to a son of a legend with some talent check out Willies boy..great guitar player and makin music with his own style…Lukas Nelson..

  • I’m a writer of inspirational novels who was making the long drive from Illinois to Texas. A country station played “In Color” and the love affair with Johnson’s voice and his killer lyrics had begun.

    His lyrics accompany me–as well as his CDs–to teaching classes, on long road trips, and just as I pound out the keyboard of my computer trying to make a living on my stories.

    As far as I’m concerned, Jamey is up there with the best. Hank. Willie. Merle.

  • Jamey is saving outlaw country for me… MOTHER-fuck those who disagree!

  • You want to hear from the Jamey Johnson fans, huh? Well here ya go!

    I think you need to research this man a bit more! He is a very talented man that could care less about being a “pop country” singer. That’s not what he is about. He would actually prefer for his albums to do well because of word of mouth and not what the radio pushes down our throats.

    I was lucky enough to meet Jamey and send about two hours getting to know him. He is down to earth, appreciates his fans and even took the time out of his tour schedule to give a young child pointers on learning how to play the guitar while he signed the guitar for him.

    I met him November 2009. He had won “Song of the Year” for “In Color”. One of the first things I said to him was congratulations for the award. I was amazed when he looked back at me and said “thank you, but I don’t need their damn award to tell me I am doing a good job. Its the people that feel my music that makes me proud.”

    George Jones asked in his lyrics “Who’s gonna fill their shoes?”. We now have an answer to that question, Jamey Johnson!

  • It’s the same old tune with lap steel and guitar,
    He’s the corporate outlaw of the year,
    Black leather vests, long hair, and a beard,
    Where do we take it from here,
    Will they buy the nashville “change”?

    Arrive reality show starring, badonky donk writing, the dollar selling pretty boy. Oh no! Cougars won’t buy my album cause it’s the same old shit without a pretty face…………

    I’m a grow my hair out, grow a rugged beard, and steal a beloved sound.

    Enter biker badass Jamey Johnson. Man he is soooooo outlaw. But wait, here comes his buddies Randy Houser and Eric Church. Do I smell a New Highwaymen Tour?

    Come on.

    • haha. You don’t know a damn thing about his story and how he got to where he is today do you?

      It is laughable that you buy what your saying. I bet your a big Waylon, Willie, DAC fan. You remember how they came to Nashville? What they looked like? What they did before they were given the “outlaw” badge?

      How long until people realize he wrote Badonkadonk as a joke! A label picked it up and Trace sang it. The radio played it. But to Jamey it was a joke song.

      Your so dumb.

  • Regardless of how long ago this article was written, it’s still pretty lame. You basically found a wikipedia page, scanned it, and then barfed up some pretty ignorant opinions. It probably goes without saying that you are lacking a degree in journalism as well as common sense.

  • What do you think now? He’s the most country thing breathing on this earth and the best part is he doesn’t give a shit if you think he’s Outlaw or not. He’d be just as comfortable wiping his ass with that label as your “pop-country” label. That’s why people love this guy. Show me another like him. Try it.

  • Print this article off. You will eat it in 10 years. Jamey is going nowhere! He is the real deal.

    • Well it’s already 2 1/2 years old, so we’re a 1/4 of the way there, even though people continuously come here acting like it was written yesterday, and that I haven’t written anything about Jamey since, and act like I didn’t give him a fair shake when the point was to explain both points of view. Oh well.

  • i am a huge jamey johnson fan and there is nothing wrong with his music i find him alot better than alot of these other country singers the beard and long hair is more recent before in his erlier days he was clean shaved then moved to a goatee and the reason he has the beard is cause hes an outlaw country singer singing songs from way back in the day when country was real you know a real band not any of this electronical shit if you ever notice the guitar strap with his name on it just like classic george jones, johnny paycheck, ernest tubb, travis tritt and many more country legends had and he grow the beard the way he does cause some ppl have thick facial hair which comes out like a charlie daniels beard and other have loose facial hair when i grow a beard mines like jameys and i notice it says he wrote honky tonk ba donkadonk well he also did the very awesome song that george strait performed called “Give It Away” … myself im a country western artist and im gonna soon be coming out with a demo album thats a tribute to jamey johnson dont have a record label yet but i have like 5 producers that want a a few demo cds of me so soon you might have another country artist to pick on but with me just like jamey i dont care what ppl think about me :)

  • Did you see Jamey sing for George Jones 80th Birthday! Mr Jones is listening to everyone sing chewing away at his gum. Until Jamey came on all of he stopped chewin and looked like he wanted to cry ….. Thats the first think I noticed …. that was his best preformance …. Ive seen…. I Love him and miss can wait to see him in Milwaukee again. I have 6 changer in my truck and 4 of them belong to Jamey Johnson ……xoxoxoxo

    • Pitmom, I saw that performance and it was excellent. The perfect songs, the perfect performance to pay tribute to Mr. Jones.

      As all ways, Jamey did his business with no flash or frills, just rock solid music.

  • The writer of this text wants to be smart and act like perfectionist in a world where nothing is perfect, from 100 good things he catches only one bad and stresses. I think the writer of this text is a man who can not capture the magic of music and the only thing that’s left is to rationalize and be a pseudo- intellectual hater. Jamey is a REAL DEAL thоsе who can not feel it that’s just their problem not for the rest of us.

  • it is interesting to me, 1. that you even consider jamey johnson as an acutal contender in country music, and that he is “playing their game”, 2. that you believe a bunch of “suits” created jamey and his style/sound/outlaw-type persona, and 3. that you would comment on his “ugliness” and “bin laden” beard. What kind of person are you? you are taking a man who lives his life the way he wants to live it and bad mouthing him?? that is just interesting. For me, country music is a way of life. ive been forced to listen to it since i was old enough to recall music and decided i loved it by the time i was old enough to know how to appreciate music. if anything jamey johnson is a musical mastermind. who cares if he uses play on words and talks about drinking, depression, and all that other stuff that country outlaws say and do?? he is real. he is sincere. he has lived. he is telling us his story. listen to his music and tell me you cant hear him tell a story with every song. he doesnt need lights, cameras, and pretty girls surrounding him. he doesnt need glitter, catchy pop songs with vocal runs, or computerized sounds and voices. all he needs is a guitar and a good crowd ready to listen. i have seen him numerous times in concert and all you see is him, with his band, making awesome REAL music. it is great. i love everything about jamey johnson. his voice, his looks, and most of all his soul. he puts his entire heart and soul into every song he writes. when he sings, you feel the story he is telling. he’s not just another empty voice that sounds pretty good. hes the real deal. he may not fit in, or look the part, but he’s not trying to “play the part”. as soon as people realize that, the better. oh and btw, if you wanna talk about his beard and hair, do a little research next time. he’s got that for a reason. and i for one, like it.

    • Guess you didn’t bother to notice you’re posting to a 3 year old blog from a blogger who has since written more recent blogs pertaining to JJ with a more informed opinion due to a broader basis of work to form one? Nah, you cannot be bothered with such mundane details.

      Curious though, what exactly do you think the reason is for his hair and beard?

  • Looking back at this blog, which is over 3 years old, the writer got it totally wrong. Jamey is all of the old outlaws favorite current country artist.


    • As I sit here a read a word of truth in all this ribbish. Tip of my glass of cheap whiskey old timer. The unsung heros are the old timers who cut their teeth paid their dues and never realy got shit in return. Theykept it real because its for the music not a dollar

  • I like the fact that his voice is original relate-able, he sounds like the guy we all hear at the nearby honky tonk. Unlike the Brad Paisleys of the world who have a record label voice just plain jane un exciting. He doesnt get pulled behind a speed boat or pose on a houseboat . Its just damn good music in this Honky Tonk. I respect it I will be in Miami Oklahoma for the N ov 30 show. Thanks Jamey

  • I can’t believe that there is so much to debate! Jamey Johnson is the real deal! And Trace’s song the Honky Tonk well I hardly think that it was meant to be taken so seriously! I would group it along with John Jacob Jinglehimer Smith. Catchy and a little funny, Moving on…. I have enjoyed Jameys music and have had the pleasure of seeing him live. I for one have no doubt he is the genuine. It is clear that he was influenced by the same music I was raised on. That in itself says to me…”AUTHENTIC” see ya on Sat Jamey…Renfro Valley

  • next time you question whether or not Jamey Johnson is the real deal, go to one of his concerts and just take a look out in the crowd. there’s your answer. oh yeah, go to hell.

    • Note that this article was posted now over 4 years ago. But keep coming here and act like it was posted yesterday…

      And I have seen Jamey Johnson live. I was unimpressed. But it was two years ago, so I don’t expect for it to reflect on where he might be now…

  • Jamey Johnson is the man. Who cares what you think, it’s your opinion. Obviously it’s the wrong opinion based on the common consensus.

  • If you don’t like JJ you can kiss may ass. As a former Marine and country music fan. he is the real deal. I’m from middle Georgia and grew up listening to George Jones, Conway, Vern, Waylon, Hank Sr and Jr, DAC and many more. So fuck you if you don’t like him. Maybe you should just listen to the crap that Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney puts out and go on living in the world that has been maDe up for you by the ass holes you pray to.

  • I just wiped my ass with your article . I bet you’re a Bieber fan Trigger .

    • Did you do that before checking the date of this article?

      I’ll take your Bieber bet…

  • Just got done seeing Jamey live. performed at the local small honky tonk bar in town. played 3 hours and rocked out. played some DAC, merle, lots of Waylon and jones. this blows my mind anyone did not consider him an outlaw from his start. he wrote that bullshit song because a man needs to make a living and he knew that people wanted to hear that shit. he saves the best stuff for him and that shows in the guitar song. he isn’t out to impress anyone. you wont hear him on country stations. he is all that is left of outlaws. fuck that eric church is an outlaw bull. Jamey is up there with Waylon and that is obvious by the way he performs, and carries himself on and off the stage.

  • I don’t think jamey Johnson has ever claimed to be an “outlaw” he’s just a guy who makes a living doing something he enjoys. He puts on one helluva show and writes his own music, that’s why I like him. There’s a lot of these “outlaws” who haven’t lived every song they wrote or recorded. Country music has changed, and I hate this pop country shit as much as the next guy. But the simple fact is Waylon Jennings isn’t around anymore. Johnny cash isn’t playing Folsom prison anymore. This thing we love has changed, but I’m kind of excited to see where it goes.

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