This story has been updated.
Jamey Johnson’s backing band has gone through a major overhaul after multiple members were arrested in December. After Jamey’s show at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica, Mississippi on December 5th, band members “Cowboy” Eddie Long, Mark Crum, John Scott, and Mike Kennedy were all arrested for possession of a controlled substance in the town of Hernando, Mississippi. Hernando is in DeSoto County, which is adjacent to Tunica County, and where Interstates 69 and 55 intersect on the route to Nashville. John Scott and Mike Kennedy were given bonds of $25,000, Mark Crum was given a bond of $20,000, and “Cowboy” Eddie Long was given a bond of $2,000.
Since the arrests, Jamey appears to have overhauled his backing band, which had been stable for many years prior. Lead guitar player Jason Cope has left the band, though he was not one of the members named in the arrest records. Keyboard player John Scott and drummer Mike Kennedy were two of the individuals involved in the arrests, and they have also left the band. Drummer Chris Powell reportedly left the band prior to the arrests, and bassist Mark Crum who was part of the arrests, appears to still be still playing in the band. Band member Chris Henneessee, who recently released a solo album through Jamey’s new record label Big Gassed Records and occasionally opens for Jamey, also appears to still be on board. Steel guitar player “Cowboy” Eddie Long also remains in the band.
Jamey Johnson played his first show after the arrests at Boondocks in Springfield, IL on Saturday, January 16th, and many attendees noticed the lineup changes. When asked by fans about the band, Jamey was reported to say they were going in a different direction and he wished the former members well in their new ventures. Johnson will also play a show Thursday night (1-21) at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina.
Saving Country Music reached out to both the DeSoto Country Sheriff’s Department and the Hernando Police Department who confirmed the arrests, but had no further details at the time. Saving Country Music has also reached out to the publicist for Jamey Johnson, but requests were not responded to by the time of posting. Updates will be posted if and when more information is made available.