It’s a new year, and a new Jamey Johnson as the traditional country artist continues to shake up his situation after an extended period of not releasing any new original music after a dispute arose with his publisher. Announced on Tuesday (1-20), Jamey Johnson has signed with the Paradigm Talent Agency for booking live performances and tours. Paradigm is the home many independent country artists such as Billy Joe Shaver, The Devil Makes Three, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Sturgill Simpson.
“I look forward to working with Paradigm,” Johnson says about the deal. “Touring is how we do what we do. My band has always been a touring band and it is important to have that connection to our fans. Paradigm is the agency that can keep us on the road in front of our fans. My booking agent has to be an extension of family. We are proud to have a home at Paradigm, and we are proud to bring them into our fold as well.”
Johnson’s principal agents at the company will be Curt Motley and Jeffrey Hasson. “We are excited to welcome Jamey Johnson into our Paradigm family,” Curt Motley says. “We are honored to represent an artist of Jamey’s caliber.”
Also announced on Tuesday, Jamey Johnson is releasing the song “Alabama Pines” as his first original single in over four years. Johnson first released the song exclusively for a short period to his fans through jameyjohnson.com on New Year’s Day with a handwritten note explaining the inspiration for the song. Tuesday he made the single available through iTunes and offered further information about the song and what inspired him to release it so unexpectedly.
“This was one of those songs that I had in mind when I was talking about the ones that didn’t seem to fit ‘That Lonesome Song’ or ‘Guitar Song,'” Jamey says. He wrote the song with Teddy Gentry, Wayd Battle, Carson Chamberlain in 2007 on the same day the group wrote “By The Seat of Your Pants” from The Guitar Song. “It was special because Wayd and Teddy and I are all from Alabama. Not to take anything away from Carson’s contribution to it. I know he has a fondness for Alabamians or he wouldn’t have spent the day writing with three of them.”
Interestingly, Jamey didn’t decide to release “Alabama Pines” on New Years Day…until New Years Day. Jamey was in the studio working with collaborator T.W. Cargile and realized it was his 15th Anniversary in Nashville. “It occurred to us that today would be a great day to put that out. I took the opportunity to do something I couldn’t do 15 years earlier, which is give all my friends and fans a free song. And now it’s for sale to everyone.”
Starting his own record label called Big Gassed Records is what allowed Jamey the latitude to release a song for free to fans on the same day he had the idea to do so. A similar move while signed with a major label may have taken months, if it was approved at all. Jamey launched Big Gassed Records in November of 2014.
No word on when we may hear not just a new song, but a new album for Johnson just yet. But it appears he’s putting the pieces together for a big push in 2015.