When country music traditionalist Jamey Johnson announced he was starting his own Big Gassed record label in late 2014, he promised he wouldn’t be the only one on the roster. Part of his motivation to go independent was to release music from other artists who inspired him, and now it appears that the first full-length release from Big Gassed won’t be from Jamey, but the label’s first signee (aside from Johnson), Chris Hennessee.
Big Gassed Records will release Greetings From Hennessee on June 9th, and have released a single ahead of the release called “The Gospel According to Lane” (listen below). Originally from Decatur, Tennessee, Hennessee will be familiar to many Jamey Johnson fans. The two songwriters used to hang out and play together on lower Broadway in Nashville in the early oughts, and in 2011, Hennessee went out with Johnson on tour as an opening act, joining his band the following year. Known as a songwriter in Nashville, Hennessee has penned multiple cuts for major label artists, and released a couple of albums of his own. Chris wrote eight of the eleven songs on the new record. T.W. Cargile produced the effort with Hennessee.
“I try to make my records reflect reality,” Chris says. “The person who is not a spiritual person might think, ‘Why do you have that in there?’ The person who is super spiritual would say, ‘Why do you have that in there? That isn’t Christian to talk about drugs.’ But it is reality. Very little fantasy happens in this … Jamey helped instill in me that you just do what you like. Write songs that you want to write, record them the way you want to record them and record them with who you want to record them with and put them out in the world.”
As for the first single “The Gospel According to Lane,” Hennessee says, “This is a real dude who lived next door to me. He was an ol’ drag-bike racer in the 1970s-90. He never actually went to prison. I embellished a few things in the song. He was, however, quite a rounder in his day, but is now a twice-a-week church-goer and a pretty smooth neo-philosopher with some wild stories.”
Chris Hennessee also recently released a new video for “Long Way Gone” where folks familiar with the Jamey Johnson camp with recognize a few faces.
No word as of yet of when fans can expect a new album from the head of Big Gassed Records.