Multiple Members of Jamey Johnson’s Backing Band Arrested – Lineup Change Ensues
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.
January 21, 2016 @ 8:12 pm
JJ is playing in Baton Rouge at the Varsity on February 18th not in January. I will report back and I know it will be a good report
January 21, 2016 @ 8:13 pm
Wow. Four members is huge.
Flamekeeper goes through lineup changes every few years too.
January 21, 2016 @ 8:18 pm
It’s most unfortunate, but I give him credit for acting promptly and knowing what he had to do rather than allow feelings of personal loyalty to discolor his judgment.
I’m all about believing in redemption and second chances, but that means coming to terms with what’s troubling you first. To that effect, Jamey has a job to do and it would have been way too much baggage for him to roll the dice on them honoring their commitments while they were in less-than-cobscious mindsets. I hope they clean themselves up and am rooting for them in heart, at any rate.
January 21, 2016 @ 9:24 pm
None of them were caught doing anything that Jamey hasn’t done. He knew everything that went on on that bus. He didn’t release them because he had a job to do, he released them because he has an image to keep. An image that is more important than the 8yrs (some of which he was in pretty bad shape himself) that those guys stood behind him.
January 22, 2016 @ 6:15 am
I don’t know a damn thing about it really, but my feeling is that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal for his “image.” I mean, he’s not Carrie Underwood.
January 22, 2016 @ 7:33 am
I think its an issue because he is supposedly the guy that came back from the brink and cleaned his life up. It raises questions. Is he/was back on the sauce or worse? Is that part of the reason he hasn’t released much in the last 4+ years? Is that why his last couple singles were ehhh?
January 23, 2016 @ 12:46 pm
Nothing about any of his recent appearances seems to say Jamey is “out of control” or anything. You don’t seem to see any reports that he is pulling a Toby Keith or an Evan Felker and turning in terrible, lazy, drug or alcohol induced performances.
Plus, I don’t think Jamey ever claimed to be clean and sober. Hell, I remember an article on him in Rolling Stone back when he was the toast of Nashville, talking about how much he loved Jack Daniels and stuff.
I can’t defend the lack of new music or the quality of new music though, I bought the whole label/publisher dispute talk, but we should be well past that. Likewise I can’t defend the quality of “You Can” or “Alabama Pines” (the latter of which is solid, but forgettable). I’m starting to worry a bit that Jamey may just not have much in the tank in terms of great songs right now or whatever and that’s why we have heard so little new stuff from him. Hope I’m wrong.
January 21, 2016 @ 8:25 pm
So they smoked a little weed in the parking lot. Seems like an over reaction to me.
January 21, 2016 @ 8:32 pm
How do you know it was weed? The article said controlled substance. Weed is not the only controlled substance. You know Jamie Johnson smokes weed. So he wouldn’t fire band members over that.
January 21, 2016 @ 9:18 pm
Also didn’t say they were “fired.”
January 21, 2016 @ 9:26 pm
2 of them were fired and a third left because of Jamey’s lack of loyalty to the others. He knows the game well enough not to let Cowboy go even though he was one arrested
January 22, 2016 @ 6:10 am
Why would he let John go over the arrest but not mark? Both were arrested and bond is pretty close to the same unless John bond conditions are different or there’s more to it….
January 21, 2016 @ 11:31 pm
In most states, weed related crimes are separate from a controlled substance.
January 22, 2016 @ 2:25 pm
Weed is not a controlled substance. Cocaine is.
January 22, 2016 @ 4:38 pm
I take it yall have never been in legal trouble (especially in Mississippi lol) straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Please note that a substance need not be listed as a controlled substance to be treated as a Schedule I substance for criminal prosecution. (See 21 U.S.C. Â§802(32)(A) for the definition of a controlled substance analogue and 21 U.S.C. Â§813 for the schedule.)
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:
heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote”
January 23, 2016 @ 7:14 pm
I seriously doubt this is weed, because it was decriminalized in Mississippi up to 30 grams early last year. He sounds like a stand-up guy to fire 2 off the guys, but not all three. I would have left also for lack of loyalty. These Nashville-made outlaws make me laugh.
January 22, 2016 @ 8:18 pm
The $20,000+ bond amounts for two of them means there was more going on than a bit of weed.
Gaven Kross' Mom
January 24, 2016 @ 8:50 am
January 24, 2016 @ 10:41 am
He has hundreds of songs in his catalog!
January 21, 2016 @ 8:37 pm
What can you say? True outlaws I guess.
January 21, 2016 @ 9:26 pm
the band, not the hypocrite
January 21, 2016 @ 9:48 pm
Hypocrite? Tell us what they were caught with and the circumstances that led to it, then we’ll decide. I highly doubt this was a turncoat decision as opposed to noticing a lingering problem and finally having an unneeded and preventable incident. Regular joes lose jobs over much less. Loyalty is not the issue, here.
January 21, 2016 @ 9:27 pm
Well, getting arrested or otherwise waylaid in the Magnolia State is country music tradition. Ain’t No Good Chain Gang, Uneasy Rider, etc.
January 21, 2016 @ 11:29 pm
I was at the show in Springfield. The changes were apparent, I didn’t know why until now. They didn’t miss a beat, it was a helluva show.
January 22, 2016 @ 6:32 am
I was there also. I too noticed the changes, however this was the best show I’ve seen them play. I will say that the new guitar player, who is a hell of a picker, is still needing to figure out his timing on songs. I’m sure the band will be squared away soon.
January 23, 2016 @ 5:39 am
January 22, 2016 @ 6:42 am
Was Rowdy really not there?? I swear I saw him in a picture from that show
January 22, 2016 @ 3:51 am
Not really related to this story, but does anybody know when/why Wayd Battle left the band?
December 13, 2016 @ 11:13 am
Wayd doesn’t talk about it much but my understanding is Jamey was trying to “clean up” …sort of similar circumstances without the arrests. Wayd says they are still good friends and has no hard feelings at all. Wayd is the most talented singer/songwriter and guitar player I have ever seen. Such HUGE talent not being heard by the masses…it’s sad really. Also…I find it interesting that Jamey hasn’t put a new album other than a Christmas album since Wayd’s departure.
December 13, 2016 @ 11:25 am
Wayd’s departures was under similar circumstances without the arrests. A time during which Jamey was trying to “clean up”. Wayd says he has no hard feelings and they are still good friends. Wayd is the most talented singer/songwriter and guitar player I have ever seen. He co wrote many of Jamey’s hits and I find it interesting that Jamey has not put out an album other than a Christmas album since Wayd’s departure.
January 22, 2016 @ 5:16 am
anyone know approximately how much players in backing bands such as these guys get paid?
I don’t think they’re gettng rich.
January 22, 2016 @ 6:24 am
I have not followed that closely and am out of the loop – Why hasn’t Jamey Johnson put out much in basically forever? I love his voice so much and would love to have some more material from him.
January 22, 2016 @ 6:55 am
Before last year sometime it was record label issues. There’s no news but I’m hoping he’ll come out with something in 2016
January 22, 2016 @ 7:47 am
I remember reading about label trouble, but it seemed like that was quite a while back.
In all honesty, I find listening to many Jamey Johnson songs in a row can get a little snoozy, even when I like all the songs individually. So I wouldn’t mind a little more variety in an upcoming project! But I mean, Jamey’s gonna do Jamey and I won’t complain too much.
That voice tho! I just went back and re-read Trigger’s review of Guitar Song, and he says something about not really thinking of Jamey as a singer. I was like What? lol. I get where the comment was coming from, though.
That said, anyone live near WI wanna go see Jamey Johnson in march!? lol, I’m kidding, but isn’t it sad that I don’t know anyone who would enjoy a Jamey Johnson show with me? My husband would complain the whole time. Even though I went to see Zakk Wylde for him and got my shirt ripped off on the edge of a mosh pit while reprimanding the 21 year old boys like a lame-o.
Sorry i’m way too chatty this morning!
January 22, 2016 @ 7:50 am
I agree that too many of his songs can be a snoozefest. With his voice, he should be doing more harder honky-tonk….
January 22, 2016 @ 8:33 am
Neither of his last two songs wowed me. I love Jamey Johnson, but “You Can” and “Alabama Pines” were pretty mediocre.
That being said the guy needs to release new music. My patience has pretty much run out as a fan of his, we need details ASAP about what his plans are for an album this year or I am going to slip into apathy and just stop giving a crap.
January 22, 2016 @ 1:10 pm
Yeah, I don’t understand Trigger’s view on Jamey’s voice either. It’s phenomenal, unique, and will be iconic when all is said and done. One listen to “Thankful for the Rain” should convince anybody of that.
January 22, 2016 @ 3:00 pm
I don’t know if Trig has the same problem with Jamey’s voice as me, but personally, I think Jamey sounds kinda monotone a lot of the time. I think he has a good voice, but doesn’t fully utilize it.
January 24, 2016 @ 5:30 pm
I think when the song’s right in his sweet spot, his voice is great, but he doesn’t have a lot of range. Don’t get me wrong, though…I’m a major fan.
January 22, 2016 @ 6:25 am
Wayd’s been gone for 5 years at least. No clue why but he’s missed. Sorry to hear about the other guys but glad Cowboy is still there. Jamey needs to release a new album so we get some new material at his shows. Been seeing the same act for years now. He even looks bored by it.
January 22, 2016 @ 7:09 am
Mike Kennedy has also been George Strait’s drummer in the Ace in the Hole Band for many years.
January 22, 2016 @ 2:29 pm
20+ years. I can’t believe he’s involved. Jeez.
January 23, 2016 @ 2:16 pm
We all need to remember this is America and people are innocent until proven guilty. there were two others also arrested, Lets not get too carried away on judging any of these guys. I have been married to Mike since 2008. He is a victim and will be cleared of his charge. No one involved in this case can speak about it until after there scheduled court date for fear of being charged with abstraction of justice. So please don’t judge any of them until the judge rules on each of there cases. Ask anyone that knows Mike and they will tell you what a caring person and talented drummer that he is. He will do whatever he can to help others. Mike loves jamey as much if not more than any of you do, but he feels its in his best interest to step away from that
drum seat , one of mikes oldest friends is filling that seat now , thank you for not asking questions that can’t be answered until the case is closed!
I do know he will miss playing for all of you jj fans
thanks for reading this
God Bless you all.
January 23, 2016 @ 8:29 pm
I love Jamey’s music, and the band is the best. On the subject here. It is critical here ( I practice in DeSoto County) to get good local representation. I recommend R. Stan Little. His office is on the square in Hernando, and criminal work is pretty much all he does.
January 24, 2016 @ 9:30 am
Give Mike our best.
January 25, 2016 @ 1:16 pm
We missed Mike playing in Springfield, but wish him the best! No judgement here.
January 22, 2016 @ 3:11 pm
Love Jameys voice and music…love his laid back sound. I personally hope for more music but hope he doesn’t change.
January 22, 2016 @ 4:55 pm
That Southern Baptist parking lot
is where I’d go to smoke my pot
Now my whole damn band’s locked up
I knew that place was just bad luck
Theyre out on bail & strapped for cash
So I sent them packin & kept the stash
January 22, 2016 @ 6:39 pm
I don’t know why everyone’s acting so surprised dope booze and sexual Bullshit is the standard for road dog musicians of course he knew what his band was doing those dudes are like family on the road he had to whack them since he’s supposed to be clean … And sorry… Bands don’t just get busted for a little weed if that were the case every tour bus in America would get pulled over
Re: the salary question sometimes those dudes get as little as the equivalent of $30000 a year they ain’t rich and it ain’t glamorous they just tell the little girls it is
January 23, 2016 @ 12:40 pm
Let’s face facts, much like in sports its all about how important you are to the “team” when you get caught screwing up. Unless you sell yourself as a “true” band, see Turnpike Troubadors, RRB, etc. and you are a backing player chances are if you get caught screwing up you will be replaced.
The same way Drew Brees could get a DWI and get a slap on the wrist (if that) while random Special Teams player #5 gets caught doing the same and gets cut. Just the way it is in life.
January 24, 2016 @ 12:03 pm
It just goes to show “The high cost of living ain’t worth the cost of living high” 😉
January 24, 2016 @ 12:50 pm
Jamey actually sounds better without His band. Something is missing in this band.They are not cohesive. If that makes any sense. Comes a time when you gotta do what you gotta do.
January 24, 2016 @ 6:05 pm
dont judge anyone till the details are released speculation is a waste of time the truth will rear its ugly head soon enough
January 24, 2016 @ 6:32 pm
After seeing Mr. Johnson tell some fellow fans FUCK YOU for flying the rebel flag at one of the most boring shows ive ever endured i knew he was a poser , he is from alabama and doesnt even know what the flag means to real southerners…… it doesnt mean hate a black person that is the bullshit the liberal media has turned it into little by little. He has bought into that shit and thought he was gonna make a big bad ass statement by scolding some very shocked fans , embarrassing them by singling them out in front of thousands of others just as i think he has done a couple of members of his band. Im waiting for the details and knowing what little i know of this fake ass outlaw im betting he is trying to save his fat ass and save face because he sure the hell aint saving country music by writing about things that real outlaws do which takes quite a talent within itself . As a songwriter i know it takes some imagination to write about things you know nothing about and be believable. I cant stand a hypocrite or someone who lives by double standards like this arrogant prick. Ill be willing to be he is the bitch who released this information hoping to look like he has a set of standards or character which he doesnt . He used to be a stand up guy but too many fans and too many industry kiss asses have swollen his ego and he has turned into one of the biggest let downs in the business and as a person……I raise my finger to this hypocrite poser he needs to take notes from chris stapleton who is really one of the guys saving country music and music in general…He treats his band and crew and everyone with the ultimate respect which is why he is also respected highly as a musician AND a man…… no matter what the details are when they are released he will always be a poser and a asshole who talks down to people , cusses fans , friends , anyone who defies his clouded pot and pill filled brain ….I mean how shocking it must have been for those fellow former fans to get pointed out and scolded like he is some holier than though role model for humanity….fuck ive heard the n word come out of his pie hole more than once but that aint what the rebel flag is about . ‘even if it were about that ,and its not , he wasnt impressing any black or white people by outing some fans who paid hard earned money to see this cod shame them for something you think he would know something about being from LA lower alabama ….. do some research on this poser youll see the evidence add up he is phony
January 24, 2016 @ 8:00 pm
I have a hard time believing anything you say about what happened or about him when you’re not even willing to use your really name. I’ve seen him multiple times and have loved every saw!! They are far from boring! It probably had nothing to do with the rebel flag and more to do with asshole “fans” being disrespectful. I have spoken to him, his band and most of the crew after every show ans they are all great guys.
January 25, 2016 @ 4:22 pm
I’v been too long in the wind, too long in the rain
seeking any comfort , that I can
if you could only see me now. (1997 Dixie Chicks Wide Open Spaces) seems they were right all along about the Iraq war.
Jamey Johnson will be fine, he will be better than fine. Another Grammy nomination on it’s way…….my husband and I have always liked him, always will.
August 26, 2016 @ 7:42 am
What ever happened with this? Did the charges get dropped?
August 26, 2016 @ 9:17 am
I don’t know. The local authorities are basically in violation of the Freedom of Information act, and if I had the money and inclination, I might sue them, but I don’t, and my only other recourse is to show up in person and demand the police reports. And none of the musicians are saying a peep. So nobody really has any idea what is going on aside from the folks involved, and they’re not talking.
August 26, 2016 @ 10:16 am
I wonder if it went in front of a judge yet?
If the charges were dropped does the freedom of information act still apply?
August 26, 2016 @ 10:29 am
If there is a government record that is not marked classified for the safety of the State, it should be retrievable. Even if the charges were dropped, the media should be able to obtain that information. Frankly, I haven’t tried to follow up with the story after getting stonewalled by the local authorities shortly after this came to light, but the last time I was told all Freedom of Information Acts requests must be done in person at the police department and courthouse.
February 11, 2017 @ 10:47 am
The band without John Scott is absolutely no where near as talented..
Cowboy is as good as it gets..I have worked with Him In the studio many times for lots of years..
John Scott is on a way different level talent wise .He is a amazing musician..Now some of you have seen him play the piano ..and the fiddle..How about the steel.The bass ..well how about the drums….He’s not just good at every one of them hes great….
That said cowboy can hold it. Together …But a band is family..I don’t care who you think you are..when things look bad then you tighten up ..But you don’t shoot the horses on your way up the mountain….
There’s some gunslinger on jjs heels…And they are tight bands of brothers..real outlaws …like Cowboy and John Scott….The crowds are growing..The record sales are dwindling. ..Now don’t get me wrong everyone of these guys are very good pickers….But John Scott ..you better keep him close…Because you are probably going to need him..
December 23, 2020 @ 3:28 pm
How did this story end?
January 31, 2021 @ 1:00 pm
How did Rowdy die?
January 31, 2021 @ 1:07 pm
I am working on an update about Rowdy and The Steel Woods that will be up soon. Currently we don’t know how he died and his death is labeled as “unclassified.” However, there seems to be good evidence he died from complications from diabetes, which he suffered from.