Jamey Johnson: The Full concert

By  | November 28, 2018 | Filed under: News

Recently Tracey and I attended a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert that had Bad Company and Jamey Johnson opening.  Let me start off by saying I have always liked Jamey Johnson’s music.  Johnson played for about 45 minutes at this concert.  A review of the concert can be found here:

http://quadcitiesdaily.com/?p=489814

We enjoyed the Jamey Johnson portion of the concert that we decided to attend his full concert.  I was able to get us tickets to see him in Biloxi, MS at the Imperial Palace.   Before we get into the concert review, let’s find out about Jamey first.  From the Wikipedia website:

    Johnson was born on July 14, 1975, in Enterprise, Alabama and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. From an early age, he was influenced by country acts such as Alabama and Alan Jackson, the latter of whom was the first act that he saw in concert.    After graduating from Jefferson Davis High School, Johnson attended Jacksonville State University, the same university from which Alabama lead singer Randy Owen graduated.   During his time at Jacksonville State University, he was a member of Sigma Nu in the Iota Lambda chapter and a member of the Marching Southerners.

    Johnson quit college after two years and served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve for eight years.    He served in Company L, 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines as a mortar man (MOS 0341) and attained the rank of corporal. He would often play original songs for his fellow Marines and has kept in contact with many of them. He wrote two songs on his initial self-released album that mentions his Marine Corps service. After leaving the Marines, he began playing country music in various bars throughout Montgomery; one of his first gigs was opening for David Allan Coe.

   By 2000, Johnson had moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a career in country music. He also self-released an album called They Call Me Country. One of his first connections was with Greg Perkins, a fiddler who had played for Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette, and other artists. Perkins invited Johnson to sing as a duet partner with Gretchen Wilson on a demo tape.  Songs for which Johnson sang demos include “Songs About Me” (cut by Trace Adkins) and “That’s How They Do It in Dixie” (cut by Hank Williams, Jr. with Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, and Van Zant).

     Johnson had also made connections with producer and songwriter Buddy Cannon, who helped him land a songwriting contract.   Among Johnson’s first cuts as a songwriter was “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”, which Adkins released from his 2005 album Songs About Me. That song he co-wrote along with hit songwriter Dallas Davidson and fellow country singer-songwriter Randy Houser, who later worked with Johnson again co-writing “My Cowboy” for country pop singer Jessie James for her self-titled debut album.

    By 2005, Johnson had been signed to a recording contract with BNA Records. His first single, entitled “The Dollar”, was released that year, followed by his Buddy Cannon-produced debut album (also entitled The Dollar) in March 2006. “The Dollar” went on to peak at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. The album’s second single, “Rebelicious”, failed to enter the charts and Johnson was dropped from BNA.

   After the loss of his record deal, Johnson divorced his wife and took on a reclusive lifestyle, residing in a friend’s house while working on his songwriting.  He wrote several songs for other artists. In 2006, George Strait reached No. 1 on the Country chart with “Give It Away“, a song which Johnson co-wrote with Bill Anderson and Cannon. This song became Strait’s 51st No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, setting a new record for most No. 1s on that chart.

    In 2007, Trace Adkins charted with two more songs that Johnson co-wrote: “Ladies Love Country Boys” and “I Got My Game On”, the former being Adkins’ first No. 1 in 10 years. Also in 2007, Joe Nichols reached Top 20 with “Another Side of You”, another song co-written by Johnson. This song was the first single on Nichols’s album Real Things, which also contained “She’s All Lady”, a song that Johnson originally recorded on The Dollar.

   Johnson was part of the Fox TV television series Nashville, which was cancelled after two episodes in September 2007.

    Johnson released an album in 2008, That Lonesome Song, which was only made available online.   The album drew the attention of Mercury Nashville Records, who signed him to a record deal in 2008. His first single for the label, “In Color”, was released in March 2008. This song, which Johnson co-wrote with Lee Thomas Miller and James Otto, entered Top 40 in June 2008, and That Lonesome Song was released on CD in August of that year. “In Color” peaked at No. 9 on the Country chart in January 2009 and was followed a month later by “High Cost of Living”, which managed to crack the Top 40, but only reaching No. 34. By April 2009, That Lonesome Song was certified Gold by the RIAA.

   A fifth single, “My Way to You”, was issued in July 2009. The song was released to radio on July 13, 2009, and debuted at No. 56 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song peaked at No. 52 in September 2009.

   Johnson was nominated for the 2009 CMA Awards New Artist of the Year, and has been nominated for the 2010 Academy of Country Music Top New Solo Vocalist.

   In 2010, Johnson released a follow up to his 2008 album, That Lonesome Song. The album titled The Guitar Song was released on September 14, 2010. Upon its release, The Guitar Song was met with overwhelming praise and universal acclaim from music critics.   The album debuted at number four on the U.S. Billboard 200 and number one on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums, selling 63,000 copies its first week of release.

   Johnson released three singles from the album, including “Playing the Part”, in summer 2010. The music video for the single was released in October, and was directed by Matthew McConaughey, who also stars in the video as a dancing gorilla.

    Johnson was the supporting act on Kid Rock’s 2011 Born Free Tour, accompanying Rock on a duet or two during most concerts. He was also a main stage act on Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown from May to July 2011.

   In addition to producing other acts and writing new material, Johnson released a duet tribute album to songwriter Hank Cochran titled Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran. The album paired him with acts such as Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Vince Gill, and Merle Haggard. Longtime collaborator and producer Buddy Cannon oversaw the project.  The album was released on vinyl September 25, 2012 and other formats on October 16, 2012.   The album garnered Johnson a nomination at the 55th Grammy Awards for Best Country album.

    Following a dispute with his label, Johnson founded his own label, Big Gassed Records. His first release on the label was a Christmas-themed EP, the Christmas Song, including several covers and one new original song, which were released in November 2014. It was announced that more new music would follow in 2015.   In January 2015, Johnson released a new song, “Alabama Pines” as a free download.   This was followed by the release of another single, “You Can”, in February.

    I have never been to a concert at a casino before.  I must say that I really prefer that way.  It was so nice to leave our room, go downstairs and walk straight into the concert hall.  After it was over with, we walked right back to our rooms.  I would say that the concert hall held approximately 1,000 people.  We did not see an empty seat there. 

   There was not a bad seat in the concert hall.  The arrangement of the stage and seats reminded me of the old show on M-TV “M-TV Unplugged.”   The seats were plush and comfortable.  The crowd was energetic.    Before the concert started, music was being played through the speakers.  The Merle Haggard song “You Never Call Me By My Name.”  The crowd was so into the atmosphere of the pending concert, that everyone was singing the lyrics to this song.

The concert was advertised as starting at 8PM.  At 8:05 PM, Jamey took the stage.  He opened with “Keeping Up With The Joneses.”    He never let up.  He went from song to song.  He played his songs as well as cover songs from other performers.

Now here is something I never thought I would report about a Jamey Johnson Concert.   He had Reed Instruments playing during the concert.  That’s right.  There were Saxophones, Clarinets, Trombone, Trumpet and Flute.   It was really a sight to see.  But it just worked and worked well.  The soulful sounds of the Sax just took you away.

Jamey brought his Dad, Howard Johnson, AKA: HoJo, onto the stage to sing with him.  Jamey launched into the song “In Color” with his Dad.  Let me say here that this was the sing a long song for the audience.  During the song, the audience was singing so loud, that Jamey stopped singing and just played guitar.  They turned on the Hall Lights and looking around, seeing all these people singing along was awesome.  I had chill bumps.

Next, Jamey told us about his Pee-Paw.  He said that Pee-Paw had a deep bass voice “made by 69 years of unfiltered Winston’s and crappy coffee.”   Jamey remembered playing guitar in church while his Pee-Paw and Dad sang.   He then began to play “Why me Lord?”  Remember, we just had the whole hall, singing along with their adult beverages raised and it brought chill bumps.  Now, all these people are singing this gospel song just like they were in church.  This just goes to show the musical genre that Jamey can perform from.

As the show began to wind down, a harmonica was introduced.  Let me tell you this, this was just a 12 person band.  I was astonished by the musical abilities of the band members.  Jamey along with other performers such as Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton and Cody Jinks has revived the “Outlaw Country” persona.  With Jamey’s low gravelly voice and long hair, he reminds people of Waylon Jennings or Willie Nelson.

Jamey played for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.  I was so impressed by this concert.  The concert with Lynyrd Skynyrd just wetted our appetite for the full concert.  Jamey is still touring until the end of the year.  If you get a chance, go see him.  I know we will be seeing him again in 2019.

 

    Bobby Inman is retired from Law Enforcement after 21 years of Service.  He is a Consultant for Southern Heritage Gun & Pawn in Tuscumbia.   He has articles published in Law & Order Magazine, Police Marksman Magazine, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement Magazine as well as several published ebooks on Amazon, Kobo Writing, as well as Nook (Barnes & Noble).  He is owner of Poopiedog, an Animal Rescue Dachshund, who is his constant companion.   He is a Senior Investigative Reporter for the Quad Cities Daily.  Bobby is the Photographer for Continental Championship Wrestling. 

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