Country musician Jamey Johnson’s double album ‘The Guitar Song’ is simply incredible, and one of the best country albums to be released in a long time.The singer/songwriter blends elements of traditional country with outlaw Southern rock for 25 tracks that have been divided up between “Black” and “White” discs.
The album could be described as a concept project with the “Black” disc starting in a dark place with songs that tend to look on the sadder side of life, and the “White” album featuring tunes that start looking up (he even tacks on a spiritual tune by the time the album is over).
The “Black” disc gets things going with “Lonely at the Top” where Johnson takes a look at his own success (or any superstar’s success) and the trappings that come with it. The singer makes sure to point out that life might not be a great when you are rich and famous, but it can be even worse at the bottom.
He keeps the spotlight on his own success with “Playing the Part” where he points out the amount of changes that have happened since he found success with 2008’s ‘That Lonesome Song.’
Johnson gets a bit personal with looks at love and heartbreak in songs like “Cover Your Eyes” “Baby Don’t Cry” (one of the best ballads on the two discs) and “Heartache.” Johnson shows some of his “outlaw’ roots on “Poor Man Blues” – one of the “Black” disc’s best songs.
Things get a bit lighter on the “White” disc – which kicks off with “By the Seat of Your Pants” and “California Riots.” He still has a somewhat dark look love with “Dog in the Yard” and the Southern rock fueled “Macon.”
The album’s title track (which features Bill Anderson) is a great country story song with lyrics that fit the album’s journey and the singer’s life – even if it is told from the perspective of two guitars.
Johnson is the definition of traditional country music, but also has no problem slipping into Southern Rock or the “outlaw” country sound.
‘The Guitar Song’ demonstrates the singer’s talent and I highly recommend this album to any fan of country music or the singer. The two discs work together to take the listener on a journey through heartbreak and love, and it is one you will want to take over and over.