Editors’ Notes It’s rare when new traditional “hat-acts” play outside the box, which is why Jamey Johnson’s fourth studio LP is a must-hear. The Guitar Song is a double concept album boasting 25 tunes. The first half is Johnson’s Black Album, where he bequeaths downtrodden honky-tonk songs. “Lonely At the Top” plays like an old saloon-serenade as Johnson lampoons those who complain about success. He turns Mel Tillis’ “Mental Revenge” into an acoustic front-porch dirge, while his own “That’s How I Don’t Love You” and “Heartache” are deeply darkened laments that make Ryan Adams’ ballads sound like Katrina & The Waves. The second half comprising Johnson’s White Album vibrates with upbeat twang-rock. It opens with the beer-joint boogie of “By the Seat of Your Pants” before the hilarious “California Riots” recalls David Allan Coe’s “Willie, Waylon And Me.” “Macon” is a lighter-hoisting, Skynyrd-esque Southern rock anthem that’s sure to get good ol’ boys taking their shirts off and yelling at Johnson’s live shows.

SONG
Lonely At the Top
1
3:13
 
Cover Your Eyes
2
3:44
 
Poor Man Blues
3
3:31
 
Set 'Em Up Joe
4
2:47
 
Playing the Part
5
4:29
 
Baby Don't Cry
6
3:27
 
Heaven Bound
7
2:39
 
Can't Cash My Checks
8
7:17
 
That's How I Don't Love You
9
3:55
 
Heartache
10
5:20
 
Mental Revenge
11
4:21
 
Even the Skies Are Blue
12
3:55
 
By the Seat of Your Pants
1
6:28
 
California Riots
2
6:21
 
Dog In the Yard
3
3:25
 
The Guitar Song (feat. Bill Anderson)
4
3:24
 
That's Why I Write Songs
5
4:05
 
Macon
6
4:18
 
Thankful for the Rain
7
2:59
 
Good Morning Sunrise
8
3:56
 
Front Porch Swing Afternoon
9
4:39
 
I Remember You
10
4:50
 
Good Times Ain't What They Used to Be
11
3:04
 
For the Good Times
12
4:01
 
My Way to You
13
5:21
 

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