James Johnson can lend his voice to pretty much anything and it comes out fantastic.
It doesn’t matter if he’s singing a Jamey Johnson classic like “In Color,” which is a cover John Anderson Hit it, or read the back of a granola bar… the man embodies everything that makes good country music.
Jamey is one of about a dozen artists featured on John Anderson’s new tribute album. Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson.
Featuring the late great John Prine, Sierra Ferrell, Brent Cobb, Nathaniel Rateliff, Eric Church, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Tyler Childers, Luke Combs, Sturgill Simpson, the Osborne brothers, Del McCoury & Sierra Hull, Ashley McBryde and Jamey himself. the project is nothing short of phenomenal.
Johnson concludes the project with a cover of Anderson’s “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday),” originally written and recorded by Billy Joe Shaver.
Anderson released his version in March 1981 as the first single from his second album, John Anderson 2.
And the original:
Jamey Johnson on the cover version of the country music greats
Talk about the wisdom of a legend.
James Johnson is as real as they come as he prides himself on writing songs about real life, from difficulties of growing up to personal experiences.
He recently sat down for an interview with the Country Music Hall of Fame and spoke about the importance of carrying on the legacy of country music stars who both inspired him and came before him.
In the video, he talks about how many of the greatest country musicians of all time have gone from Merle Haggard to Johnny Cash to George Jones.
His greatest fear is that superficial songwriting about “beer” and “party” could erase the memory and meaning of true country music legends.
“Without people like me out there covering their songs, they just quit. If nobody sang Johnny Cash, there would be a whole generation that would grow up without Johnny Cash. And if you ask me, this won’t be a good world.
Today’s young artists… it’s important that they learn these songs, it’s important that they pass them on. That you show respect but also pass on the ministry of these important singers.
They had a lot to say that matters.”
He also discussed how it wasn’t until later in his music career that he realized the meaning and belonging of these songs:
“You don’t realize that until you get to a certain age…I didn’t understand Merle Haggard’s lyrics when I was young, just like I did when I was 25, 30, 40.
These texts contain more truth, more wisdom and more meaning than you can imagine.
I just see myself as a torch that (music) is passed from one generation to the next and if I could be used in that way maybe it’s to a good cause.”
Real recognizes Real.
I just have to say we need new music from Jamey Johnson soon. It’s been way too long.
Unfortunately we got a false alarm here recently when one of Johnson’s bandmates told the world there was one new album in the worksbut Johnson denied the rumours.
More in ‘Outlaws & Armadillos’: pic.twitter.com/EcQYaxtzXv
— Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (@countrymusichof) August 2, 2021
Speaking of covers, check out this hard-hitting video of Jamey covering a George Jones medley:
https://www.whiskeyriff.com/2022/08/07/jamey-johnson-covers-im-just-an-old-chunk-of-coal-but-im-gonna-be-a-diamond-someday-for-john-anderson-tribute-album/ Jamey Johnson Covers “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)” For John Anderson Tribute Album