Jamey Johnson’s Outlaw Roots and Their Country Legacy

The singer-songwriter is famed for 2005's "The Dollar," and 2008's "In Color," and more

In 2005, a Nashville-based session musician who also dropped out of college while a straight-A student at Jacksonville State University co-wrote a song about a young woman he saw dancing at a bar. 15 years later, Trace Adkins’ recording of the Jamey Johnson (the band-member alluded to above) co-written song “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” spearheaded not just Adkins’ crossover country success but Johnson’s own iconoclastic acclaim. Three solo albums and notably, two iconic hit singles later, he’s carved a space for country music’s essential and always important outlaw aesthetic in the modern era.

At present, 11 years have passed since the release of his gold-selling number-one Billboard country chart album The Guitar Song. However, in a May 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, he offered an appropriately succinct and unflinchingly honest reason as to why so much time has passed since he’s created new material:

“I don’t need to put out an album, and I know some people do put out albums every year. But I only want to put out an album if it’s going to be good, if it’s going to be something that I want to go out and play every night. And if I’ve got those songs, then I have no reason not to put it out. But in the absence of that, I don’t see why I would. You know, I wouldn’t waste everybody’s time and attention to come hear the newest bucket of crap.”

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