The Guitar Song. is a 25-song, double album with thematically linked sets of songs dubbed the ˝Black Album˝ and the ˝White Album.˝
˝The original idea was always to do a double album,˝ says Jamey.
˝The album is a tale. The first part of it is a very dark and sordid story.
Everything after that is progressively more positive, reassuring and redemptive.˝
The ˝Black˝ songs include the menacing, ˝Poor Man Blues,˝ the defiant ˝Can’t Cash My Checks,˝ the sighing and bluesy ˝Even the Skies Are Blue˝ and the chilling ˝Heartache.
˝ The lighter, ˝White˝ songs are highlighted by the strongly autobiographical ˝That’s Why I Write Songs,˝ the languid ˝Front Porch Swing Afternoon,˝ the rocking ˝Good Times Ain’t What They Used to Be˝ and the easy-going groove tune ˝Macon.˝
The ambitious project’s textures are many and varied. ˝Baby Don’t Cry˝ is a lullaby.
˝I Remember You˝ is a gospel song. ˝That’s How I Don’t Love You˝ is a deeply sad power ballad.
˝By the Seat of Your Pants˝ tells of life’s lessons. The title tune, ˝The Guitar Song,˝ is told from the point of view of two forgotten guitars hanging on a pawn shop wall.
˝Playing the Part˝ and ˝California Riots˝ come from feeling out of place as a country boy in Hollywood.
As a lover of classic country sounds, he regularly performs oldies in his stage shows.
The Guitar Song contains ˝For the Good Times,˝, ˝Set `Em Up Joe˝ and ˝Mental Revenge˝.
˝Lonely at the Top˝ is an undiscovered Keith Whitley song.
The Guitar Song is the follow up to Johnson’s critically acclaimed 2008 record That Lonesome Song. In an exclusive interview with Billboard Magazine, Johnson talked about the new release, saying ˝it’s been really fun for me.
The past several times we’ve been in the studio is just...it stays fresh, it stays new and we’re always looking for innovative ways to bring our songs to the people.˝
Spin Magazine named The Guitar Song in its ˝25 Fall Albums That Matter Most˝ special, saying ˝Johnson likes country from the old school (or at least the mythologized ˝old school˝), when outlaw songs met with moody ballads and swirled into something like rootsy American bedrocki