Award-winning country singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson is bringing his fall tour in support of his new album “Living for a Song” to three Oklahoma venues Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
Johnson will play Nov. 29 at 7 Clans Paradise Casino in Red Rock; for more information, go to www.ticketstorm.com. He will perform Nov. 30 at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami; for more information, go to www.buffalorun.com. He will play Dec. 1 at Lucky Star Casino in Concho; for more information, go to www.luckystarcasino.org.
The Alabama native will begin his fall tour Nov. 8 in Knoxville, Tenn., at the Tennessee Theatre and end the tour in Montgomery, Ala., on Dec. 31 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre, according to a news release.
Johnson’s new album, “Living For a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran,” was released on Oct. 16 in conjunction with the sold-out show at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.
“Living for a Song” includes music legends like Oklahoma natives Leon Russell and Vince Gill along with Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and Ray Price. The album also features Asleep at the Wheel, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Ronnie Dunn, Bobby Bare, Lee Ann Womack, Kris Kristofferson and Cochran himself. Along with Johnson, they sing such Cochran hits as “I Fall To Pieces,” “Make the World Go Away,” “Don’t Touch Me,” “Would These Arms Be In Your Way” and “A-11.” The album features a total of 16 all-time hits from the pen of Hank Cochran, a mentor to artists such as Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
Cochran, who died at age 74 in 2010, is considered one of the greatest songwriters in the history of country music. He helped create the template for writing the perfect country song and had an uncanny knack for capturing the gut-wrenching depths of heartache so powerfully, yet so simply.
On “Living For a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran,” Johnson and Nelson sing “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me,” and the duo is joined by Russell and Gill on “Everything But You.”
“Any opportunity to hang with the best of the best, you don’t turn that down if you have a lick of sense,” Gill said of the Cochran tribute in a recent phone interview.
Johnson, Nelson, Haggard and Kris Kristofferson sing “Living for a Song,” a poignant recording that includes Cochran’s voice, and Johnson teams with Haggard on the Patsy Cline 1961 hit “I Fall to Pieces.”
There has been great anticipation about the musical direction Johnson would take after releasing his critically acclaimed 25-song double album, “The Guitar Song,” which was among the most lauded albums of 2010, receiving country album of the year nominations from the Grammys and the Academy of Country Music. It was certified gold and ranked No. 5 on both Rolling Stone’s and Spin’s albums of the year lists. This was the follow-up to the 2008 album “That Lonesome Song,” which was certified platinum and universally hailed by critics as a masterpiece.
Johnson has emerged as one of the most important country artists of the last decade, both as a recording artist and songwriter. In 2007, he won Song of the Year from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music for co-writing the George Strait hit “Give It Away.” He won Song of the Year from both organizations two years later for “In Color,” and also received five Grammy nominations during 2009-10.
When it came time to take the next step in his recording career, he listened to his heart and decided to embark on a labor of love. In a daring career move that is consistent with Johnson’s penchant for bucking conventional industry wisdom to create a unique path, he decided to devote his time and creative efforts to honoring his late friend and celebrate traditional country music.
“There’s not a writer I think any more deserving than Hank Cochran to have an album done in the way that we did this one,” Johnson told the Associated Press. “And the icing on the cake was the artists that stepped up and not only agreed to do it, but we were getting death threats from artists if we didn’t put them on this album, you know? There would be hell to pay and we wasn’t gonna have that.”
Chris Hennessee and Wayne Mills will accompany Johnson on select dates throughout the tour. More dates will be released soon.
Look for my review of “Living for a Song” Friday.