on October 26, 2012
The intent is fully realized: a loving tribute to one of the greatest country songwriters, headed by a superb country artist and supported by one of the most impressive all-star casts ever assembled. The result is not only a tribute to classic country music itself, but perhaps the best introduction possible to one of the treasures of classic country music.
Jamey Johnson lives the songs of Hank Cochran so honestly, one would think he wrote them himself. He displays the great difference between singing a song and channeling the emotion, and every guest artist on the album matches Johnson's depth and nuance.
Not everyone can listen to decades old recordings of original artists and consider them anything but a piece of history. The greatness of this album is that Jamey Johnson and cohorts bring these fantastic songs to a new audience, and in doing so make them sound not merely new, but timeless.
For my money, this is one of the best albums of the year of any genre. My highest recommendation.
on October 19, 2012
This is the country music I grew up with, listening to my sisters and Daddy singing together. Country/Western music today is barely a shadow of the beauty and heartache of these songs, thank you Jamey!
on October 17, 2012
I received this cd yesterday after waiting what seemed like forever. This is so unbelievably wonderful. True country. Takes you back to real country music not this pop so called country music. I can count on one hand the country artists that are true country artists today and Jamey is for sure country. Wouldnt expect anything less from Jamey. Definitely think i will be listening to this one over and over again! This is so worth the purchase!.
Hank Cochran is one of the finest songwriters the country genre has ever known, there is no doubt about that. This album from Jamey Johnson is a tribute in the purest sense of the word and should be listened to by anyone who appreciates true country music. As a matter of fact, if anyone wants to know exactly WHAT pure country music is they should listen to this album. This is the kind of country I heard growing up when my dad would play albums from Waylon, Willie, Kris, Merle and so on. The fact that we get to hear Willie, Kris and Merle here is just a bonus as Jamey Johnson has as pure a country voice as there is.
When I turn on country radio these days I have to wonder just how we got so far away from music like this so fast. I'm not saying there isn't some good music still being made, but it's now a rarity to find someone making an album like this that is cut from the old school country music cloth. I found myself smiling as every new track came out of my speakers as I remembered just how good a steel guitar and a raspy voice could sound.
The bottom line on this one is buy it, it's a perfect tribute to one of the greatest songwriters around and it's a perfect primer for anyone who thinks country music is what they're playing on the radio today. Thank you Jamey Johnson for keeping the flame alive!
on October 18, 2012
Like many, I first became aware of Hank Cochran through his wonderful songs performed by the great Patsy Cline. Having grown up in the rock generation of the late sixties and seventies, I remember several conversations with friends about the great songwriters. Dylan, Lennon, Young would all immediately be brought up but i would always say "Don't forget about Hank Cochran", which would usually draw quizzical looks. After rattling off several of the classic Hank-Patsy songs, friends would say "One guy wrote ALL those?". I was especially happy to see the Hank revival in the early 90's with several of the emerging alt-country bands covering Hank songs. From Ray Price and Buck Owens to Hazeldine and American Paint, Hank has always been there (a true favorite of mine is the Hazeldine cover of It's Only Love - surprised that song didn't show up here). As for this tribute, wow! The magnitude of this all star cast exemplifies the admiration, appreciation and love the true bloods of Americana music have for an amazing person and songwriter, the likes of which we will probably never see again. Thanks to Jamey Johnson, the wonderful musicians on this CD, the production staff (all top notch) but most of all thanks to Hank Cochran for leaving us a lifetime of songs that will live on forever.
on December 14, 2012
With an all-star cast of legends on board, Jamey brings to life some of the best songs from Cochran's catalog, including some of his lesser known material. Willie and Merle are both extremely strong vocally and, of course, King George knocks one out of the park with "The Eagle" (certainly not a conventional choice given Strait has taken a number of Cochran's songs to the top ten over his career).
If you're interested in discovering or rediscovering some of the most important songs in the genre's history, this album is the ticket. I can only hope that Jamey will continue to write, cover and collaborate on this level for many years to come.
on October 28, 2012
Remember when Outlaws and Waylon and Willie revived real country music when it had gone down the crapper?
What if fans of Jamey Johnson who still hadn't figured out how he was different from Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean and
Tim Mcgraw and, yes, even Blake and his wife, listened to this and GOT IT?
Suddenly pop artists who are capable of doing the real thing like Lee Ann and Martina and Trace started doing real country again.
Then curious listeners suddenly discovered Dale Watson and James Hand and Roger Wallace and Billy Joe Shaver and Wayne Hancock and
Amber Digby and Georgette Jones and Leona and Ron Williams.
Suddenly real country is back!
God bless Jamey Johnson. I wonder how long Nashville will put up with him. He's the real deal in a phony baloney town.
Jamey Johnson/Various Artists
"Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran"
(Mercury Nashville, 2012)
Hank Cochran was one of the best songwriters in Nashville from the late '50s on, and newcomer Jamey Johnson is one of the most "country" singers Music City has hosted for many, many years. Johnson really gets it, and this tribute album is one of the best country records of the decade, certainly my personal favorite of the year.
It's hard to describe just how flat-out satisfying and amazing a record like this is for a hard-country fan like me: each track is a tour-de-force of true twang, where Johnson's love of tradition and grit comes through loud and clear, as does his appreciation of Cochran's work, which -- like Johnson's -- perfectly hits the sweet spot between honkytonk roots and the demands of modern Nashville pop. Cochran's strengths as a composer are reconfirmed as Johnson and his many guests bring the songs to life and make the lyrics their own. And Johnson proves himself a generous and gracious host by letting each of his duet partners stand in the spotlight, complimented by his own rich, robust, rumbling vocals.
The album opens with a gorgeous version of "Make The World Go Away," with Alison Krauss mining the emotional agonies of this great melodic oldie; other highlights include a rough-hewn duet with Merle Haggard ("I Fall To Pieces"), a heartbreaking tuen with Elvis Costello ("She'll Be Back"), Emmylou Harris delving deep into the erotic charge of "Don't Touch Me" (perhaps the most frankly carnal song I've ever heard her sing) and Johnson's epic collaboration with Willie Nelson, one of the most sure-fire Cochran interpreters you could ever hope to hear. Jamey Johnson made the most of this opportunity, to harmonize with his heroes, to pay homage to a great and now-underrecognized country composer, and to bring an avalanche of real-deal, beautifully arranged true twang into the country mainstream. He sings unaccompanied on only one track, the aching "Would These Arms Be In Your Way," and it, like every other record he's made, is a gem. Highly recommended! (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To Country Music)
There are few songwriters in country music history who can wring so much emotion out of a song as Hank Cochran did. His lyrics were simple and to the point, yet told such emotionally complex stories. Songs like "Would These Arms Be In Your Way" and "Make the World Go Away" have entered the pantheon of classic country songs; you've heard these before even if you aren't aware of it, because they are, simply, timeless.
Jamey Johnson has proven himself to be a superb singer/songwriter, which makes his choice of a covers album an interesting one. Obviously, there will be no major hits from this record--sadly, that goes without saying. But there don't have to be any hits, because all of these songs WERE hits at one point. And the truth is, Johnson simply hits this record out of the ballpark. He's joined by an impressive supporting cast: Kris Kristofferson, George Strait, Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Elvis Costello, Merle Haggard, Lee Ann Womack, and many more (each song is basically a duet). Each artist featured here is clearly in love with the material, relishing in the chance to record music of this caliber. Johnson spends more time on the ballads and heartbreak songs, which makes this album best enjoyed at night, with a cold beer; it also bogs down the listener a bit much, making those moments where he cuts loose ("I Don't Do Windows," "This Ain't My First Rodeo") all the more refreshing. Still, overall, LIVING FOR A SONG is a fantastic, traditional country record. If you like your country with fiddle, steel, and soul, you shouldn't pass this album up.
on November 2, 2012
Great album with a bunch of classic songs. Jamey has a very unique voice, he does not sound like anyone else in country music today.