Jamey Johnson – “Macon”
1. Jamey Johnson made his name writing songs, both for other artists (George Strait, Joe Nichols) and from his breakout sophomore record That Lonesome Song. Songwriters are able to step off the path that singers and entertainers are forced to walk — the one of cliches, jokes, and caricatures — and blaze their own trail. On this track, from his upcoming record The Guitar Song, Johnson pulls from his usual influences, throwing in a bit of soul while keeping his feet firmly planted in country tradition.
2. Taking the character of a truck driving man headed back to Georgia, Johnson includes the longing on both sides — from his lady, who doesn’t like staying home alone, to his own growing desire: “the faster I go, the more I know/ about waiting too damn long”. Over the syrupy steel of “Cowboy” Eddie Long and some Muscle Shoals-esque harmonies, you can smell the diesel burn as Johnson heads on home. The song is not his deepest work — not even close. But it is real, and conveys feelings felt by real people in believable situations. In a world where artists seem determined to prove they are more country than anyone else, Jamey is content just being himself. As Robbie Fulks puts it, “countrier than thou”.