My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Jamey Johnson – ‘Macon’

Jamey Johnson’s long-awaited new single starts off with a somewhat misleading piano intro that gives the impression that “Macon” is one of those pop-infused power ballads that Lonestar and Collin Raye used to turn out regularly in the 90s. But about thirty seconds in, someone seems to have remembered that this is a Jamey Johnson record, and the piano gives way to the pedal steel and acoustic guitar and the song gets underway for real. Suddenly, the polished pop ballad becomes a Southern rock-infused anthem that is one part Waylon Jennings, one part David Allan Coe, and one part Marshall Tucker Band.

The tune is a little light in the lyrics department — Johnson has to get his big rig home to Macon ASAP because the lady in his life has made it abundantly clear that she doesn’t want to be left alone too long. That’s pretty much all the song has to say, which is probably a huge advantage from a commercial standpont; there is nothing controversial a la “That Lonesome Song” so country radio has no built-in excuses to ignore Johnson this time around.

“Macon” has a very retro sound, in a 1970s Southern rock sort of way. It’s definitely not traditional and it’s likely that had it been released in the 70s, radio programmers might have deemed it too rock-oriented to fit in with the country radio format. But things have changed considerably at country radio in the past forty years, so it would appear that Johnson has got a decent shot at getting some airplay. He’s managed to craft a record that will satisfy country fans’ nostalgia for some Outlaw music, but more importantly, he’s created one that lacks the blandness and cliches that have fatally flawed so many contemporary country releases.

Written by Jamey Johnson & Kacey Coppola

Grade: A-

“Macon” is available for download at iTunes and Amazon.

2 responses to “Single Review: Jamey Johnson – ‘Macon’

  1. Leeann Ward June 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Is this Kacey Coppola from the Can You Duet show who was constantly dissed by Naomi Judd?

    • J.R. Journey June 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      Yes, that’s her. She and Johnson also co-wrote ‘House With No Doors’, from George Strait’s Troubadour album. I never did understand Naomi Judd’s obvious disdain for those girls. Granted, they weren’t the most talented from that season, but Naomi was really hard on them, for sure. Speaking of Can You Duet, it should be about time for season 3 of that show too. I haven’t heard any news – and can’t find any online doing a quick search – but I naturally assumed CMT would continue it, especially after the season 2 winners’ top 10 success.

      Getting back to Jamey Johnson, I am not as impressed with this single as I was the releases from That Lonesome Song, but I am happy to hear Johnson’s sound hasn’t changed much after his success, and eagerly await the ambitious new double album. And like Razor, I thought the lyrics were intentionally on the abstract side.

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