My Kind of Country

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

Single Review: Jamey Johnson – ‘Alabama Pines’

Jamey_Johnson_2013‘Alabma Pines’, the first new non-Christmas music from Jamey Johnson since the launch of his own Big Gassed Records was released on New Year’s Day. It’s being offered as a free download on his label’s website. Whether or not it can be considered a bonafide commercial single or just a promotional vehicle is debatable, but however it is classified, it is one of the best new songs that you’ll probably never hear on country radio. It’s a beautiful, understated ballad, that for the most part consists of just Jamey’s voice and a single electric guitar, as well as a wonderful pedal steel solo about two-thirds of the way through. There is also a brief, but somewhat distracting burst of sound nine seconds into the intro that sounds like someone just booted up a PC, but it wasn’t enough to ruin my enjoyment of the song.

‘Alabama Pines’ is an autobiographical number, a bittersweet look back at Jamey’s move to Nashville in 2000, and his subsequent homesickness afterwards. It’s not what would be considered a commercial song by today’s standards, and without any promotional push aside from some press releases on social media, it’s highly unlikely to make any impact on the charts. Nevertheless, it is an excellent song that fans of traditional country music will enjoy. It is also supposed to be the first of many new releases from Jamey. It’s unclear how his music will be released and marketed going forward, but he has promised to release new songs as soon as he can get them written and recorded. I suspect that this may mean a series of digital singles released periodically, as opposed to waiting for enough songs to fill an album. If successful, this strategy may prove to be a new business model that other independent artists may choose to follow — one that allows them to bypass radio and connect directly with the fans. But regardless of how the business end will work, new music from Jamey Johnson means that 2015 is already looking like a good year for country music, and I eagerly await forthcoming releases.

Grade: A

3 responses to “Single Review: Jamey Johnson – ‘Alabama Pines’

  1. eduardodefrutos January 13, 2015 at 7:24 am

    I hope country music will be like this the whole year.

  2. Pingback: Occasional Hope’s top 10 singles of 2015 | My Kind of Country

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