Finally! While Jamey Johnson made his official return with new music on his Christmas EP in December, to me this is his official return. Fans having been waiting years for new original music from the Alabama singer and it’s finally here. Jamey Johnson posted on social media channels a letter explaining his new song, “Alabama Pines”:
As Johnson says in the letter, this song is a callback to his early days of starting his music career in Nashville. Sounds like the appropriate song to reintroduce himself to the country music world. And I couldn’t think of a better review to kick off the 2015 year in country music.
“Alabama Pines” is a tender, nostalgia ballad. I love the choice of starting the song off with at first subtle, yet ear-catching later acoustic guitar play combined with a “dream” effect sound. I listened to this beginning part over and over because it’s such a great introduction. The rest of the song sticks with a decidedly traditional sound, which is literally music to my ears. You can always rely on Johnson to deliver a great, classic country sound. I also love the incorporation of the piano in the song, which is more present in the second half of the song.
As for the lyrics, Johnson reflects back to his early days of starting his music career and heading to Nashville. He specifically mentions how he remembers driving down a dusty road (you know because he actually has, unlike most “country” artists) hearing the music on radio and how he “pined” to move to Nashville. When he got there he then realized he would “still be living with the Alabama pines.” In other words, he realized he didn’t really belong in Nashville and belonged in Alabama instead. I would love to know how many artists went to Nashville to make country music only to realize they didn’t need it to make country music. That’s obviously the realization Jamey has made, as he left the Mercury Nashville label and has started his own independent label, Big Gassed Records.
I’ll reiterate what I said above. This is the perfect comeback song for Jamey Johnson. It’s beautifully simple and traditional with a feel good message. It will also create a sense of nostalgia in many listeners I think too, something many mainstream country songs tried to do in 2014 and failed at doing so. The song reflects on simpler times when your younger and didn’t realize what you truly wanted in life. It’s after your experiences you truly realize what you want.
“Alabama Pines” is a pretty good song. It’s not great like “In Color” or “Lonesome Song,” but still pretty dang good nonetheless. Johnson hasn’t said if this is the first song off a new album. In fact he hasn’t officially announced a new album, as I said in my 2015 albums post yesterday. Whether this is just a one-off song like Wade Bowen’s “Songs About Trucks” or is the first single off a new album, it’s so satisfying to hear new Jamey Johnson music. This is the way I wanted to start off 2015 in country music. And Johnson not only made this great song, but is offering it for free currently on his website. I highly recommend getting it and telling all your country music friends that Jamey Johnson is back and just as good as ever.
To download “Alabama Pines” for free, click here.