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Jamey Johnson - The Dollar 
By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

This is surely going to be the year when Jamey Johnson recalls the true value of The Dollar. It is also most likely to be the year he makes a lot of them but, surprisingly, not only from his own beautiful, bountiful, baritone voice. It just so happens that this artist is mega blessed and his songwriting skills are definitely on par with his singing ability. Not only did he have a hand in writing seven of the eleven songs on this album, including the heartrending title cut, "The Dollar," but he co-wrote on a tune that not only became a major hit for one of his musical peers but may have also coined a new grading standard for the most shapely patrons at your favorite saloon; "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk". Although it is his amazing voice that initially got my attention and earned my respect, I have to say that by the last note of the last song, I was equally impressed by his prolific songwriting skills. He clearly has a knack for creating memorable hooks and catchy, visual adjectives. You don't have to think too hard to conjure up a vision to go with "Rebelicious" and "Keepin' Up with the Jonesin'" is given an additional meaning, and a trademark twang, when none other than the legendary George Jones joins Johnson on this cut ... great fun.

It is impossible to select one favorite track from this album since each of the songs offer up at least one unique characteristic that sets them apart from the rest; that, in and of itself, makes this album outstanding. There is so much heart in all of the lyrics. Traditional country music was built on the great story songs and you will find more than one on this CD. Even the story of a family whose daily life was dictated by the actions of an alcoholic father, as it is on "My Saving Grace," is delivered so eloquently that it manages to leave you feeling hopeful.

Johnson's Alabama roots may have provided the inspiration for "Redneck Side of Me" and "Rebelicious." The banjo riffs, on the latter, will definitely lift your spirits and get your feet moving.

The pace slows way down for the beautiful "Back to Caroline" and the vocal mesh on the chorus was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed the delightful, harmonious waltz, "It Was Me." Every traditional country album worth its salt should have at least one lovely, lilting waltz and this definitely fits the bill.

I didn't expect the final cut on the album to be a gospel song but, on the other hand, when you consider that the album begins with such an enlightening life lesson as "The Dollar," "Lead Me Home" really is a most appropriate ending. I loved the spiritual energy that was added by the choir and the way this track just fades out; giving you a chance to breathe deep and savor the moment.

This is an album that appears to have been created using the most tried and true recipe for success. You get your favorite Iron Chef to guide you, in this case its producer Buddy Cannon, you lay your talent on the table as the main ingredient, pour out your heart and soul with your voice, add a pinch of passion and a dab of humor seasoned with home grown lyrics; stir it all together with excellent musicians, a dash of panache and you end up with a satisfying buffet everyone can enjoy. Kudos to the cook.

 
Click on the CD cover to order yours!
1. The Dollar 
2. Flying Silver Eagle 
3. She's All Lady 
4. Ray Ray's Juke Joint 
5. My Saving Grace 
6. Redneck Side Of Me
7. Keeping Up With The Jonesin' 
8. Rebelicious
9. Back To Caroline 
10. It Was Me 
11. Lead Me Home

Related Links:
www.JameyJohnson.com - Official Website 

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