SOUNDSCOUNTRY.COM – Jamey Johnson Single Review
Jamey Johnson – “Playing the Part”
1. In a time when many country singers are trying to leave behind their hometown and trace their lineage to some semblance of Southern roots, Jamey Johnson releases a single that chastises himself for doing the opposite. “Playing the Part”, from his upcoming The Guitar Song finds him indulging in “the smell of tofu and high dollar wine”, and feeling disgusted with himself for “acting like [he's] playing the part”.
2. It is hard to tell what Johnson is referring to with this song: becoming too indulgent in the Los Angeles honky-tonk scene (which he recently praised as underrated), or his own actions under his original label deal, where he wore the hat and appeared on CMT’s ill-fated Nashville show. Either way, he has shown his unwillingness to play that game any longer, placing this steel-laden track on a record with a Vern Gosdin cover and guest vocals from Bill Anderson, two legends that aren’t likely to be name-checked by an American Idol transplant anytime soon.
3. In his now-traditionally brusque style, Johnson says his piece and gets out of the song, leaving with a stinger:
“these high dollar women, and the fame and the fortune/
ain’t worth the ticket I bought”
Will this warning fall on deaf ears to artists making their Nashville gold rush? Probably. Will this song hit number one, with its middle finger of an outro pointed at country radio program directors? Probably not. Either way, it is refreshing that this music is being made on a major Nashville label, and released to radio. I can keep my fingers crossed.