PopMatters.com Ranks The Guitar Song #26 in it's Best 70 Albums of 2010
During shows a few weeks before The Guitar Song was released, Jamey Johnson had taken to covering the George Jones standard “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?”, a song that wonders if anyone can ever provide the classic country magic of the Opry legends. With his excellent 24-song double album, Johnson lays all doubt to rest regarding the honky tonk hero heir (and hair) apparent. Johnson’s band of road-burnished hippies keeps things loose with the steel guitars and Telecasters and organs and tight harmonies, showcasing a staggeringly rich fluency in country’s golden era and giving way to redolent open-air grooves. As a result, The Guitar Song is the coolest-sounding country album in ages. On one keeper after another, Johnson gets his Waylon wail on, with an authentic, distinctive moan on the kind of beard-in-the-whiskey twangers and ballads that everyone can agree on. However, the real feat of The Guitar Song is that Johnson completely steers clear of hokey retro on the strength of pure, convincing songwriting (and a handful of ace covers). It might be audacious for Johnson to drop a double-platter, yet on his fourth time out, he’s provided enough indispensable hard-hurting and redemptive tales to get you from Austin to Fort Worth. Didn’t Hank do it this way?
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