Country Throwback: Jamey Johnson Belts Song He Wrote for George Strait at 2013 Farm Aid

by Matthew Wilson

George Strait had some help on his way to 60 No. 1 hits. Jamey Johnson, for instance, wrote one of his hit songs “Give It Away.”

The songwriter got the opportunity to sing his creation for audiences during 2013’s Farm Aid. Johnson belted out the tune with a baritone different from Strait’s twang. While Strait’s version will probably remain the more popular, it’s still a treat to see a songwriter singing one of their creations.

Johnson co-wrote the tune with Bill Anderson. With a little of that Strait magic, the song became a No. 1 hit. “Give It Away” helped Strait break Conway Twitty’s record and became his 41st No. 1 single. The tune also won the ACM Song of the Year award in 2006.

Jamey Johnson Has Struggled with Songwriting

For fans of Jamey Johnson, reliving some of his past successes have helped over the past almost decade. The songwriter has taken a hiatus from music with few new songs since. Johnson’s last full-length project was in 2012, and his last original album “The Guitar Song” was in 2010.

Johnson blames a concussion on not being able to focus on his songwriting for extended periods of time. The songwriter found it hard to focus.

“I’m making progress on the creative parts of my brain. It’s been about 7 years ago, I got a concussion. I slipped on some ice coming out of the studio one night and I hit my head pretty hard,” he told “What I found out from a neuroscientist out in Scottsdale, Arizona, here recently is that ever since then, my brain has been locked in a hyper-vigilant state, which it focuses on survival. Anything that isn’t directly relevant to survival, it just doesn’t focus on [at] all anymore.”

Earlier this year, Johnson did release his first solo track in years, a cover of “America The Beautiful.