Jamey Johnson Fleshes Out Johnny Cash’s ‘California Poem’ in New Track

by Joe Rutland
jamey-johnson-fleshes-out-johnny-cash-california-poem-new-track

Country music singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson has gone through personal and professional peaks and valleys. Much like Johnny Cash.

So it might not be too surprising to find Johnson devoting some time to help flesh out Cash’s words into a song, “California Poem,” which was released on Thursday.

Johnson worked with John Carter Cash, Johnny’s son, on writing the song after getting to the Cash Cabin Studio in February 2016. They finished up, set it to music, and included it with other songs in a new edition of “Forever Words.” A number of other songs from that album, which was released in 2018, will be released on Friday, Dec. 11.

Chris Cornell and Brad Paisley were among artists lending their voices to the project.

Other songs coming out on Friday include “I’ve Been Around” by Marty Stuart.

Jamey Johnson Goes Through Path Of Success, Heartbreak

Johnson, originally from Alabama, started finding his groove after moving to Nashville. He started out singing on demos for some of his musical friends.

Along the lines of the old saying “one thing leads to another,” Johnson found himself being introduced to different people in the music industry. He secured a few record deals over the years since 2002 but had to put a stop to his career for a bit.

He went out on tour in support of his album “The Dollar.”

Unfortunately, Johnson came home to find himself at odds with his wife. It was so painful that Johnson and his wife separated and divorced. Johnson went into seclusion for a year, eventually returning to the music scene.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s 2008 album, “The Lonesome Song,” had a song called “In Color” reach No. 9 on Billboard’s country music chart. The Country Music Association gave “In Color” its Song of the Year award.

Here is Johnson playing that award-winning song at Farm Aid 2018 in Hartford, Conn.

Earlier this year, Johnson released a tender version of “America The Beautiful.” It marked the first time in eight years that Johnson has released a song.

Johnson combines meditative guitar strokes with a soulful saxophone and flute. The song starts softly with Johnson on the guitar before the music swells into a full accompaniment.

He hasn’t released any solo recordings in nearly the past decade. In the 2000s, Johnson’s records went Platinum and Gold. He also won two CMA Awards for his work. But Johnson’s last length project was in 2012. His last original album, “The Guitar Song,” was released in 2010.

Since then, Johnson’s creative output has been limited. The singer blamed the lack of new music on a concussion that affected his songwriting abilities.

Outsider.com