WATCH: Jamey Johnson Stuns Crowd with Keith Whitley’s ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ Cover at 2014 Concert

by Charles Craighill
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When it comes to live performances, Jamey Johnson has no shortage of material to pull from. Since he broke onto the scene in 2005, Johnson has consistently released music with positive reception from critics. At any given show, every song Jamey Johnson plays probably found its way onto the charts at some point. However, he does not stray away from traditional covers to please the crowd.

For instance, at a classic 2014 concert, Jamey Johnson whipped out an absolutely stunning cover of a Keith Whitley song. His “Don’t Close Your Eyes” cover took over the crowd immediately. While Johnson usually has quite the high energy performance, he made sure to honor Whitley’s style. He decided to play it without any extra flourishes to keep it in Whitley’s traditional style.

Jamey Johnson’s charmingly respectful and entrancing cover of “Don’t Close Your Eyes” wooed the 2014 crowd. The rendition resembled how Kieth Whitley’s recording sounded. Johnson made sure that the same instrumentation was the same or at least similar so that he could evoke the same emotions.

Jamey Johnson has busted on to the country scene with his neotraditional country style. While the modern country has divulged into more pop and crossovers, Johnson commits to the honkey tonk roots. From his first album, The Dollar, he has continued to captivate his audience with instant classic songs.

Jamey Johnson Covers the Classics

Despite his overflowing catalog of hits, Jamey Johnson never fails to implements classic covers. Like his cover of Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” Johnson also covered George Jones’ “Still Doin’ Time” in 2011. Similar to his Whitley cover, Johnson strips down his instrumentation. In his performance of “Still Doin’ Time,” Jamey Johnson accompanied his voice with only two guitars.

This acoustic rendition of George Jones’ classic song landed well to a crowd of United States troops at Fort Arifjan in Kuwait. While both of these performances stayed true to their original artists’ intentions, they also stayed strongly in Jamey Johnson’s lane. He has made a name for himself in a similar fashion as artists like George Strait. He dedicates himself and his music to the traditional honkey tonk country roots that modern pop-country derives from.

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