Jamey Johnson's career has been built on his love for traditional country music so it makes a whole lot of sense for Jamey's latest album to be calledLivin' For A Song - A Tribute To Hank Cochran. A collection of 16 great songs from the late Hank Cochran's catalog, Livin' For A Song is presented in duets form with a who's-who of top country music and veteran rock talent joining Jamey on the record, including George Strait, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Ray Price, Elvis Costello, Bobby Bare, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Vince Gill all among the stars joining Jamey on the record.
Alison Krauss and Jamey tackle "Make The World Go Away" and it serves as the smart lead track to Livin' For A Song - A Tribute To Hank Cochran. Their voices blend well and Jamey, in spite of his mountain man image, was born to sing these classic songs. His voice is a versatile traditional voice and it's anchored in the pain and heart that come through many of these songs. "I Fall To Pieces" finds Merle in strong voice and helping to guide a timeless song with a slightly jazzy feel. "Don't Touch Me" is a duet with the angelic Emmylou Harris and, as stated above, it's quite a smart pairing of talented vocal firebrands able to bring the emotion of Hank Cochran's lyrics to the forefront.
"I Don't Do Windows" features Asleep At The Wheel and with it they bring a jovial western swing feel to the track while "A Way To Survive" features both Leon Russell and Vince Gill on a shuffling little track and once again Vince is able to show what a top-notch harmony vocalist he is here while Leon shows off his still-strong voice. All of these songs are lovingly performed and you can see the joy of the musicians as they play these classic country songs.
George Strait joins Jamey on "The Eagle," a song made famous by Waylon Jennings in the 1980s. They take this strong, unique patriotic track and turn it into one of the songs that could really be a hit on mainstream country radio if released, perhaps the only track on the record that could have this distinction outside of the only solo Jamey Johnson track on the record, his take on "Would These Arms Be In Your Way." Then again, radio hasn't always been a Jamey Johnson fan, and that's a shame because country radio could certainly use a dose of his traditionalist sound that is showcased throughout this loving tribute to the iconic singer/songwriter Hank Cochran.