I have often said that there is nothing better than a great Country & Western song, and there is nothing worse than a bad Country & Western song. Whether you are a big fan of county music or not, Jamey Johnson's first single off of his THAT LONESOME SONG album, "In Color" is powerful and pure enough to send chills up ones spine.
With his biker beard and the occasional mention of marijuana in a song or two, he can certainly give the impression of a hell raising outlaw musician. But then anyone who can write and perform a song such as "In Color", a tribute to Grandfathers, War Vets, and even Marriage, can't be all bad. In fact on GAC's Jamey Johnson bio page the performer is described as having the "looks of a hellraiser but the heart of a poet." It is true that Jamey Johnson's first performances were in small country churches along side his father. And while he may have had a deep woods upbringing, he is a formally trained musician.
If you are still not sure who Jamey Johnson is, then perhaps you might recognize the CMA and ACM 2007 Song of The Year that he co-wrote, "Give it Away" recorded by George Straight. But that is not the first or the last song Jamey has written or co-written for country musicians. You can add Trace Adkins' "Ladies Love Country Boys" to that list.
So San Diego's Viejas Casino Dreamcatcher Lounge seemed like the perfect close up venue to see Jamey Johnson perfom "In Color". Sure there were plenty of biker beards on display in the audience, but in all honesty I had been in worse crowds at the grocery store. Even when the first lyric about smoking pot in the church parking lot flows from the stage, the context is about how "the high cost of living is nothing like the cost of living high." Not particularly glorifying the use of marijuana. Oh, and seeing Jamey Johnson perfom In Color-live, lived up to all of it's expectations.
Finally, when Jamey began singing a song about growing weed out behind the house, cheers of approval rose from the audience. What did I do? I just smiled, because the following morning I would be earning time and a half while "slinging dope" in our local mountains: Doing my part to help those suffering from the Cost of Living High!