After breaking his silence in an interview with Rolling Stone Country, releasing a Christmas EP and announcing the creation of his own label, Jamey Johnson has gifted patient fans with a new song. “Alabama Pines,” a somber, acoustic rumination on moving to Nashville to pursue his artist dreams, is available as a free download on the website of his label, Big Gassed Records.
In a note posted on the site, Johnson writes that “Alabama Pines” is his “love letter to the time and place from whence I came” and goes on to detail his relocation to Music City in January 2000 with a truckload of furniture and two Japanese Akitas. The song itself is representative of Johnson’s previous work: lyric-focused, emotionally sung and entirely evocative. It also deals heavily in nostalgia, which, in Johnson’s realistic worldview, is more bittersweet than celebratory.
“To answer the question that the fans have been asking: ‘When are we gonna put out new music?’ Now,” he told Rolling Stone Country back in November. “And then you can look for another release from me after the start of the year. And you can look for more releases from me as the year progresses. We don’t have to go through the same waiting process that other artists might have to, stand in line and wait to get their music out. We’ll just kind of fall in line where we fit for retail — and if we don’t fit there, we don’t fit there. It’s not a problem to me.
“What I’m looking to do is supply my music to my fans,” Johnson continued. “That way we don’t have to keep ’em waiting four years for another album.”
Prior to the release of The Christmas Song EP in November, Johnson’s last full album was the Hank Cochran tribute, Living for a Song, in 2012. His last album of all-original material was released in 2010, the double LP The Guitar Song.