Song You Need to Know: Jamie Kent's 'Ain't No Jesus' - Rolling Stone
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Song You Need to Know: Jamie Kent, ‘Ain’t No Jesus’

Country singer taps religious imagery to highlight his own imperfections

Lyndon Jackson

“I can’t walk on water / can’t part the sea,” Jamie Kent sings in a high falsetto on his new single “Ain’t No Jesus.” Those divine talents would have come in handy at last weekend’s Pilgrimage Festival near Nashville, where a daylong downpour nixed the entire lineup, including Kent’s lead-off slot. On this self-deprecating love song, however, he shines.

Written by the Massachusetts native with Ellis Paul, “Ain’t No Jesus” finds Kent fessing up to his human shortcomings by comparing himself to religious figures, from the titular messiah to Buddha. There’s no sacrilege here though — Kent fully admits that he lacks the basic skill to “build a shelf” like Jesus the carpenter, let alone “save a soul.” Instead, it’s his wife who rescues him, providing the Americana artist with the one true miracle he’s ever witnessed: her “walking down the aisle with me.”

“This is probably the most personal song I’ve ever written and released,” says Kent, who worked his own wonder by scoring a Number 16 debut on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart with his indie-released album All American Mutt in 2016. “‘Ain’t No Jesus’ is a reminder of all my imperfections, and that I’m lucky enough to have found someone who loves me not despite them, but because of them.”


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