by: Beville Dunkerley
Jamey Johnson has long been a disciple — and friend — of Willie Nelson, so when the Alabama native took the stage of the Grand Ole Opry last week, it was no surprise that he covered one of the Texas legend’s tunes. Watch above as the singer-songwriter performs the sonically sober, but lyrically intoxicated, “I’d Have to Be Crazy,” which originally appeared on Nelson’s 1976 LP, The Sound in Your Mind.
Since touring together in 2011, Johnson and Nelson have been frequent guests on each other’s albums. The younger singer joined his mentor on 2012’s Heroes, lending his voice to both “Hero” and “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” — the latter alongside Snoop Dogg and Kris Kristofferson. Nelson returned the favor for Johnson’s 2012 Livin’ For a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran LP, singing “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me” and “Everything But You” (which also features Vince Gill and Leon Russell). And the only duet on Nelson’s 2014 Band of Brothers album is one with Johnson, “The Git Go.”
So, it will also be no surprise if the Redheaded Stranger is a guest artist on Johnson’s upcoming album. Details are few and far between at this time, but the project will be the musician’s first full-length since his Cochran compilation and first on his own label, Big Gassed Records. So far, he’s released two very different sounding songs from the indie project: the acoustic “Alabama Pines” and whimsical “You Can.”