At first glance, Jamey Johnson looks like someone who just walked out of the outlaw movement. That's probably because he spent the better part of a decade in the Marines after dropping out of college. Unlike the "outlaws," though, Johnson moved to Nashville to pursue the beloved country music of his youth. That story in itself is no more remarkable than that of starry-eyed youth going to Hollywood to become movie stars. But Johnson had already been honing his talent during his time in the Marines and at numerous bar gigs around Nashville before coming to the attention of the country-music powers that be, and that's evident in the maturity of his songwriting. No litany of complaints in Johnson's lyrics, just insightful evocations of heartbreak, romantic and otherwise, and hard living.
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