Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran

Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran

by Jamey Johnson
     
 

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As a rule, tribute recordings are a mixed bag; they tend to be well-intentioned yet fall short of the mark musically. Jamey Johnson's Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran is a risky offering because it's his follow-up to 2010's Grammy-nominated, gold-selling Guitar Song. Here he assembles 16 tracks with a slew ofSee more details below

Overview

As a rule, tribute recordings are a mixed bag; they tend to be well-intentioned yet fall short of the mark musically. Jamey Johnson's Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran is a risky offering because it's his follow-up to 2010's Grammy-nominated, gold-selling Guitar Song. Here he assembles 16 tracks with a slew of guests to sing with him. Johnson's connection to Cochran -- a legendary songwriter who passed in 2010 -- was personal and professional; all artists appearing here either knew the man or recorded his songs. Johnson doesn't attempt to draw attention to himself, but instead, presents a series of excellent performances of Cochran's songs with himself as an anchor. This is no mean feat and could easily have backfired. Co-producers Buddy Cannon and Dale Dodson have done a stellar job at keeping the sound clean and warm; they offer a sonic window into the way these tunes were conceived as Cochran wrote them, without getting mired in retro sound for its own sake or contemporary country's synthetic trappings. All songs are well suited to Johnson's strength as a singer (check his only solo performance on "Would These Arms Be in Your Way" for proof). The contrast between his world-weariness and Alison Krauss' poignant yearning on "Make the World Go Away" is as moving as the original. His duet with Merle Haggard on "I Fall to Pieces" brings the song back to the very place that attracted Patsy Cline's attention to it in the first place. The slow, weepy honky tonk of the obscure "I'd Fight the World," with Bobby Bare, reveals Cochran's genius at full throttle. Johnson pairing Leon Russell and Vince Gill on the barroom stepper "A Way to Survive" is savvy as hell. Willie Nelson joins them on the humorous "Everything But You." Nelson's performance on "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me" is almost a scene stealer. "Don't Touch Me" with Emmylou Harris is pure eros in a country waltz. The snappy back and forth dialogue between Lee Ann Womack and Johnson in "This Ain't My First Rodeo" is worthy of Dolly Parton and Porter Waggoner. Johnson and George Strait hold forth on American patriotism in "The Eagle," while he and Ronnie Dunn turn in a solid lonesome-at-the-jukebox burner in "A-11." There are some weathered voices here, but Johnson knew what he was doing: they all serve the material in offering a balance of vulnerability and wisdom. In song, Cochran chronicled the sad and hard-bitten aspects of life singularly; many of his songs reflect his personal experiences before coming to Nashville. He also possessed a healthy sense of humor. Both combine in making his work timelessly relevant. Living for a Song is not so much to remind people who Cochran was, but to celebrate the art and life of the man. The risk Johnson and Mercury Records took in doing this pays off in spades.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/16/2012
Label:
Mercury Nashville
UPC:
0602537093779
catalogNumber:
001716102
Rank:
8305

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jamey Johnson   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar
Steve Gibson   Electric Guitar
Bobby Wood   Synthesizer,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Stephen Hill   Background Vocals
John Wesley Ryles   Background Vocals
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica
Ray Benson   Electric Guitar
Buddy Cannon   Background Vocals,Upright Bass
Melonie Cannon   Background Vocals
Jim Chapman   Background Vocals
Chad Cromwell   Drums
Dennis Crouch   Upright Bass
David Davidson   Strings
Floyd Domino   Piano
Larry Franklin   Fiddle
Kevin Grantt   Upright Bass
Jim Grosjean   Strings
Red Lane   Gut String Guitar
Cowboy Eddie Long   Steel Guitar
Kenny Malone   Percussion
Liana Manis   Background Vocals
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar
David Sanger   Drums
Hank Singer   Fiddle
Pamela Sixfin   Strings
Joe Spivey   Fiddle
Robby Turner   Dobro,Steel Guitar
Dan Tyminski   Acoustic Guitar
Tommy White   Steel Guitar
Kristin Wilkinson   Strings
Lonnie Wilson   Drums
Glenn Worf   Upright Bass
Bobby Terry   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Wei Tsun Chang   Strings
Karen Winkelmann   Strings
Shelby Kennedy   Background Vocals
Eddie Rivers   Steel Guitar
David Miller   Bass
Jim "Moose" Brown   Acoustic Guitar,Piano
Sarighani Reist   Strings
Zeneba Bowers   Strings
Stefan Petrescu   Strings
Janet Darnall   Strings
Carole Rabinowitz   Strings
Jason Roberts   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Vern Gosdin   Composer
Willie Nelson   Composer,Drum Triggers
Max D. Barnes   Composer
Joe Allison   Composer
Buddy Cannon   Producer
Butch Carr   Engineer
Hank Cochran   Composer
John Hobbs   String Arrangements
David James Holster   Composer
Dave Kirby   Composer
Red Lane   Composer
Brent Mason   Tic Tac
Drew Bollman   Engineer
Mack Vickery   Composer
Steve Chadie   Engineer
Tony Castle   Engineer
Moneen Carpenter   Composer
Dale Dodson   Composer,Producer
T.W. Cargile   Engineer
Andrew Mendelson   Mastering
Glenn Martin   Composer
Sam Seifert   Engineer
Rob Katz   Engineer
Bo Roberts   Composer
Brian Wright   Executive Producer
Suzi Cochran   Photo Courtesy

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