That Lonesome Song

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That Lonesome Song
Studio album by Jamey Johnson
Released August 5, 2008 (2008-08-05)
Genre Country
Length 56:23
Label Mercury Nashville
Producer Dave Cobb
Jamey Johnson
The Kent Hardly Playboys
Jamey Johnson chronology
The Dollar
(2006)The Dollar2006
That Lonesome Song
The Guitar Song
(2010)The Guitar Song2010
Singles from That Lonesome Song
  1. "In Color"
    Released: March 17, 2008
  2. "High Cost of Living"
    Released: March 2009
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Country Standard Time favorable[2]
Country Weekly 5/5 stars[3]
Engine 145 4.5/5 stars[4]

That Lonesome Song is the third studio album by American country music singer Jamey Johnson. Initially released to digital retailers in 2007 without the promotion of a record label, the album was physically released on August 5, 2008 (see 2008 in country music) via Mercury Nashville Records. Under Mercury's promotion and distribution, the album has accounted for two singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. The first of these, "In Color", became Johnson's first Top Ten country hit when it peaked at number 9 in early 2009. This song also earned him an Academy of Country Music award win and Grammy Award nomination. Its followup, "High Cost of Living", reached number 34 on the same chart.


Johnson's previous major-label album, The Dollar, was released in 2006 via BNA Records. It accounted for only one chart single before restructuring of the label forced him to be dropped from its roster.[5] He then went into a reclusive state, staying at a friend's house, where he continued to work on writing songs, including the Number One hits "Give It Away" for George Strait and "Ladies Love Country Boys" for Trace Adkins.

In April 2007, he returned to the recording studio to begin work on his second album,[6] despite not being signed to a label at the time. After the album was complete, he issued it to digital retailers.[5] The album caught the attention of Luke Lewis from Mercury Nashville Records, a label to which Johnson was then signed shortly afterward. Mercury acquired the album as well, issuing "In Color" as its lead-off single. The song, which Johnson co-wrote with Lee Thomas Miller and James Otto, charted in the Top 10 on the country charts, and That Lonesome Song was physically issued by Mercury in August 2008. The Mercury re-issue includes three songs not found on the original ("Mowin' Down The Roses", "The Last Cowboy", and "Between Jennings and Jones"), while two other tracks from the initial release ("Next Ex Thing" and "Leave You Alone") were omitted. Two Waylon Jennings songs are covered on the album as well: "Dreaming My Dreams with You" and "The Door Is Always Open", the latter of which was a Number One Hit for Dave & Sugar.

Johnson co-produced the tracks "Place Out on the Ocean" and "Between Jennings and Jones" his road band, the Kent Hardly Playboys (which was composed of Wayd Battle, Jim "Moose" Brown, T.W. Cargile, Kevin "Swine" Grantt, "Cowboy" Eddie Long and Dave Macafee), as well as Dave Cobb. The Kent Hardly Playboys produced the remainder of the album.[7] Former Alabama bass guitarist Teddy Gentry plays bass guitar on "Stars in Alabama".[7]


"In Color"[edit]

"In Color" was the first single from the album, ever released by Jamey Johnson, released in March 2008. Written by Johnson along with Lee Thomas Miller and Warner Bros. Records artist James Otto, the song became Johnson's first chart single since "The Dollar" in 2005-2006. It reached a peak of number 9 on the country singles charts in January 2009. The song was nominated for Best Country Vocal Performance—Male and Best Country Song at the 51st Grammy Awards, and won Song of the Year at the Academy of Country Music awards on April 5, 2009.

"High Cost of Living"[edit]

"High Cost of Living", the album's second single, was released nearly a year after "In Color". This song is a mid-tempo in which the male narrator recalls hardships in his life, such as struggling with addiction. He uses the line "The high cost of livin' ain't nothin' like the cost of livin' high" to explain the toll that the vices have had on his life. It peaked at number 34 on the country charts in June 2009.

Kevin J. Coyne of Country gave the song an A rating, saying that "[i]t speaks to Johnson’s confidence as a singer and a writer that he is willing to give voice to a character whose actions should deem him unlikable. Through the careful construction of a remorse-laden inner monologue, Johnson gives his character dignity[…]Like so much of great art, it illuminates the humanity that hides in the shadows of shame and sorrowful regret."[8] It was number 38 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008.[9]

Critical acclaim[edit]

Rhapsody (online music service) ranked the album number 5 on its "Country’s Best Albums of the Decade" list.[10] "The quality of Jamey Johnson's storytelling is second only to that of his deep, buttery baritone -- and both are used beautifully on his sophomore effort, That Lonesome Song. Gone are the redneck anthems that dotted his debut, and in their place are songs of loss, growing pains and morning-after regrets. Accolades were heaped on That Lonesome Song upon its release, hailing Johnson for returning country to its proper owners: the downtrodden, heartbroken screw-ups of the world. It could be that commercialization of country has reached a saturation point and Johnson is helping kick off a new outlaw movement, but another decade will be needed to see how that pans out." Engine 145 named it as the number 1 country album of the decade.[11] CMT named it under "A Dozen Favorite Country Albums of the Decade." [12] Saving Country Music ranked it #8 on its "Top 10Country Albums of the Decade (2001-2010)".[13]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Released"   0:38
2. "High Cost of Living" Jamey Johnson, James T. Slater 5:45
3. "Angel" Johnson, Jeff Bates 4:28
4. "Place Out on the Ocean" Johnson 4:02
5. "Mowin' Down the Roses" Johnson, Jeremy Popoff 4:21
6. "The Door Is Always Open" Dickey Lee, Bob McDill 3:35
7. "Mary Go Round" Johnson, Wyatt Beard 4:52
8. "In Color" Johnson, James Otto, Lee Thomas Miller 4:50
9. "The Last Cowboy" Johnson, Rob Hatch, Teddy Gentry 4:16
10. "That Lonesome Song" Johnson, Kendell Marvel, Wayd Battle 4:01
11. "Dreaming My Dreams with You" Allen Reynolds 4:12
12. "Women" Johnson, Jim Brown 3:27
13. "Stars in Alabama" Johnson, Gentry 3:45
14. "Between Jennings and Jones" Johnson, Buddy Cannon 4:11


As listed in liner notes.[7]



That Lonesome Song debuted at number 6 on the U.S. Top Country Albums chart. The album has sold 620,000 copies as of November, 2009,[14] and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Charts (2008) Peak
U.S. Top Country Albums 6
U.S. Billboard 200 28

End of year charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Year-end
US Billboard 200 161[15]
US Billboard Top Country Albums 61[16]


Year Single Peak chart
US Country US
2008 "In Color" 9 52
2009 "High Cost of Living" 34
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[17] Platinum


  1. ^ "That Lonesome Song review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ Remz, Jeffrey B. "Jamey Johnson - That Lonesome Song". Country Standard Time. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ "That Lonesome Song". Country Weekly. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ Vercher, Brady. "Album Review: Jamey Johnson – That Lonesome Song". Engine 145. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (2008-07-11). "Singer Johnson starts fresh after "Lonesome" time". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2008-07-25. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Jamey Johnson Releases That Lonesome Song". UMG Nashville. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  7. ^ a b c That Lonesome Song (CD). Jamey Johnson. Mercury Records. 2008. B0011237-02. 
  8. ^ John, Kevin (2009-01-29). "Country Universe – A Country Music Blog » Jamey Johnson, "High Cost of Living"". Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  9. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of 2008". Rolling Stone (December 25, 2008). Retrieved 2008-12-25
  10. ^ "Country’s Best Albums of the Decade" Archived 2010-01-19 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Top Country Albums of the Decade (#1-#10)" Archived 2014-10-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  12. ^ "A Dozen Favorite Country Albums of the Decade" Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  13. ^ "Top 10 Country Albums of the Decade (2001-2010)". Retrieved 2016-08-11. 
  14. ^ Jamey Johnson's 'In Color' Award Sends Album Sales Soaring
  15. ^ "Best of 2010 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  16. ^ "Best of 2010 - Top Country Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  17. ^ "American album certifications – Jamey Johnson – That Lonesome Song". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH