It's been a great year for country music and this new release from Jamey Johnson only adds to that greatness. Johnson's becoming something of maverick in the country music world, not unlike some of the friends who join him on this release were in the 70s.
As the title suggests, this is a tribute to songwriter Hank Cochran, possibly a name you won't know if you're not a huge country fan, but a quick look at the titles will probably have you nodding your head as you recognise cross-over hits such as "Make The World Go Away" and "I Fall To Pieces". Those more familiar with the world of country will also instantly recognise "Don't You Were Get Tired of Hurting Me", "A-11", and lots of the others.
The finished results with the various guests vary in quality - "Make the World" with Alison Krauss is excellent, as is "Fall To Pieces" with Merle, and "Don't You Ever Get Tired" with Willie Nelson (who is joined by harmonica buddy Mickey Raphael). The addition of some of the guests adds nothing to my ears and I think I'd rather have heard "A-11", "The Eagle", and "She'll Be Back" without Ronnie Dunn, George Strait, or Elvis Costello, more like the solo version of "Would These Arms Be In Your Way".
The highlight of the whole album for me is "You Wouldn't Know Love" with Ray Price. Excellent stuff!
The instrumentation throughout is first class, with special mention needing to be made of Tommy White's steel guitar, which is liberally drizzled all over the album to great effect.
It's a fairly laidback collection that isn't going to have you dancing round the kitchen much but I recommend it highly!