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Interview:
Jamey Johnson likes to keep stage show spontaneous
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

The one thing country singer and songwriter Jamey Johnson promises when he gets on stage is spontaneity.

"Every time we pack a stage, we are doing some songs for the first time...that we've never even had a rehearsal on, that maybe we haven't heard in quite awhile," says the Alabama-born Johnson, 36, whose 2010 album "The Guitar Song," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart and No. 4 on the all-genre survey. "So we get to come up with our own unique version of it.

"The other night we pulled out a song, an old song, that I've never played on stage but I've been hearing it just about my whole life, and we managed to do a version of it that doesn't sound like anybody else. I feel like that's what our fans pay for when they come to see us play live...We try to branch out a little bit and go try something out. And if it falls apart, I guarantee you'll see us standing around and laugh at one another and we'll go and do something else."

With the Grammy-nominated "The Guitar Song" still only 14 months old, Johnson is circumspect about what he'll do next. "I don't like to foreshadow those things," he notes. "That's how things get all messed up and start falling apart." But don't be surprised if he tosses a new song into the mix this weekend, either.

"If the mood hits me, yeah, I'll probably break out some new stuff," Johnson says. "I'll do the same thing I do every night -- have the most fun I can possibly have and hopefully get off the stage on time."

Jamey Johnson performs Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 and $26 with a $60 balcony six-pack. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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