On his audacious, frequently excellent third album, The Guitar Song, Johnson shares his dream of outlaw country becoming as dominant a commercial force as it was in the '70s, over the course of 25 songs rooted in the past, but not indebted to it.
The Guitar Song quite firmly cements Johnson's place at the forefront of today's country music songwriters, performers, and singers.
If Johnson seems uninterested in Nashville's warm-and-cuddly act, he agrees with its insistence on crackerjack songcraft, and that keeps The Guitar Song from hardening into tough-guy drudgery.
That Lonesome Song, established him as an heir to "outlaws" like Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. The Guitar Song aims even higher, with 25 tracks that take the pulse of a country hitting the skids and a country singer hitting the big time.
|# 4 -||American Songwriter|
|# 21 -||Paste|
|# 26 -||PopMatters|
|# 14 -||Rhapsody SoundBoard|
|# 5 -||Rolling Stone|
|# 5 -||Spin|