Jamey Johnson fans have been waiting years for a new album to drop without an explanation for his hiatus. Now, the 41-year-old singer-songwriter revealed that a health issue is to blame for his lack of new releases.
In a new interview with Kentucky Country Music, Johnson shares details of the moment that changed it all.
“I’m making progress on the creative parts of my brain,” he says. “It’s been about 7 years ago, I got a concussion. I slipped on some ice coming out of the studio one night and I hit my head pretty hard. What I found out from a neuroscientist out in Scottsdale, Arizona, here recently is that ever since then, my brain has been locked in a hyper vigilant state, which it focuses on survival. Anything that isn’t directly relevant to survival, it just doesn’t focus on it all anymore.”
The effects of the concussion have had long-term effects on his ability to work creatively.
“Out went the songwriting, or the focus on songwriting, or even the openness to it even,” he explains. “I can still write. The craft is still there. The inspiration isn’t always there and even when it is, it isn’t very easy for me to focus on it the way that I once did. But it’s coming back little by little. So that’s one of the reasons for going so long.”
Although Johnson hasn’t put out any new records, he’s still kept plenty busy. Most recently, he’s been working alongside John Carter Cash for an album of reinterpreted Johnny Cash songs. Rock musician Chris Cornell, who recently passed away, is one of the collaborators who will be featured on the upcoming project.
Until then, Johnson will also spend plenty of time out on the road. You can find a full list of his upcoming tour dates here.