Tennessee Jet’s ‘Johnny’ Channels Kurt Cobain’s Sound, Johnny Horton’s Story [Exclusive Premiere]
Tennessee Jet's "Johnny" channels two very different music legends: 1950s honky-tonk singer Johnny Horton and rock icon Kurt Cobain. The Nirvana-esque track is premiering exclusively on The Boot; press play below to listen.
"Johnny" examines Horton's eerily accurate prediction of his own death in the style of Cobain and '90s grunge. The "The Battle of New Orleans" singer died in November of 1960, at the age of 35, while he and two of his band members were headed home to Shreveport, La., from a gig in Austin, Texas. Horton was convinced that he would die young at the hands of a drunk man, and, indeed, that night, a drunk driver in a pickup truck hit Horton's car head on. The singer died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
"Johnny said, 'I confess / Boys, I've seen my death / There's liquor on his breath / I can't make out the rest,'" Tennessee Jet sings to open "Johnny." He drops numerous other true-to-life details throughout the song, including the name of the Austin club that Horton had played on the night of his death and the fact that the legendary Johnny Cash did one of the readings during Horton's funeral.
"Johnny" is one of 10 songs on Tennessee Jet's forthcoming new album, The Country. Each track has a different sound and style: California country, bluegrass, folk and more are represented.
"Each song represent[s] a variation of country music I love," Tennessee Jet explains to The Boot. ""Johnny" is the 'alt-country' song on the record. It’s me imagining how Kurt Cobain may have written a song about Johnny Horton."
The Country is Tennessee Jet's third studio album, following his 2015 debut and 2017's Reata. He worked on the project with Dwight Yoakam's touring band, lauded harmonica player Mickey Raphael, Lady Gaga bandleader Brian Newman and fellow artists Paul Cauthen, Elizabeth Cook and Cody Jinks.
The Country is due out on Sept. 4. Fans can visit TennesseeJet.com to pre-order the project and learn more about the artist.
Listen to Tennessee Jet's "Johnny"
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