Jason Aldean, “Johnny Cash”

Jason Aldean, “Johnny Cash”

You’re setting yourself up for criticism when you name drop one of music’s biggest historical icons in a song title, and it’s gratuitious to boot. The line in the chorus is “Blasting out the Johnny Cash” in the car as he gets the hell out of Dodge with his lover in tow, but it could’ve just as easily been Bon Jovi or Guns ‘N’ Roses. Actually, it would be more believable, given the relentless big-hair rock sound of the record in the first place. The song doesn’t even have a melody, with Aldean yelling through most of the record as if he’s straining to be heard over the loud production.

Let me be clear. I’m a big fan of Jason Aldean, and I’ve loved his last two singles. He has more promise than most of the new acts coming out of Nashville today. But I assumed this must be the fourth single from the album, and was being put out to buy some time for him to finish his next record. Unfortunately, it seems that this is the launch single of his new album, as it’s not on his debut disc. That’s not a good sign for the project.

Grade: C-

Listen Now: Johnny Cash

Buy Now: Johnny Cash


  1. I was anxious to hear this song when I started reading about it, then I saw him say somewhere the thing you mentioned about Johnny Cash only being mentioned briefly. It sucks to, because usually Jason Aldean has some awesome songs.

  2. I really love this song. I love Jason Aldean and this is another good song of his. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to get his new album!

  3. I’m sure that a few of you have relized that this song was already recorded by Tracy Byrd for his Greatest Hits project, released about a year ago. The song got my attention then, and was a disappointment at that point. The Aldean version is somewhat better, with more energy, but it still seems that the Johnny Cash tie in is the only real reason he would record and release this medicore, at best, song. Come on guys, there is too much talent in the songwriting pool in Nashville right now to go down such a path. A tribute is certainly great in concept, but it must come at least close to doing the Man in Black justice. I’m afraid this song falls short.

  4. I think you folks with the negative views are failing to realize just how good Jason Aldean is. He is the hottest Country Star out there right now and I see him being popular somewhere along the lines of Garth Brooks. Just my 02

  5. Wow, I can’t believe the negative comments. I love the song, reminds me of Alabama back in the day. I think Jason is showing his versatility. The song is upbeat and fun and is real.

  6. What is wrong with u all….The song is wonderful I have heard him sing it twice and concert and the fans loved it…It will b another #1 hit…Im a true Aldean fan, and he sings other songs at his concerts too, and he does one hell of a job on them as well, better then the artist singing them….

  7. I finally listened to the song and actually like it, but I agree with Kevin that he opened himself up big time to criticism when he titled the song Johnny Cash.

    From the looks of things it appears that some Jason Aldean fan club must have caught wind of your post and now they’re headed over in hordes.

    John Nevil – I like Jason Aldean as much as the next guy, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Jason Aldean will never be as popular as Garth Brooks. BTW, he isn’t even the “hottest” country artist right now. Carrie Underwood blows him out of the water, and no I’m not talking about looks.

  8. Jason performed this song in concert and I didn’t find it as bad as you all have commented. I thought this song would be more of a tribute, but it is still upbeat and fun.

  9. well this song was originally done by Tracy Byrd but I love Jason’s Version. So if the song gets critizied the finger shouldnt be pointed at Jason.

  10. The song was written by John Rich of Big n Rich, so it kinda depends on whether you think they are country or not. A little heavy for my tastes but, hey, there’s room for a everybody. Actualy, I think I prefer Johnny Cash!

  11. From the looks of things it appears that some Jason Aldean fan club must have caught wind of your post and now they’re headed over in hordes.

    Hmmm…damn right we will be here in as u call it hordes. We are true fans of Jason Aldean, and we love his music. Johnny Cash is a great song, and his fans are requesting it, it is played on my radio station daily…what is the deal with everyone one anyway…You can’t stand it cause he is a great singer and ur jealous cause you can’t sing worth a shit, please go critize someone else and leave Jason alone, This Aldean fan will be requesting Johnny Cash everyday, go listen to him sing it live it is awesome…….Where are my Jason Aldean Angel’s sisters at they will back me up

  12. I myself really don’t care whom wrote the song . I am a total Jason Aldean Fan. He is so easy on the eyes and he does sing so much better than so musicians do. He is totally awesome in concert and I honestly can say he keeps the audiences attention.And i honestly think Mandi is right the only reason you put Jason down is because you are JEALOUS of what he can do and has become of himself.

  13. First off, Brody….go fall off that limb while you’re out there cause Jason is an amazingly talented singer and that is what John Nevil was talking about,but yes the ladies think he’s hot too so what of it??Yes as Mandi said, we are true Aldean fans, and there are alot of us out there so look out…hordes doesn’t even cover it!
    By the way his cd just went PLATINUM so yeah he must not be much of anything in the country music world cause only singers who suck get certified platinum.Whatever go cut down someone else somewhere else because Jason is an awesome singer and he will go far,and I can see him being another Garth Brooks or better(that John Nevil has a hell of a voice too by the way,can’t wait till he starts singing more!) When Jason’s new cd comes out I am sure it will be full of great songs just like the one that’s out now.If Johnny Cash is any representation of the rest of the cd then it will be the best….Brody have you even been to one of Jason’s concerts?His fans are on their feet screamin for him(and not just the girls cause we think he’s hot)all of his fans and I have heard him sing Johnny Cash live twice now and he rocked the house down with it and all the other songs he sings as well.We are true fans, we are here, and we aren’t leaving so go find someone else to cut down to make yourself feel better!

  14. I have to say that I agree with the how did you put it Brody “HORDES OF JASON ALDEAN FANS” Steph is right Hordes dosent even come close! Jaosn is an amazing singer, song write and all around great guy. he is one of VERY FEW musicians who actually cares fro his fans. I went to see him this past fall while on the CMT tour and he blew Billy, AND Trace off the stage. People were LEAVING the arena after Jason sang. So lay off him. He didn’t write the damn song, he didn’t name the damn song but he SURE AS HELL canSINGS this song and just about NAY song put in front of him! He is going to go far becasue his artistic ablility and his HORDES OF FANS will take him there. You talked about Carrie dBlowing him outta the water!! Well i am about to CHOKE on Carried because every time I turn aroiund she is being Crammed down our throats. I agree that he girl has talent but she dont even come CLOSE to blowing Jason outta the water. Give it a YEAR you will be eating your words and IF not I will personally apoligize to you and to anyone who may be offended by this post!

  15. Why is everyone hating on this song? It’s so awesome, re-done or not, I love it and it’s awesome, just like all of his songs, he is so awesome! So get over it! This is some good Country music! Better than that pop stuff!!!!!

  16. Jason Aldean rocks on this song. The critics are the ones blowing this song out of proportion, based upon the title. Jason, himself mentioned that this song has nothing to do with Johnny Cash. I have to believe that he released this song from the new album because he has sang this song in his concerts for almost a year,and it was ready to be recorded. I have heard this song live on 3 occasions. Can’t wait for the video to be released. then the cd, RESTLESS! .

  17. Wow, talk about unjustified persecution. Both Kevin and I agreed that Jason Aldean is a hell of an artist, I even mentioned that I enjoyed the song. All I said is that he will not be as big as Garth Brooks, he’s not redefining the genre like Brooks did.

    Mandi – I have no doubt that you’re a true fan of Jason Aldean, I’m a fan also. However I don’t let my appreciation for an artist get in my way of being objective about some of the material they put out either. I personally have enjoyed everything he has put out up to this point. One thing you’re wrong about though, I’m not jealous. Yes I can’t sing, but I’m not jealous. Good insult though. I remember when I used to use the same one in the second grade. Good times.

    Stacey – You must be one of the “Jason Aldean Angel’s sisters.” Again, not jealous in the least bit. I won’t argue with you on the rest as I’m mostly in agreement.

    Missi – This is really getting old. I never said Carrie wasn’t being stuffed down our throats. Someone argued that Jason Aldean was the hottest act around right now, and I made the point that he wasn’t the hottest act since Carrie Underwood went quintuple platinum not too long ago. That means she sold somewhere around the lines of FOUR times as many albums as Aldean. It’s an undisputable fact.

    Toby – Jason himself admitted that the song has nothing to do with Johnny Cash? Then why is the song called Johnny CashLike I said in the beginning, I still like the song. I just questioned the misleading title.

    I apologize if someone feels personally attacked or offended as those were not my intentions.

  18. Title of the new album is Relentless. not Restless. Another site, which I won’t mention, had it as being Restless. Sorry for the bad info. Funny how the word relentless was used in the review. Have a great day. Carrie and Jason, support them both!

  19. Hey there brody, the only reason that carrie underwood is “bigger” than jason is because she was on american idol. In my opinon she’s not near as good as Jason. I met him when he came to arkansas and he’s a great guy and I love his songs no matter if they have a country singers name in the title or not. His voice, performace and heart is what makes him so great. Oh and by the way maybe I have untrained ears and maybe I’m not a music critic but I still like the song.

  20. WOW!!! Brody, I took a few weeks to go to Vegas, and I guess it left you hanging out there for a lynch mob! So, I’ll jump back in here and take a little heat of of you. Apparently the Aldean kids missed my post up there so I will re-interate it again. Jason is a great up-and-coming artist, and he has a great deal of potntial. Great voice, usually great song selection, and, as evidenced by the responses on here, a very large and devoted fan base. The point that I made, and that I think Brody has been trying to get across is that this is about the SONG, and not the singer. The song is misleading in it’s title, and yes, that’s John’s call, as he wrote it. However, Jason did decide to record it. And it is another in a series of bad decisions of songs to record that mislead listeners. Tim McGraw is a huge country draw right now, and we got Taylor Swift, at the time an unknown, busting on to the scene with a single titled “Tim McGraw”. Song had nothing to do with Tim, just a name drop, but the name recognition did it’s job. It made people curious enough to give it a listen. And it’s well sung by a talented artist, so, in the end, it worked. Now Jason is a bit more established, by far, but the concept is the same. Johnny Cash has always been huge; the man is an Icon. The movie, Walk the Line, introduced a new generation to Cash, and he is now, post-humiously, bigger than ever. So, dropping his name as the title of the lead single off a new album is genious from a marketing prospective. The sad part is that the song does not do justice to Johnny. I grew up on Johnny Cash, and was lucky enough to befriend the Man in his later years. As my lasting tribute to him, I asked him to sign my shoulder, so I could get it tattooed over. Please don’t doubt my loyalty to the House of Cash. That said, Johnny deserves more than to be used as a marketing ploy.

    In closing, Jason has a lot of potential, and I wish him only the best. To say he will be reaching Garth’s level is ludacris, and all of us in Nashville know that. There will never be another Garth. He redefined the genre, and blasted it to the national forefront. That’s done – it can’t be re-done. The business is too diverse and spread to lend itself to a new single man to reach those preportions. It gives us even more great music, and in that, we all win. Looking around, I can’t find one single quote from Jason that he would even want that. He is an humble man who appreciates the chance to do what he loves. He’s not out to break records or change the face of country music. I suggest that his fans realize that, and take a page from the Aldean book… just relax and enjoy.

  21. I heard it in concert and since it has been released to radio. I think he does a pretty good job. It’s one you could easily see yourself dancing to and having a good time.

  22. I think Jason’s song is great, I remember hearing it from Tracy Byrd back on his Greatest Hits and hated it. Jason’s made me a fan of the song and an even bigger fan of his because I think the song was written a lot more for his voice.

    And I disagree with the Bon Jovi/ Gun’s n’ Roses comment. I think its a huge tribute to country fans to say that we’d pass up that hard rock stuff from back when for the highly disrespected country of that time anyday. I think the song is greatly misunderstood and dispite the only brief mention of Cash I think if you look into it deeper you find that it actually is a huge tribute to country fans and the fact that we stick to our music through it all!

  23. So, if the song title was “Pontiac” would that help? Jason’s new video shows him kicking light bulbs. I take that as a tribute to George Jones and Merle Haggard from their duet album “Kickin’ Out The Footlights… Again” I think that Jason is trying to send a message about country music in general. It can be fun, traditional and it can ROCK, just enjoy it for what it is; MUSIC.
    Only 1 Garth
    Only 1 Johnny Cash
    Only 1 Jason
    We can listen and respect them all

  24. Hey toby, while you may be right that he’s paying tribute to Haggard and Jone’s album. I think it may be more plausible that he’s paying tribute to Cash himself. I don’t know the exact details, but Cash knocked out the footlights at the Opry one time with his mic stand and in the Walk the Line movie Joaquin Phoenix portrays Cash as kicking them out.

  25. “Kicking out the footlights” has become the universal symbol for the country music rebel. Neither George Jones nor Merle Haggard kicked out any footlights that I’m aware of but the title track of their album was still very appropriate given their histories. I have no idea what that thing in the video is. It’s more of a stomp than a kick and they’re not exactly footlights. Both the single and the video are pretty silly.

  26. Brody, Thanks for sharing some more information. This could be the most controversial song and video of the year. Nonetheless, Jason’s fans are going to love it and support him on it. HAVE A GREAT DAY!! No lynching here!

  27. Dude, ya’ll are stupid if you think this song is lame. My family is from the south and thats how we do it in the south. Its stright up HICKTOWN and Johnny Cash and the older country artist made the music and Jason will be the next Johnny Cash or Hank Williams Jr. Trust me I know Country music very well. Jason Aldean is going to be the next biggest thing out there. For you people that dont know the real Country music Jason was very sucessfull in his carrer and I cant wait to see more from him. This Album he just made ” JOHNNY CASH” is a great album………..

    Keep it rollin Jason……
    THe only way to go is THE SOUTH. HICKTOWN

  28. “We are true fans of Jason Aldean, and we love his music. Johnny Cash is a great song, and his fans are requesting it, it is played on my radio station daily…what is the deal with everyone one anyway…You can’t stand it cause he is a great singer and ur jealous cause you can’t sing worth a shit, please go critize someone else and leave Jason alone,”

    Ok I have a few problems with the above quote. Am I not a true Jason Aldean fan because I don’t love this song? The song is decent not great though, I like any other Jason Aldean fan, can’t wait for his new cd, that being said however I can’t honestly say that I like Johnny Cash (The Song). It seems like it should be an artists first single or something, not something off of their second album. It’s not Jason’s or John’s fault either way I’m a big fan of them both and support them like crazy, but this song isn’t one of my favorites. Second I’m so tired of being told I can’t sing whenever I give an opinion on a song. I know I can’t sing and I hate that, but that doesn’t mean I’m jealous of any of the artists out there. And finally the line “go critizise someone else” WTF! There’s a such thing as good critisisim, if let’s just say that Jason Aldean was about to cover The Pussycat Dolls song Buttons, you probably would tell him not too, if I had been there to decide on the first single I would have advised Jason not to release this song. I give this song a C-

  29. The song stinks and what a disgrace to the legendary Johnny Cash. I am sick of these fake new stars acting like they are country when they sure the heck aren’t. Go back tio your hole Jason. I give you one more year if that.

  30. I totally disagree with this article. I’m not saying I know Jason…but I have been to several of his concerts (where he mentions musical influences) and read many interviews that ask him about what kind of music he grew up listening to. Some of it was rock and roll and some was good ol’ country like Alabama and “Johnny Cash”. I don’t understand how this is a disgrace to the legend. The song’s lyrics depict him being tired of his job and just wanting to get out of town and live life up a little. All he’s saying is he wants to hop in his pontiac with his sweetheart, pop in probably one of his most beloved albums, and cruise to Vegas. I don’t get the controversy on this song….I think that people who are bitchin about this have entirely way too much time on their hands and haven’t really taken the time to listen to exactly what he’s saying. If you are a Johnny Cash fan, why wouldn’t you want to blast him out while your cruisin to Vegas. To all of you who think it’s a disgrace or think the song sucks b/c it degrades Johnny, find something better to critisize and make sure it makes sense next time!!!! Jason is a damn good artist, he’s struggled in the industry for 10 years and has finally made it! Cut him some slack and perhaps be happy for the hardworker. It’s like once you’ve made it…there’s always going to be negativity from people…I think that saying he’s a discrace for mentioning one of his favorite artists and painting a picture of freedom in his music is ludacris!!!!!

  31. anything jason aldean sings is amazing he is the best ever omg the song is amazing just like every other ones he sings

  32. Ya’ll r crazy if u dont like this song, i luv it , im a hardcore jason aldean fan, and i personally think that if u think carrie underwood beats him… you need to go have you head examined

  33. Debbie, you have no idea how wrong u are… i mean come on, i totaly agree with Nicole, its not a disgrace to pay tribute to a legend, ive seen him in concert, he sang this song and the srowd went wild, HOW DARE YOU SAY HE”S A DISGRACE!!!!!

  34. Jason Aldean is the real deal! He is a refreshing breath of air, and some of you people are looking to turn something so positive into something negative. This song, Johnny Cash, is awesome, respectful, and tons of fun. Jason is indeed kicking the lights as a tribute to the one and only man in black, as he himself did in his memorable appearance years ago. Jason Aldean will be a household name one day, and we’ll all be proud that we were able to see him in his humble beginnings. I have nothing but praise for someone who worked so hard to get this last, debut album out, especially being so successful. I was hoping for another release or two off of his debut album, since it was so awesome….. but I truly can’t wait until 5-29-07 when his new album comes out. Someone mentioned Carrie Underwood in earlier comments, and compared her to Jason. Everything Miss Carrie has accomplished has been handed to her on a silver platter. I would love to see her dig and scramble to find her own material, etc. Keep it up, Jason, you totally rock! Hmmmmmm, love your ballads too…… Like I said, the ‘real deal’.

  35. Omg comin from a small town in Kentucky this song ROCKS! Johnny Cash is an Icon and here we must be real redneck b/c we crank up Johnny Cash songs ALOT! Every song Jason has done is amazing! If you all came to my neck of the woods the Johnny Cash song would totally make sense! Jason I went to your concert when you came here in Febuary and let me just say you and your songs represent Kentucky well! Your awesome and I look forward to being a fan of yours for the rest of my life! Keep crankin up the Johnny Cash!

  36. Wow I can’t believe this song was given a C-! This is my favorite song ever! Lovin’ the music, and his voice is amazing, like always! I rate this song an A+!

  37. I cant believe the music Jason has come out with!!! i love all his music!!! i am a fan for life!!! I hope he keeps the great music coming!!!!!

  38. The song ain’t my favorite but I do like it. First Taylor Swift, Then Jason Aldean. I wonder who will be next to come up with a title for a song that is the name of a famous country star. Anyways, I don’t think that this song is his best. Better than “Amarillo Sky”, not as good as “Why”. But I do enjoy the style of the song and he had some good vocals although a little pitchy in a few spots. I give it a B

  39. This song is medicore at best. Johnny Cash is only used to sell records as far as this song goes. Jason Aldean, at his current state, is a fade away artist, and has not separated himself from the others that release a couple or three albums, then fade out.

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