Johnson Blvd

Album: Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the opening track of Amos Lee's Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song album. The folksy singer-songwriter approached the record differently to his previous releases, working with Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town, Cage the Elephant), and his road band at the producer's Nashville studio. "We started with "Johnson Blvd.' It was the first song we cut," Lee told The Boot. "It was a tune that I felt was real necessary for the album, 'cause I like the way it's written, I like the way we approach it as a band."
  • The song is a prime example of Joyce's influence on Mountains Of Sorrow. "It came out beautiful. I mean, I'm really happy with it," said Lee. "It's one of the better teamwork effort things between me, the band and Jay, because everybody played their parts really beautifully, and then he went in afterwards, he and Jason went in and really sculpted things and made movements out of the parts that weren't as poignant."
  • Lee told Billboard magazine that he thought back to his youth and a bygone era when he penned the song. "As someone who gets a chance to travel all the time, you get to see stuff and how quickly things evolve," he said. "As a writer, I like to take on other people's minds for a while. I was thinking about how my dad used to work around Brownsville, Texas, and I started to think about what progress is and how people define progress today."

    "The beginning of the song outlines the moment that where someone who has always felt comfortable in their skin realizes things are about to change forever, and the bulldozers are on the way," continued Lee. "Somehow, it's always been that way. It's never been any different. It's just a plight of humanity. It's hard to hold fast to the things you love, because tomorrow comes anyway."

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