Jamey Johnson Sings on Tender Cover of Grateful Dead’s ‘To Lay Me Down’
Jamey Johnson has recorded a tender cover of The Grateful Dead's "Lay Me Down" alongside saxophone player Dave McMurray. The track is a part of McMurray's tribute album, Grateful Deadication 2.
The reimagined version — which clocks in at eight-and-half minutes — opens with McMurray's soulful sax before Johnson provides soft vocals over a medley of guitar and piano.
Throughout the song, McMurray takes over with some jazzy saxophone runs.
“When it came to finding the perfect vocal for ‘To Lay Me Down,’ I thought of Jamey right away,” the saxophonist says in a statement. "What he did with the song is so raw and emotional and tells the story in a whole different way. He got way inside the lyric and it just felt like nothing I’d ever heard before."
Grateful Deadication 2 is the follow-up to McMurray's first tribute album Grateful Deadication, which was released in 2021. Both projects include special guests on these reimagined versions of the Grateful Dead's biggest hits.
The second installment, which dropped May 19, also features Oteil Burbridge, Bob James and Don Was.
Johnson was recently featured on a superstar collaboration with Marcus King on Zac Brown Band's song "Stubborn Pride." The track was included on the band's deluxe version of their album The Comeback.
Johnson was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2022. It's something he manifested for himself years ago when he invited himself to join.
"I guess five or six years ago, just out of fun," he recounts to Taste of Country Nights. "I stood out there in the middle of the stage ... and said, 'I would like to announce that I'm the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.' And then the whole room erupted. And I said, 'But I can't, they haven't invited me.'"
His official invitation came on March 19, 2022 from Bill Anderson, and he was inducted on May 14, 2022.