There was tremendous excitement on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland last week when Matthew McConaughey directed his first music video for Jamey Johnson's song "Playing the Part." The song is the lead single from Johnson's 25-track double album, The Guitar Song, which debuted at #1 last week on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and #4 on the Billboard 200. Johnson first met McConaughey backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2009 in Las Vegas, right after winning the Song of the Year trophy for "In Color." McConaughey told Johnson he had been listening to his critically acclaimed album That Lonesome Song non-stop and even quoted lyrics from a few tracks. Upon that first meeting, they became close friends and a few months later McConaughey's girlfriend, Camila Alves, secretly asked Johnson to perform at McConaughey's 40th birthday celebration. When discussions began regarding the music video for "Playing the Part," Johnson immediately called McConaughey to ask if he would make a cameo appearance. After several discussions, McConaughey decided he wanted to direct the music video since he had so many ideas for the concept. In the clip, McConaughey "plays the part" of director as well as actor. McConaughey and Johnson have developed a strong mutual admiration for each other. According to Los Angeles Times, McConaughey says, "With a lot of artists, their art is one thing and they're another but there is no separation between Jamey's music and him. Jamey doesn't perform, he's just who he is. His music is about real life: hard, honest, and funny. His subjects are simple and universal but his point of view on them is where he's a poet - like his first person point of view as the heartache in his song 'Heartache.' He sings about and paints pictures of places we've all been before but the way he sees them is his and his only." About working with his friend Matthew McConaughey, Johnson says, "I don't think I could have dreamed anything better."
* New Mercury Nashville artist, Easton Corbin, is soaking all of his recent success in. His current single, "Roll With It", is # 3 on both charts and he's nominated for three CMA Awards - Best New Artist and Single and Song of the Year for his # 1 debut song "A Little More Country Than That". He's also been opening for one of the biggest country tours of the summer, Brad Paisley's H20 Tour. While he's excited about these recent achievements, he's learning from it all: "It's been a great experience out there. You learn so much. That's the first tour I've ever been on, good one to start out on. Just having the opportunity to go out there and play in front of that many people and have that experience, watching Darius and watching Brad. You learn a lot from those guys, what to do on stage, what not to do, what works and what doesn't. As an artist, you have to tailor that to what you do. And to deal with when something goes wrong on stage. You can't freak out, you've just got to go with it."