'A Lifetime In The Making': James Johnston Teases Collab With Lee Kernaghan

24 June 2024 | 11:46 am | Mary Varvaris

Kernaghan recently said, "There’s a terrific story behind the song I’ve recorded with James, and it goes to the heart of who we are and what we do."

James Johnston, Lee Kernaghan

James Johnston, Lee Kernaghan (Source: Supplied)

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How do you feel about two generations of Australian country music teaming up for a special collaboration? Pretty good, right?

Next Friday (5 July), Lee Kernaghan will release his first new song in five years. While that’s already exciting news, the fact that he’ll be joined by a special guest in James Johnston is even more thrilling.

In December, Kernaghan revealed that he’d recorded a duet with Johnston in a Countrytown interview. Recalling his pride at watching the up-and-coming country music artists like The Wolfe Brothers, Brad Cox and The Buckleys become stars, he said of the duet with Johnston:

James Johnston, we've recorded a duet with him, and we'll be releasing that, I think, next month. But I think back to the first time I saw him busking in Tamworth; he was only about 11 years old.

Now, all these years later, we've recorded a single and written songs together. So, [I] definitely think the world of him, and The Wolfe Brothers will forever be my damn good mates. And it's been wonderful seeing them reach higher heights in Australian country.

On Saturday (22 June), Johnston reflected on his recent trip to Nashville, saying that his time there “reignited” the fire in him when it comes to music.

“It's been 9 months since I released music and tomorrow I get to share something that has truely [sic] been a life time in the making,” he wrote. Thankyou for being on this ride with me. I apprecaite [sic] each and every one of you!”

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Yesterday (23 June), Johnston shared that the song with Kernaghan, Who I Am, will be released on the 5th of July. He stated that he feels “honoured” to have taken part in his idol’s first new song in five years and added that the song was written alongside Colin Buchanan and The Wolfe Brothers’ Nick Wolfe.

You can check out a teaser for Who I Am below and pre-save the track here.

Earlier this month, Kernaghan expanded his Boys From The Bush – The Concert Australian tour, adding new dates in New South Wales and Queensland. He also hinted at an upcoming new album, revealing that he’s been working on new music in the studio.

“It feels fantastic to be back in the studio, and I’m really excited to be playing some of the new songs for the first time on the national tour,” he said. “There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since the last record, and country music just seems to be getting better and more popular each year.”

On the duet with Johnston, which has been touted to be the first single from the album, Kernaghan added, “There’s a terrific story behind the song I’ve recorded with James, and it goes to the heart of who we are and what we do. People who’ve heard the track have told me they get goosebumps listening to it, and even though I’ve heard it a lot of times, it affects me in the same way.”