Music

The New Texas: Cody Johnson

Yes, cowboys still make country music, and Texan Cody Johnson is going to show you how it’s done.

But this ain’t singin’ by the campfire country, this is the pack-the-dancehall-to-the-seams kind of country.

Johnson, 28, has been active in the Texas scene for a while, but his fanbase in the state has exploded in the last three years. He’s developed a brand of country that blends the polish of the mainstream with the traditional spirit of Texas, and it works. Plus, Johnson pours everything he’s got into each performance, and that’s what it takes to make a lasting impression in Texas.

Part of what makes Johnson’s music resonate with Texans so much is that he’s authentically country. Johnson grew up in the small East Texas town of Sebastopol. He hunts, fishes and shoots guns. Before he became a country singer, he worked for years as a competitive bull rider, and even did a stint as a correctional officer at a prison in Johnson City. His background rings true in his music.

Start with Johnson’s 2013 album, Cowboy Like Me. If you’re a fan of George Strait, Chris LeDoux and other neo-traditional artists who embody the cowboy style, you’re going to love Cody Johnson.

What he sounds like: Contemporary cowboy country that can both fill a dance floor and make you crank up the radio.

Key Track: “Me and My Kind”, a two-stepper about an ex girlfriend who can’t deal with his cowboy ways. 

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The New Texas: Cody Johnson