I met Cody Johnson in a smoky hotel bar on Friday afternoon and asked him how he got started playing. He said he'd beg bar owners to let him play. They'd say "we ain't paying you shit" (and I'm pretty sure that's how it'd go down, too) and he'd say "how 'bout me playing for the door"? Cody says he started walking out with a few hundreds dollars and one thing led to another, led to a truck, a band and a lot more gigs (and now a manager and booking agent). He said it's been really hard but he just can't be happy without music. Cody's 23 (started at 18) and the dude has his shit together. He's pretty dang confident. I hope he can keep that in check as he grows. That's something I just don't know how people deal with as they get bigger.
So I go to the show and it's a damn near empty bar (or at least in context of the bar size to crowd size). When Texas Tech's not in session they say the town's pretty sleepy. Anyways, Cody and his band just kicked ass! The songs are pretty good, the band is damn tight and his stage presence looked great.Oh btw, and Cody sings REALLY great and better than what you'll hear on his myspace or CD! He's a high energy kid with Ledoux, Garth and Strait influences that are obvious. These guys could open up for any Nashville act and hold their own and kick a LOT of 'em's asses!
He said something that stuck with me, that he wants to be able to bring enough to a record label to where they'd say "damn!". The way I see the industry headed they are going to be bringin their asses to him if he can keep on doing what he's doing and keep it growing like it's growing, slow and solid but hell he's only 23! He's fine. The CD didn't have no where near the energy and feel of the live show (faves: "Pray for Rain", "Another Try" & "No Tears in My Eyes"). Oh, he did do a really strong cover of "Wichita Lineman" in his show (and that's a tough sell for me)!
The bar? It was fine. Big bar, nothing too memorable. The DJ (Keith Paris) did give me and freebie for my next show in Amarillo, though :) Thanks dude & I can use any of those that I can get!
P.S. in all this driving I've had one "burning" question. How come sometimes when you're on a long stretch of nothing and all the sudden you gotta pee, I mean you GOTTA pee, I MEAN you REALLY gotta pee and then you get to where you're going and you forget you had to pee. Just a question? Sis, any help on that? I'll stop now.