MusicRowPics: Chris Janson

IMG_5641Chris Janson may keep singing “Buy Me A Boat” not just because the song is his first Top 20, but also because nobody has bought him a boat yet.

The Warner Bros. recording artist recently took a moment to visit MusicRow during a busy schedule, where he may be launching his CD before riding on the lake.

“I had the opportunity to be writing music that I didn’t know would be on an album this year,” said Janson. “It will be out on the best label in town by Thanksgiving…finally!”

The lead single was initially released independently, and led to his Warner Bros. Nashville deal.

After writing “Buy Me A Boat” with Chris DuBois at the Sea Gayle offices a few months ago, Janson cut the song at the tail end of a demo session. After upgrading the recording to a master, Janson uploaded the song online in his kitchen one night after a songwriter friend showed him how. Bobby Bones‘ iHeartRadio show then played the tune and kick-started the craze, leading to Janson becoming the first independent artist featured on iHeart’s On The Verge program, and ultimately his current record deal.

“These fans have been waiting for music forever,” said wife and manager, Kelly Lynn Janson. “The fans don’t understand you have to have a record label to put music out. So [with the release of ‘Buy Me A Boat’] he could at least talk about the new music when he played the Opry or was out on tour.”


Janson has waited 10 years to release an album after being previously signed to Sony Nashville, and the now defunct Bigger Picture Group.

Janson will co-produce the upcoming Warner Bros. Nashville full-length project with DuBois and Brent Anderson, and the remainder will be done with his publisher, Byron Gallimore.

During the visit, Janson also shared a new track “That’s What Love Will Do.” He expects to record the self-written title when he’s not on the road with Toby Keith this summer. He also treated MusicRow to the “oldest song” expected to be on the forthcoming record, titled “Back In My Drinkin’ Days.”

As a songwriter, Janson said his “most prized cuts” are on Hank Williams Jr.’s upcoming Nash Icon album. “He’s my No. 1 artist,” said Janson. “Just that he would ask for songs that I wrote is a big deal for me.” Janson also recorded harmonica on a re-make of William’s “Born To Boogie,” which is expected to be on the icon’s forthcoming record.


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. | @EricTParker

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