Cody Johnson already has a running start for his forthcoming Jan. 18, 2019 album, Ain’t Nothin’ To It.
Not just because he’s already an A-list Texas artist—able to move all 75,000 tickets at the Houston Rodeo and sell 350,000 tickets a year—but his debut single with Warner Music Nashville, “On My Way To You,” debuted at the top of the digital sales chart.
Since it debuted in August, the Tony Lane and Brett James-written track has moved 30K units and already has a music video. The single will be among five gratis tracks available Friday with a pre-order from the Trent Willmon-produced project.
On Friday, Oct. 19, Johnson touched down his live show at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works.
Although Johnson recently told MusicRow there originally was some resistance from Texas with his alignment with a major label, the Nashville crowd rode through the new tunes with ease. “The record was done before we got a deal,” Johnson dispelled.
Familiar titles like “Me And My Kind” were sung back at full force, allowing fans a moment to recharge and memorize new tracks. Those included the familiar branded posture in “Doubt Me Now,” the fiddle-driven mid-tempo heartbreaker “Understand Why,” sexy ballad “Nothin’ On You,” and one of Johnson’s co-written contributions to the project, “Dear Rodeo.”
Johnson’s show briefly hinted at the country’s current political tensions. A version of Charlie Daniels’ “Long Haired Country Boy” he covers on his forthcoming project was performed alongside a new, mid-tempo, “Monday Morning Merle.” This paired with a cover of Merle Haggard’s “Fightin’ Side Of Me,” which Johnson asked first responders and military to raise hands while he defended the religious and speech freedoms of everyone in America, even those of different religions or those who take a knee.
This bold step comes from a man who has gained popularity from speaking his mind. The former semi-pro rodeo bull rider, turned prison guard, previously hit No. 2 with his 2016 project, Gotta Be Me. From the way things are sounding, 2019 could tip the scales even further in Johnson’s favor.
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