It’s Cody Johnson’s time.
After landing two releases in the Top 10 of Billboard’s country albums chart on his own label and becoming the only unsigned artist in history to sell out NRG Stadium at RodeoHouston, Johnson finally agreed to sign with a major label. Warner Music Nashville won a Music Row sweepstakes and enticed Johnson to join the team and take a shot at turning a concert success story into one with multimedia, national hit-making cred.
Johnson’s passionate, rowdy concerts have already drawn comparisons to Garth Brooks, and the music from his previous albums – inspired by ‘90s country foundations, but built for the 21st century – has made him a familiar presence on Texas and Oklahoma red-dirt radio.
Johnson’s introductory Warner project, Ain’t Nothin’ to It, ups the ante. After writing the bulk of his previous material, he put out word in Nashville that he was open to songs from other sources, and the results were astonishing. A-list writers – including Chris Stapleton, Radney Foster, and Brothers Osborne guitarist John Osborne – came to the table with songs that suited Johnson’s life and disposition.
Much like one of his heroes, the late Chris LeDoux, Johnson hit the rodeo circuit and made his first album during that time, selling self-financed CDs from his pickup as he chased the elusive eight-second dream. But broken bones and the cost of competition took their toll, and he eventually became a prison guard in Huntsville who played clubs on the weekends. The crowds began to grow, and he pieced together a string of hits on the Texas music charts. Plus, he snagged the Texas Regional Radio Music Award as Male Vocalist of the Year.