Concert Reviews

Cody Johnson Throws Down at Thirsty Cowboy


Cody Johnson may still not be a household name to many Country music fans, but don’t tell that to the folks who drove hours to see him and waited in the rain to get in to Thirsty Cowboy in Medina on Saturday night.

The crowd and the feel of the night was a little bit different than normal for the Country venue. The amount of cowboy hats was purely evident of that. These folks weren’t there for bro-country, or pop country or to see a light and laser show. Instead, they came for the pure Country music and lyrics from a true authentic Texas singer.

Georgia native Jacob Bryant kicked things off with an opening set with music from his albums and EP’s including the songs “This Side of Sober,” and “Just Enough Jesus.” The up and coming Country singer had his latest EP, Up In Smoke make it’s debut at #10 on the iTunes Country Chart.

It was then time for Cody Johnson to hit the stage and he started in with “I Ain’t Going Nowhere Baby” from his latest album Gotta Be Me. The song set the tone for the show with lyrics about reaffirmation of love and filled with fiddle playing. The album, which is Johnson’s sixth, is his most successful so far and made it’s debut at #2 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. He went on to play more songs from the album during his set including the fun and toe tapping “Chain Drinking,” “Half A Song,” “Wild As You,” “Gotta Be Me,” “The Only One I Know (Cowboy Life),” “Billy’s Brother” and his first single released from package, “With You I Am.”

The Cody Johnson Band added a lot to not only to the music, but to the live show as well. Each of the members took the spotlight with solos and the bass playing of Joey Pruski was some of the best and highly entertaining. Jody Bartula adds what should be a requirement for more country bands with his fiddle playing and also played guitar during the set. The lead guitar playing of Jake Mears showed through during the entire set and really shined with his solo, as well as the drumming of Miles Stone who rocked it out from behind the plexiglass drum screen. Johnson, then jumped behind the drum kit to show off his skills during the solo performances which quickly whipped the crowd up even more.

The 90-minute set also featured songs from the 2014 release Cowboy Like Me with the songs “Proud,” “Never Go Home Again,” “Me And My Kind” and the title track. It was on these songs that you could really tell that those in the crowd had been following Cody Johnson music for years as they sung every word right along with the Texas native, and he was quick to oblige for the crowd to take the lead at one point.

Even without the widespread radio airplay or a big record label contract, it was obvious to see why those fans were there on Saturday. It was a little about the music, a little about the lyrics, and a lot about the man who sings them.

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