Greetings and Happy Friday R&B NYC fans — get ready to pull on your boots, ice down your coolers, and enjoy the weekend ahead. Today’s #FridayFind is the product of many years of odd jobs, hard work, and impactful songwriting, and over the past couple years he has finally sprung into fame in the Nashville music scene. Without further ado, the first featured artist of February 2018 on Rhythm & Boots NYC is future country legend, Chris Janson.
After moving from his hometown of Perryville, Missouri (about 80 miles southeast of St. Louis) to Nashville after graduating high school in 2005, Janson started out with lots of hopes and dreams but little money in the bank. After being denied from playing short sets at countless bars during his first year in Tennessee, he eventually landed a repeat residency at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
Admittedly keeping a strict ramen noodle diet and occasionally sharing an apartment with friend and co-singer-songwriter Tyler Farr, it took Janson roughly eight years in Nashville before scoring his first songwriting hit and starting to appear as a studio instrumentalist. Only after Tim McGraw’s 2013 hit “Truck Yeah” rose to #10 on the country airplay chart and was eventually certified platinum did Janson begin to see a long-awaited consistent flow of revenue from his years of songwriting.
Fast-forward two more years and Janson’s booked studio time ends up paying off even more. His first LP Buy Me A Boat (2015) was distributed by Warner Bros. Nashville and included one of the year’s biggest country songs, the megahit by the same name. Since then, Janson has toured with the likes of Toby Keith and Tim McGraw/Faith Hill and the more steady income from his music has also allowed him to also dedicate even more time to his songwriting and family. At his live shows, you can catch him belting out his self-written songs while simultaneously playing guitar, harmonica, bass, banjo, drums, and everything else in his musical arsenal. For a guy whose success is fairly recent, his professionalism and carefree attitude on stage makes him one of the most appealing acts in modern country music.
Currently on tour throughout the end of Summer 2018, Janson is playing numerous upcoming shows across North America with Cole Swindell and Lauren Alaina to promote his new 2017 album Everybody.
- “Buy Me A Boat” (2015) – Of course this song had to be featured since it is not only Janson’s first big hit, but also one of the most self-defining songs of his career thus far. While his more recent second record touches on later-in-life experiences like marriage and fatherhood, this track kicks off his first major album release in perfect redneck fashion. All the tribulations of Janson’s early, financially unstable years emerge from the lyrics and the ultra-simplistic yet unwaveringly-relatable verses and chorus convince any listener to root for Janson on this one. At this point, we want to chip in and give this guy what he wants.
- “Holdin’ Her” (2015) – As the second single from his first album, this song gives a little insight into the more touching and thought-provoking side of Janson’s songwriting abilities. While he can easily crank out hits chronicling good-time drinking and late-night partying, he is also a slow ballad extraordinaire. Utilizing the classic country flavoring of a surprising third verse to complete a long-form story and enhance the chorus, this song is a good as modern-day love songs get.
- “Drunk Girl” (2017) – At first glance, this closing number to his second LP is like any other alcohol-infused country bar anthem; we all know how that one goes. This one is different however. This time, when Chris takes a drunk girl home, it’s to “let her sleep all alone, leave her keys on the counter, [and] leave [his] number by the phone.” Frankly, in modern times this message has never been more vital. With just a piano and an inspiringly narrative voice, Janson educates on the proper way to treat a girl (or guy) who’s had too much to drink, and every man, woman, and teenager in America should tune in.
- “Fix A Drink” (2017) – Now presenting, the leading single from his second album. We’re ending the #FeaturedFour on this party anthem, because why not: it’s Friday, it’s freezing, and this any-weather anthem is our collective ticket into the weekend. With a guitar riff which you’ll be humming from now until Monday morning and some all too relatable lyrics, this piece of country music gold is exactly what makes Janson great. (Plus, check out the music video above which features a star-studded lineup of Janson’s friends playing beer pong and gettin’ rowdy.)
Chris Janson social links: