15 Cody Johnson Songs That Deserve To Be On Country Radio
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15 Cody Johnson Songs That Deserve To Be On Country Radio

These songs beat out plenty of so-called "country" that are played on Chicago airwaves.

15 Cody Johnson Songs That Deserve To Be On Country Radio

This past year, while poking around the country music side of YouTube, I ran across a video of a red-haired man crooning original country tunes and I knew I found my new favorite country artist- Cody Johnson. Since then, I’ve bought four of his albums and spent hours upon hours listening and singing along to his Texas drawl and a six string guitar.

So, I’ve decided to compile a list of songs that aren’t heard outside Texas airwaves. These are songs that y’all need to take a listen to, and that deserve to be heard here in the Chicago suburbs and across the nation.

Gotta Be Me: The title song of his fifth album, this is the quintessential country-bumpkin song. An outcast compared to the norms of suburbia, he drinks, goes to honky tonks, listens to outlaw country, and enjoys singing those country songs he loves way more than any job. He’d rather have that old rusty pick-up than a Lexus or a coupe deville. It’s the perfect “redneck in a white collar town” anthem. (Album: Gotta Be Me)

With You I Am: This is the first song I ever heard by CoJo, and this one struck deep just with its guitar cords. As soon as CoJo starts with “I’ve never been a Cool Hand Luke, or quarterback of the winning team,” you just kind of get whisked away by the music. It goes on to explain how a “my way or highway” type of guy gets transformed and finds someone more important than himself and someone that he can share the rest of his life with. It’s still my favorite song by CoJo by far just because of the simplicity of the message and the ability to take me away. (Album: Gotta Be Me)

Diamond in My Pocket: This is the song I want to propose to the future Mrs. Bennington with, just being honest. CoJo and his girlfriend are spending the night in nature with a picnic and radio. It’s a great idea for a date night- except it’s not just a date night! He proposes to his girlfriend and it’s really cute (we assume she says “yes”). It’s catchy and you just can’t help but smile, and to be honest we need more songs like this that just make you smile. (Album: A Different Day)

Me and My Kind: This one is about cowboys and romance- just not the good kind of combination. CoJo and his buddies are having a night out when, in good tradition, they run into his ex-girlfriend. He says he doesn’t care if someone buys her a drink, but he offers a warning- he ruined her fascination with all of the cowboys. That’s the simple premise, but it’s a fun song and for some reason I smile because I can’t help but think I’ve been in CoJo’s shoes for the past few years. (Album: Cowboy Like Me)

What's Left of Texas: This is a very important topic that we need to think about- “What’s Left of Texas” tells how even the great state of Texas cannot avoid the burden of modernization and the reign of big business. Small honky tonks are replaced by foreign car dealerships, Wal-Mart now sits where his dad’s farm used to be, cafes now rule fields where horses once roamed. It also addresses social changes: God being taken out of schools, masculinity being neutered in Hollywood, “real” country not being played on the radio anymore, and poor Willie Nelson being arrested for smoking weed. It’s a great song to listen to as well, but it makes you think- which is something that music radio isn’t known for. (Album: A Different Day)

Texas Kind of Way: This is the song for anyone who’s shared a campus or town with their ex. CoJo sings about how, no matter where he goes, he sees, hears, and thinks about his ex-girlfriend. I had a similar experience at North Central College in Naperville, IL- I kept seeing her (literally and figuratively) around the campus, on the Riverwalk, and walking down the streets of downtown Naperville. The song talks about how all CoJo’s favorite spots now haunt him with her memory. It’s touching to me due to my similar experiences and because I now know it gets better and the haunting doesn’t last forever. (Album: Six Strings, One Dream)

No Tears in My Eyes: This starts with lone piano, and that’s what got my attention. This has every country break-up cliché in the book, and even CoJo acknowledges it by singing “We’ve got every ingredient here for a broken heart.” CoJo’s done with the relationship, he’s up and leaving. But, instead of pulling over and thinking about it, he just keeps going. He’s moving on, getting back to the man he used to be and not the fella who changed for his now-ex. He’s able to look back and smile at the memories, but he’s not turning around- he’s done with the loneliness of being trapped in a toxic relationship with her. This is good for anyone that’s on the mend from a bad relationship or bad situation, and knowing that they're making progress in their life. (Album: Six Strings, One Dream)

I Know My Way Back (Clara's Song): First, you know it’s a good song if you can tap your foot to it and this song does at great job at doing so. CoJo’s life is tough- he has to travel a lot, go to a lot of unfamiliar places to pay the bills: for most people this would have a strain on their relationship. But not for Clara- she stays at the house and waits for him to come home. And she loves him just the same, even if it’s not the most convenient of circumstances for a relationship. (Album: Gotta Be Me)

Give a Cowboy a Kiss: As soon as the lone guitar comes on, you start bobbing your head a bit. When the drums start beating, your entire body will start rocking along. It’s a cute knock-off of “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie”. If you give a cowboy a horse, he’s gonna ride. You give him a job to do, he’s gonna do it. Give him an impossible task, he’ll make it possible. Give him a kiss, he’ll take you dancing. (Album: Cowboy Like Me)

Baby's Blue: We’ve all been here: had an awful day and need someone to just lean on. This song goes from the perspective of the person you’re leaning on and shows their anguish. He’s working late but he wants to leave and help his lady friend through the evening. Even on his way home, he can’t drive fast enough and is thinking about running every red light that keeps him from his woman. In the end, it’s a cute song that we can all relate to with a great tempo . (Album: Cowboy Like Me)

(I Wouldn't Go There) If I Were You: Let’s be honest, it’s awkward running into your ex. You start remembering all these feelings and you might be thinking “I can give it another try with her…” CoJo speaks straight to your heart (literally, he's actually talking to your heart) by saying “I wouldn’t go there if I were you.” Not only is it a good warning to stay away from temptation, but it feels like a fast paced George Strait or Garth Brooks honky tonk tune. It’s fun, it has a good message, and you’ll be glad it gets stuck in your head. (Album: Cowboy Like Me)

Dance Her Home: You ever see a girl and just think “Well, I'll be damned she is pretty”? CoJo has, and he wrote the perfect song for it. This girl has the same tastes as you, you can picture the night play out as you two grab a booth and start talking, listening to George Jones and having one Hell of a good time singing along and dancing to it. But then reality comes in and you can’t say a word to her. In the end, it sounds like it worked out for CoJo, so you may have some hope yet. It brings a lot of good memories back into mind and hopefully it’s the basis for even more to come. (Album: Cowboy Like Me)

Never Go Home Again: Yes! Oh man this song and Guilty as Can Be are the definition of modern outlaw country. It’s about a group of brothers that turn to crime (or sin, as CoJo puts it) to keep the bank from taking their mom’s house. It tells their story, not only of bank robbery but of their growing up “Singing Amazing Grace in a little white church in the woods” to them running around their yard before they start breaking the law. It's the song for the rebel inside, and your inner rebel will not regret listening to it. (Album: Cowboy Like Me)

Guilty As Can Be: This is reminiscent of “Thunder Rolls” by Garth Brooks, but the roles are reversed. It tells the tale of a man coming home one night, only to discover an unknown truck in his driveway. He scours the house, asks his sons where Mama is, and he finds her in bed with another man. He exacts his revenge, and tells the jury and judge he’s willing to do his time. It’s dark for sure, but there’s something special about it that you just can’t put your finger on. (Album: Six Strings, One Dream)

The Grandpa Song: I love this song because it hits home for me. My grandpa passed away when I was around thirteen years old, so I didn’t get to ask for the grandfatherly advice about taxes, the government, growing up, Hell even baseball. This song talks about how American society is so topsy-turvy and what we ought to be focusing on- when I listen to the song, I can actually picture my grandpa saying everything that Johnson’s granddad is and that’s why it gets included here. (Album: Six Strings, One Dream)

God bless- DB

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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