Cody Johnson songs are absolutely the real deal! The Texas native lived the country singer’s life before he became a professional one. During his teenage years, he joined rodeo competitions as a bull rider, then veered to work as a prison supervisor in early adulthood.
While pulling such challenging jobs, he pursued country music on the side. However, it took another decade before he became a word-of-mouth sensation and made a leap to the major labels.
Here are some of Cody Johnson‘s best songs.
1. “Texas Kind of Way”
The first time you’ll listen to Johnson’s 2009 debut album, it’s clear to see that he’s going to be among the country’s most prominent artists. His pure and genuine talent is clearly evident in the “Texas Kind of Way,” a song dedicated to his love as well as his hometown.
2. “Dear Rodeo”
When “Dear Rodeo” was released, it was easy to tell that the country ballad had a personal meaning to Johnson, who used to ride bulls. But the catchy tune actually has a message that goes beyond its surface-level story.
According to Johnson, in addition to the song’s real-life summary of his shortened rodeo career, it’s also a tale of strength over hard times, of overcoming failure when times get rough.
3. “Ain’t Nothin’ to It”
When Johnson released his sixth album, Gotta Be Me, in 2016, it helped him become one of the most sought-after talents. He then caught the attention of Warner Music Nashville, who enticed him to join their label.
“Ain’t Nothin’ to It” subsequently became Johnson’s title track from his introductory project with the record label. It’s a song about good men with good morals.
4. “On My Way to You”
Johnson finds himself reflecting on the different hardships and sufferings while finding the woman he’s meant to be with forever in “On My Way to You.” Though it was written by Tony Lane and Brett James, Johnson explained that it’s a true-to-life story about meeting his wife, Brandi.
The country singer is beyond thankful for all of the challenging things he had to endure because it led him to his lifetime partner.
5. “Doubt Me Now”
Johnson was a little bit reserved about cutting “Doubt Me Now” in the beginning as he finds the title to “kind of had a little bit of arrogance to it.” However, he was totally won over by its encouraging lyrical content – even finding it to be “a great statement song” that can empower people who have come across challenging moments in life.
6. “Gotta Be Me”
This Western swing-influenced song is the title track of Johnson’s self-released album in 2016, and it is a tribute to his intensely independent nature as well as his classic country spirit.
“Fenceposts” is one proof that Johnson is not just a great singer but an incredible songwriter as well. The love song tells the tale of a husband preparing to build his wife’s dream house.
8. “Diamond in My Pocket”
Any man who’s about to get down on one knee and pop the big question to the love of his life will surely relate to this sweet midnight proposal song that delves into the pre-engagement jitters.
9. “Cowboy Like Me”
Nobody understands the cowboy life more than Johnson and in “Cowboy Like Me,” he pays tribute to all the women who love their men despite their love for honky-tonks and rodeo arenas.
10. “His Name Is Jesus”
If you’ve been to one of Johnson’s shows, you probably have heard him say, “I’d like to thank the Man Upstairs.” However, Johnson’s minister caught him one day and told him that though it was a great gesture, “would it kill you to say, ‘I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?'”
The minister’s response turned out to be a challenge for Johnson that he decided to include the song he’d written titled “His Name is Jesus” as a bonus track to his 2019 album.
11. “I Don’t Care About You”
Johnson finds himself in a state of distress with his relationship. His lover regularly starts fights with him while her friends plant ideas in her head about how much of a jerk he is. But one night, he told her he no longer wants to fight with her, and she can walk out the door if she wants to.
12. “The Only One I Know”
Honest and relatable storytelling has indeed been the perfect formula to a great country song.
“The Only One I Know” is another autobiography of Johnson’s life as a rodeo man. It was a lonesome and terrible life in pursuit of living the cowboy life, but it was the only life he knew.
13. “Every Scar Has A Story”
Johnson defined all the physical pain he has endured all his life in “Every Scar Has A Story.” Though all those horrible experiences left him scars, nothing has hurt him as dreadful as the pain that the love of his life put him through.
14. “Wild as You”
This romantic ballad “Wild as You” is a tribute to a girl who can never be tamed. It was included in Johnson’s 2016’s Gotta Be Me and helped the country singer’s route from local scene stalwart to national superstar in the making.
15. “I Know My Way Back (Clara’s Song)”
Johnson wrote the song for his daughter Clara where he expressed how much he misses his family – and them missing the family’s patriarch, in return – whenever he is out on the road. “She don’t mind me leaving her behind me ’cause she knows I know my way back,” he sings.
Cody Johnson’s Greatest Hits
Indeed, Cody Johnson songs are such a breath of fresh air in country music.