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Old-school country comes at Coliseum

Cody Johnson’s popular tour set for Coliseum stop

Cody Johnson will be joined by Randy Houser and Tyler Booth when he brings his tour to Memorial Coliseum on Friday, March 3.

Published February 22, 2023

The Cody Johnson train is barreling down the track.

The rising country music star with a throwback style has had a busy year, getting his first No. 1 single at Country Radio with the platinum-selling “Til You Can’t,” which also earned him Video of the Year and Single of the Year at November’s Country Music Awards. 

All the success has led to sold-out shows, including a couple before he’s joined by Randy Houser and Tyler Booth at Memorial Coliseum on Friday, March 3.

Paying his dues

The former bull rider from Texas began his musical career at 12 years old, learning from his father who played in the church band. He and his father went on to form the Cody Johnson Band, recording Black and White Label in 2006 before his father departed the group.

Since then, the man known as CoJo — which was also the label he released his first six albums on, including 2016’s Gotta Be Me, which peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart — has only been picking up steam.

Following the success of Gotta Be Me, Johnson joined Warner Music Nashville, which released Ain’t Nothin’ To It in 2019, spending a week at No. 1 on the Country chart.

In 2021, Johnson returned with Human: The Double Album, which reached No. 3 on the Country chart. The album consists of some of his own songs, some he co-wrote, some that others wrote, and a couple of covers, including Vince Gill’s “Son of a Ramblin’ Man” and Conway Twitty’s “I Don’t Know a Thing About Love.” Also, Willie Nelson joins him on a cover of the Hall of Famer’s 1973 song “Sad Songs and Waltzes.”

“I literally felt like I was just window shopping,” he said on his website about choosing songs for the album. “Like I was a millionaire in a diamond shop. I was like, ‘I want that one. I want that one, I want that one.’ And then when we added all those songs up, we had 18 that we knew we had to record.”

Single wins awards

“When people listen to Human, they are going to hear a lot more of me being me, because I am finally comfortable with myself and able to share that with my fans,” Johnson said.

If people were indeed hearing the true him, they liked it, leading to four CMA nominations.

Along with his wins for Video of the Year and Single of Year, Johnson was also nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year. 

“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve watched my heroes accept CMA awards,” Johnson said. “To be nominated for four is an absolute honor. I stand for a unique brand of authentic country music, and to see it being recognized on such a huge platform makes all the years of hard work worth it.”

The nominations were nice, but it was the wins for “Til You Can’t,” written by Matt Rogers and Ben Stennis, that made the night truly memorable.

“Ben Stennis and Matt Rodgers wrote, in my opinion, one of the greatest country music songs of all time, and I’m just so blessed to have it in my hands,” he said. “Trent Willmon and Jack Clarke … might be the greatest producer and the greatest engineer in the business. I’m so grateful to be here. God bless country music.” 

Hitting the road

Johnson closed an eventful 2022 with the release of Cody Johnson & The Rockin’ CJB Live album Dec. 2, perhaps as a showcase of what folks could expect when his headlining tour kicked off Jan. 20 and crosses the Pacific Ocean before closing on Aug. 26 in Perth, Australia, with Luke Combs.

The sold-out shows began quickly, including every one through January, as well as Feb. 18’s show in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Feb. 25 in Austin, Texas, before he visits Memorial Coliseum, where good seats are limited. 

Bringing to mind legends like Nelson, George Strait, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams, Johnson’s style has brought fans in by the droves. Joined on stage by Jody Bertula on fiddle and guitar, Jake Mears on lead guitar, Joey Pruski on bass guitar, Miles Stone on drums, and Harrison Yount on steel guitar, Johnson will give fans at Memorial Coliseum an experience they won’t soon forget.

If you like to know even more about Johnson, you can stream his autobiographical film on Amazon Prime, Dear Rodeo: The Cody Johnson Story. The film covers his rodeo-to-country-stardom tale and features Reba McIntire, whom he recorded with on the 2021 song “Dear Rodeo.”


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