Cody Johnson has a new album, Leather, on the way, and it seems a genre-blending Jelly Roll collaboration might make the cut. While backstage in Nashville, Cody dropped the exciting teaser, “I can't reveal all the surprises, but there's definitely been some songs that we've sat and listened to, where they speak to him as much as they speak to me. So you'll see something from us very soon”.
The Texan hitmaker sang the praises of Jelly Roll, who recently released his debut full-length country album, Whitsitt Chapel, underlining, “Respect is mutual, and real recognises real. So, absolutely, we've talked about working together”.
Cody went on to explain that the two artists have more in common than initially meets the eye, “I have a very thick background on incarceration. Jelly did time. We've talked about that”, referencing the stint Cody spent working as a guard in his home-state.
Heartwarmingly, despite speaking elsewhere in the interview about how Jelly Roll may seem like they couldn't be further apart upon first glance, Cody Johnson stressed that they both have to contend with similar strains, “We put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best husband, to try to be the best father, for our [bands], to try to be the best leader, to be the best performer...it's almost like a blessing and a curse, because we put so much on ourselves”.
Cody concluded by saying, “I relate to [Jelly Roll], and he relates to me. We're so opposite. You know, you've got the cowboy hat and the face tattoos - I think it's just an ‘opposites attract’ kind of thing”.
Cody Johnson is the flag-bearer for Texas’ much-loved neo-traditional style of country music, embodied by homegrown heroes such as George Strait and George Jones. Jelly Roll, on the other hand, has built a reputation for his shape-shifting, chameleonic sound, which flits inventively between rap, rock and country.
This being said, a joint song featuring both Cody Johnson and Jelly Roll would be a ground-breaking moment for the genre, and would hopefully serve as a thrilling fusion between two hugely popular but starkly distinct styles of country music. Watch this space.
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