That’s right, Saving Country Music is brushing off this old feature, and featuring another name from the modern era of country music badasses in Cody Jinks after his recent run over the last few years has made him one of the most formidable names in independent country.
If you want to see more names in this series:
- 10 Badass Waylon Jennings Moments
- 10 Badass Johnny Cash Moments
- 10 Badass Willie Nelson Moments
- 10 Badass Merle Haggard Moments
- 10 Badass Sturgill Simpson Moments
- 10 Badass Wanda Jackson Moments
- 10 Badass Marty Stuart Moments
- 10 Badass George Jones Moments
- 10 Badass Hank3 Moments
- 10 Badass Billy Joe Shaver Moments
- 10 Badass Kris Kristofferson Moments
- 10 Badass Alan Jackson Moments
- 10 Badass David Allan Coe Moments
- 10 Badass Dolly Parton Moments
- 10 Badass Hank Williams Jr. Moments
1. Being 1st Independent Country Artist in Modern Era to Go Platinum
Before 2020, we didn’t even think it was possible for independent artists in country music to obtain those Gold and Platinum records you see hanging on the walls with the names of superstars on them. That all changed when Tyler Childers got a Certified Gold single from the RIAA for his song “Feathered Indians” for sales and streaming equivalents of 500,000 units.
Cody Jinks was right behind Tyler, minting Certified Gold singles for the songs “Loud and Heavy,” and then “Hippies & Cowboys.” But then on September 15th, 2020, Cody Jinks upped the ante even more when “Loud and Heavy” went PLATINUM for sales and streaming equivalents of 1 million units—the first independent country artist to do so in the modern era.
No mainstream radio play, no major award show appearances, no significant help from the industry whatsoever, and Cody Jinks had a certified smash hit song. It speaks to the power of the music of Cody Jinks, and the dedication of his fans.
2. Twisting Off on Sam Hunt
Sam Hunt released a terrible song in 2020 that sampled the Webb Pierce classic “There Stand The Glass.” Cody Jinks caught a whiff of it inadvertently, and went off. Funny thing is, he didn’t even know it was a Sam Hunt song. He just knew it was godawful.
“I guess I’m just behind the times, I don’t keep up with what’s going on with mainstream radio serving any format,” Cody began in a Facebook missive. “I turned that shit off years ago when I heard how bad the major market stations from most every genre were caving to big labels and playing trash. Trash rock, trash country, trash r&b, trash metal, etc. I don’t make fun of people for what record labels make them sing, I simply chose not to be one of those people, cool.
“However, I was waiting at the dentist office today and they had on a pop country station. That’s fine, but I thought that when the iconic Webb Pierce song “There Stands The Glass” came on there might be a ray of sunshine. Then the sample went off and I heard the biggest piece of shit I’ve heard in a long time. I didn’t know who it was but I was pissed. So much in fact that my blood pressure went up and the dental staff had to wait till it went down to start on me. For the love of God, please stop incorporating classic Country samples into shit songs. It’s not paying homage, it’s a slap in the face.”
3. Releasing a Magum Opus in Adobe Sessions
If you want to leave an indelible mark on the world as a music artist, you need that one album anyone can point to that near universal agreement has coalesced around, and time has certified its importance and appeal. Cody Jinks has that album in what many people consider his masterpiece, 2015’s Adobe Sessions. It was the success of this record that really launched the career of Cody Jinks, and minted him as a independent country hero.
Looking back on the track list of the album today, and songs like “Cast No Stones,” “Mamma Song,” and what turned out to be the 2015 Saving Country Music Song of the Year in 2015, “David,” it really speaks to the depth of Cody Jinks as a songwriter and artist, not just a burly, bearded performer who can put on one hell of a live show.
Adobe Sessions is one of those album you feel confident folks will be listening to 50 years from now, or more.
4. Earning The Ringing Endorsement of Randy Travis
Country music may have lost one of its most iconic voices when Randy Travis suffered a stroke in 2013, giving Randy aphasia. But he still lets his feelings known who he believes is carrying the torch for country music forward.
On January 25th, 2019 at Heritage Hall in Ardmore, Oklahoma—shortly after Jinks performed “Diggin’ Up Bones”—Randy Travis himself surprised Cody Jinks by coming out on stage. Accompanied by his wife Mary Davis, Randy personally thanked Cody Jinks as Jinks humbly took his hat off and the crowd began to chant in unison, “Randy! Randy! Randy!”
Then Mary Davis told the assembled crowd,“[Remember] when George Jones said, ‘Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?’ He said Randy Travis. And I just want to tell you tonight, when people ask us who is gonna fill Randy Travis’s shoes, [it’s] Cody Jinks.”
And that’s not all. In Randy’s autobiography, he also mentions Cody Jinks, saying, “Besides working with various charities and benevolent groups, Mary and I continue going out to hear other artists, both to hear the music we love and also encourage our fellow artists,” Randy writes on the final page of the book. “I especially enjoy encouraging some of the new stars of country music, such as Cody Jinks and others.”
Big endorsements from a Country Music Hall of Famer
5. Selling Out Red Rocks & The Ryman
It’s one thing to roust up a big fans base around the country and world and be able to put an album at the top of the charts on your debut week. It’s another entirely to be able to get butts in seats in some of the biggest and most iconic venues in music. Cody Jinks has done both.
On Octber 22nd and 23rd of 2017, Cody Jinks not only held court in the Mother Church of Country Music, a.k.a. The Ryman Auditorium right in the belly of the Nashville beast, he sold out the two consecutive nights—a feat that is seen by many as a rite of passage for a country music star.
But even that feat was dwarfed when Cody sold out the iconic Red Rock Amphitheater in Colorado, filling every one of the venue’s nearly 10,000 seats on July 13th 2019. Sure, many others have accomplished this over the years, but few have without the support of radio or the industry.
“Guys like us that said ‘Fuck You’ to the music industry don’t play places like this,” Cody Jinks said from the stage. ‘But we are very sincerely grateful for all of you coming out. This place is a bucket list venue for anybody that does this for a living.”
Jinks also had a professional sound crew on hand, and eventually released his Red Rocks set as a live album.
6. Giving Up-and-Coming Artists a Hand Up
So many artists in the orbit of Cody Jinks will attest how he’s helped grow their fans bases and launch their careers from appearing with them either in the studio or on the stage. Along with bringing artists like Ward Davis, Sunny Sweeney, Tennessee Jet, Paul Cauthen, Josh Morningstar, and many others out on the road with him, Cody’s guested on tracks from folks like Casper McWade.
Perhaps the best example of this was in July of 2019. Somerset, Kentucky-based singer and songwriter Jordan Foster was playing a show at Champions Sports Bar & Grill in Richmond, Kentucky when Cody Jinks walked in the door. Jinks was in town playing a couple of shows at Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts a couple of blocks away, and stopped in after his show for a drink.
A huge Cody Jinks fan, Jordan Foster was shocked when as he was singing the old Waylon Jennings standard “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out of Hand,” Cody Jinks emerged from the crowd and started singing with him. Jinks stayed all the way until the end of Jordan’s show, and afterwards invited Jordan to hang out with him on the bus where Jinks requested to hear some of Jordan’s recorded material. Cody Jinks was so impressed with the Jordan and his music, he invited him to open the show the next night with his band.
“The crowd went crazy during all my songs and even gave us a standing ovation,” Jordan Foster says. “As I was was walking off the stage Cody was waiting on me and said, ‘Turn around man look, they’re standing up for you!’ It was an awesome experience.”
That speaks to the character of Cody Jinks (read the full story).
7. Always Showing Respect to Songwriters
Cody Jinks is considered one of the best country music songwriters of our era, and wrote many of his early hits himself. But he’s also called upon the services of co-writers over the years, especially on some of his more recent albums. And similar to how he uses the attention he’s been awarded to help shed light on other performers, Cody Jinks also makes sure to highlight his songwriters.
In an era when it seems hard to impossible to find the names of the songwriters, Cody Jinks set up a feature on his website where not only could you find the songwriters and contributors to each song, but often the story behind the song as well.
Some of the songwriters Cody Jinks worked with on the new records include familiar names to Cody fans such as Ward Davis, Tennessee Jet, Paul Cauthen, Rebecca Jinks, and Josh Morningstar, along with other names some may recognize such as Larry Hooper, Casper McWade, Jamie Richards, Jaida Dryer, and Jamey Johnson guitarist and songwriter, Chris Hennessee.
8. Going #1 in Album Sales for Two Separate Albums of Consecutive Weeks
In the fall 2019 Cody Jinks surprised everyone when first revealing one new album called After The Fire, and then revealing he had a second album called The Wanting he was going to release the week after. Upon the release of the two albums, Cody Jinks made country history at that time by minting two separate albums released on consecutive weeks that both went #1 in pure album sales.
Both After The Fire and The Wanting sold about 12,500 in pure albums—pretty unprecedented for an independent artist, or any artist during the streaming era. Both albums also racked up enough streams to come in at #2 on the Billboard Country Albums charts, and #3 in pure album sales in all of music.
It was yet another notch of his belt, and another record for Cody Jinks.
9. Showing Respects to Heroes
The loyalty for Cody Jinks from his closest fans called “Flockers” is due to him being such a blue-collar hero. Whenever he’s up on the stage, Cody Jinks doesn’t feel like a superstar. He feels like one of them.
But Cody Jinks has always taken of his time to show respect to the real life heroes as well. On Veteran’s Day 2017, Cody Jinks played to a capacity crowd at The Roundup in Boerne, TX near San Antonio. The guests of honor for the night were service members from VFW Post 688 in Boerne, with members of Cody’s Flockers fan club purchasing VIP tables for the veterans and their families, and the event helping to raise funds for the local VFW chapter.
But that wasn’t all. Along with meeting with many of the veterans, Cody Jinks also hung out with Johnnie Langendorff, another hero who some may remember as the lanky cowboy that drove by a mass shooting occurring at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas in 2017, saw a guy named Stephen Willeford exchanging gunfire with the mass shooter, and eventually picked up Willeford and pursued the gunman until the gunman crashed and police arrived.
10. Saying “Fuck Nashville, We’ll Start Our Own Damn Club”
Participating in the Tailgate N’ Tallboys music series in Peoria, Illinois on July 21st, 2018, Cody Jinks had some choice words for Music City. Cody Jinks is usually a man of few words while on stage. He let’s his music do the talking. But after Jinks, Whitey Morgan, Ward Davis, and Paul Cauthen sang together during Cody’s set, the usually non-talkive Cody Jinks burst out,
“Ain’t this shit fun? See this is shit you used to see back in the 70’s when all those motherfuckers were out there singing and playing together, playing and singing and recording each other’s songs. We’re bringing that back! We said ‘Fuck Nashville, we’ll start our own goddamn club.’”
And Cody Jinks has.
Bonus #11 – Supporting the Steel Woods After Tragedy
Country and Southern rock band The Steel Woods made their first live appearance back after the tragic death of their guitarist and founding father Jason “Rowdy” Cope on January 16th at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, and one of the band’s closest friends was there to offer his support.
Lead singer Wes Bayliss, bassist Johnny Stanton, and drummer Isaac Senty chose to continue forward with the blessing of Rowdy’s family and with what they believe would be Rowdy’s wishes. Rowdy died unexpectedly due to complications with diabetes. Guitarist Tyler Powers was named as the replacement for Rowdy moving forward.
Cody Jinks was there to not just cheer them on and offer his support, but took the stage to sing the Merle Haggard classic, “Are The Good Times Really Over” with the band.