Cody Jinks Plays Surprise Show at Little Rock’s White Water Tavern

photo: courtesy of Samantha D. Platte

It’s one of those opportunities you wish to experience from your favorite artists, but very rarely get to. Some long time Cody Jinks fans can remember when the Ft. Worth, TX native was traveling around in a van, and performing in places like the intimate White Water Tavern in Little Rock, Arkansas, which looks like a run down shack at an elbow in the road, and has a capacity somewhere shy of 100. But that’s been years ago. Now Jinks is selling out amphitheaters and small arenas, and headlining festivals.

But on Sunday evening (11-7), some lucky bastards in Little Rock got a last minute, intimate acoustic performance that Jinks announced just hours before the doors opened. Admission? Name your price. And it all went to the Ronald McDonald House of Little Rock. It also helped to support a local venue that like so many of them over the last 18 months, has been hanging on by a shoestring.

“Last night was one of those nights that you hear about and say, damn, that kinda stuff never happens here! But it sure did,” says Samantha D. Platte of Little Rock. “Cody Jinks walked right up in the White Water Tavern with probably 60 people and played for a couple hours, took requests, told stories about Ward Davis (and other things), told us how much he didn’t care for Sam Hunt, and just sat back and drank some beers and laughed, and played great music! I loved every single minute of it!”

The White Water Tavern is known nationally for being a jumping off point for scores of up-and-coming artists, as well as for hosting legends in a more intimate environment. Multiple live recordings have been made there over the years as well, and the venue caters to country, Americana, and indie rock bands alike.

It appeared at one point that the venue would be one of the numerous casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic after it shut down, but Last Chance Records owner Travis Hill and his wife Natalee Miller stepped up to resuscitate the space, and it’s back to hosting music full time. Some Cody Jinks fans groused that vaccine or a negative test was required for the show, completely overlooking the show was name your price for charity, and an opportunity to see Cody Jinks in the most intimate setting possible.

The White Water Tavern has been around since the 70’s and has hosted many legendary shows. But Cody Jinks flanked by his guitar players playing an unexpected acoustic performance will certainly make a White Water story for the ages. The last time Jinks played Little Rock, it was at the Robinson Center, capacity 2,200, with some tickets on the secondary market going for over $200.

Cody’s latest country album Mercy, along with the debut album from his heavy metal side project Caned By Nod come out this Friday, November 12th.

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