As Cody describes his song "Doin' Time in Nashville", he talked about how deep the song is. It is, and even though I'm not an artist, songwriter or musician, you can see how it may feel like you're stuck in a jail cell and nobody is watching your next move. Don't get it twisted, Nashville is a magical place and the land of opportunity in Country Music. You get to meet some amazing people, but just like everyone, sometimes you have some doubts about what the future holds. It doesn’t matter if you're Luke Combs, or someone who moved to Nashville a week ago, this song is relatable and will strike a chord with any artist, songwriter or musician.
Get To Know Cody
"I'm originally from Lamar, Missouri, a small town in southwest Missouri. Most people have never heard of it. It's close to Joplin, which is over that way as well. I grew up on a farm a few minutes from the Kansas line and went to school in Springfield at Missouri State University. I got my degree in Agriculture. The plan was to go back home and loan money to farmers, but music happened and here I am in Nashville. I've been in Nashville, I think 13 years now. When I'm not playing music, I'm out racing cars. I drag race a '71 Dodge Dart and a '19 Dodge Hellcat Challenger."
Sometimes the Truth Hurts
"Doin' Time in Nashville" is one of those songs that you hear and then stop and think. Country Music is about telling a story. It is about relating to those listening - no matter where they come from, what they do or what they look like. With this jam, Cody came out swinging. A+ for songwriting, A+ for execution and an A+ on the music video. Holy shit … it looks like my elementary school report card. This is such a witty idea, intertwining the concepts of pursuing Country Music and living life behind bars. It is genius and this song deserves so much attention. By dropping lines like "by the time I got to Nashville I was wondering why the hell I came" and "may not be inside a cold cell, but it's hard times just the same", Cody captures that “sometimes, even if you're doing what you love it can still be a grind and struggle through and through” feeling. Cody Walker has a nice traditional country sound that will catch some people's attention.
Inspiration Behind "Doin' Time in Nashville"
Written By: Cody Waker & Matt Stell
"I wrote it with Matt Stell, who's a good buddy of mine. We've been friends for a long time. He went to school in Springfield as well, and played basketball at Drury. We met playing the same bars and stages in like '03 or '04. That's such a long time ago when you really think about it. My wife and I moved to Nashville in 2008, Stell and I had written this in 2013. At the time, he was coming to Nashville to visit and would stay in our spare bedroom. My wife is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and absolutely loves it there. When we moved to Nashville, she hated it. Stell and I would always give her a hard time about it and that's where the song came from. Originally it was just supposed to be a fun song poking fun at her, but quickly became more serious as we were writing it and realized it had some bones. I didn't play it for a while. I was playing a writer's showcase, Stell showed up in the crowd and I wanted to play a song that we had written together. It was the first time I played it live and it got an amazing reaction. People were coming up to me and talking about it afterwards. Definitely didn't realize it would resonate with people like it did."
Q & A With Cody Walker
Q: What was that "light bulb" moment when you knew you wanted to pursue music?
A: " I think I was 4 years old when I started singing George Strait songs. He was a huge influence of mine. I would go to family functions and dinners and would sing in front of my family. I grew up singing in church and throughout my whole life, but I never picked up an instrument until I was in high school. One of my high school football coaches asked if I played guitar because he had heard me sing. I told him I didn't and he was nice enough to show me a few strings on guitar. I came home that night after he had shown me 3 chords, G, C and D and practiced. There are so many songs you can play with just those chords that I instantly fell in love. If there was a light bulb moment that was definitely it - picking up the guitar. Wish I would have picked it up at age 4 or 5 instead of 17, but that's life."
Q: What are some songs or albums that really sparked your love for Country Music?
A: "Growing up in my household there was always music on and it was usually country. I would go to my grandparents house and sit for hours with my grandma and listen to music. She loved Hank Williams Sr., loved Patsy Cline. This was the late 80s, early 90s and she loved Clint Black, George Strait, Alan Jackson and all those guys as well. Those Hank Sr. and Patsy Cline albums really spoke to me for sure."
Q: What advice would you give your younger self?
A: "Don't take life too seriously, always pursue your dreams. I moved to Nashville to do that, but I really wish I’d done it at a younger age. I grew up on a ranch and knew how to rope horses and all that, but I always wanted to ride bareback broncs and ride them in the rodeo. I was talking to my wife about things we wish we had done and that was one on my list. I did it briefly when I was 29, but it's a young man's sport. I got thrown off my third bronc. Got a concussion, hurt my back, so that pretty much ended my career. My advice… if you have an urge to go out and try something, do it."
Q: Best concert you've ever seen?
A: "I've been lucky enough to see so many good ones. One that sticks out in my mind was before my wife and I moved to Nashville. We got to see Asleep At The Wheel open for George Jones in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I think we were at Oral Roberts University, there in the stadium. That was an amazing show! He was getting up there in the years, but just to see him play was special. A concert I didn't get to see was one I had tickets with my dad to go to. We were to see Chris LeDoux in June of 2005 but he ended up passing in March. I really wish I’d gotten to see that performance. He was another one of my big influences."