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Review: Cody Johnson Keeps Real Country Music Alive

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Review: Cody Johnson Keeps Real Country Music Alive

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Review: Cody Johnson Keeps Real Country Music Alive
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Cody Johnson tried to turn Pinnacle Bank Arena into Austin's legendary Broken Spoke by asking the audience to "Dance His House" on Friday night as he wrapped up his grueling set.

"The last time we played in this city we sold 4,000 tickets," he said. "There are over 10,000 people in this room. Turn on the lights. I want to see all those people."

Clearly impressed by the crowd, Johnson later referred to his previous Nebraska performances, telling a story about playing here after Nashville executives who loved the songs rejected him as an artist because he "didn't want to take off that cowboy hat." ." . "

This emphatic purveyor of country music sent him into independent tracks, playing traditional honky-tonks and country bars across the country.

"I want you to understand what 10,000 tickets means to me," Johnson said. "It's been over a decade of selling my stuff…every show, every shirt, everything I buy and do has helped bring true country music to life."

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Then came "On My Way To You", his first single, dedicated to the public.

As he does at every show I've seen him play here, Johnson delivers 100 minutes of real, roaring energy…and he just keeps getting better and having fun.

Since the debut of "Honkytonk Hardwood Floor," the band couldn't have done it more effectively, for example, following the love song "Nothin' On You" to the danceable "Son of a Ramblin' Man."

Then came a biographical documentary about a runner who failed to become a regional star, titled "Dear Rodeo," with the audience singing along to parts of Reba McIntyre, "Let's Build Fire" and the biggest surprise of the night.

Johnson said, "We played this song last night. It's a random chord. What the hell. We're going to play the Dixie Chicks for you."

This song is "Traveling Soldier". Johnson and his five-man field band (with fiddle and steel) pulled it off.

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Johnson saved his career with the hit "Til You Can't" until the end of the show. He needn't have done it: the crowd was so bound by the jump that he could have done it first and still blown the roof off.

Johnson was able to earn two CMAs in a matter of months, which is a credit.

But perhaps the best measure of his talent and success was the presence of 10,000 people in the stadium, singing almost every song. And I predict he'll sell out the place when he goes to Lincoln.

Photo: Lincoln Street Jamie Johnson Lincoln Street, 8.12

Crowds began to gather ahead of Lincoln's Friday concert at the Centennial Mall on Straits Street. Country music star Jamie Johnson took center stage.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Country musician Jamie Johnson plays guitar at Lincoln's Streets on August 12th. Lincoln on Streets featured Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Charlie Starr, lead singer of Blackberry Smoke, will be performing at Lincoln's Street Party on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Charlie Starr, lead singer of Blackberry Smoke, will be performing at Lincoln's Street Party on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

BlackBerry Smoke hits Lincoln Streets on August 12th. Lincoln on Streets featured Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Country singer Ella Langley performs at Lincoln Streets on August 12th. Lincoln hits the road with Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

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Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Charlie Starr, lead singer of Blackberry Smoke, will be performing at Lincoln's Street Party on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Country singer Ella Langley performs at Lincoln Streets on August 12th. Lincoln hits the road with Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Charlie Starr, lead singer of Blackberry Smoke, will be performing at Lincoln's Street Party on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Country singer Ella Langley performs at Lincoln Streets on August 12th. Lincoln hits the road with Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Country singer Ella Langley performs at Lincoln Streets on August 12th. Lincoln hits the road with Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

BlackBerry Smoke bassist Richard Turner performs at Lincoln on the Streets on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Charlie Starr, lead singer of Blackberry Smoke, will be performing at Lincoln's Street Party on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Country musician Jamie Johnson performs at Lincoln Streets on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Charlie Starr, lead singer of Blackberry Smoke, will be performing at Lincoln's Street Party on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Keyboardist and country musician Jamie Johnson will perform at Lincoln on the Streets on August 12th. Lincoln on Streets featured Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

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Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Charlie Starr, lead singer of Blackberry Smoke, will be performing at Lincoln's Street Party on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Country singer Ella Langley performs at Lincoln Streets on August 12th. Lincoln hits the road with Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Charlie Starr, lead singer of Blackberry Smoke, will be performing at Lincoln's Street Party on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Charlie Starr, lead singer of Blackberry Smoke, will be performing at Lincoln's Street Party on August 12th.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Country musician Jamie Johnson performs at Lincoln Streets on August 12th. Lincoln on Streets featured Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley. =

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Country musician Jamie Johnson performs at Lincoln Streets on August 12th. Lincoln on Streets featured Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

BlackBerry Smoke hits Lincoln Streets on August 12th. Lincoln on Streets featured Grammy-nominated country musician Jamie Johnson and special guests Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.

Noah Reeve, Lincoln Diary Star on the Street, 8.12

Crowds gather in front of Lincoln in the streets on August 12.

Newspaper star Noah Reeve

Contact the editor at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com. Kent Wolgamott on Twitter

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