By Joshua Wallace
All Photography By Joshua Wallace
This past Thursday on November 7th, 2019 I had the chance to see Cody Jinks live with Lucero and Ward Davis as opening acts. I arrived at the Albany Civic Center shortly after 6pm. That was the time printed on the ticket and on everything on social media, so I assumed it meant doors were at 6pm. Nope, the show started at 6pm and I could hear Ward Davis already going as I got my ticket at Will Call. I walked into the Civic Center as Ward was playing “Old Wore Out Cowboys” from his 15 Years In A Ten Year Town album. This song normally features Jamey Johnson and Willie Nelson on the record, but this time we had an early guest appearance from Cody Jinks who graced the stage for a verse in the song. The crowd was still filling in at this point as like me, I assume most people thought the show started at 7pm.
Ward Davis put on a good set this evening with tracks like “Get To Work Whiskey” and his cover of “Big River”. He also got around to “Good and Drunk” which is my favorite track off the Asunder EP he released last year. He rounded out the set on the keys playing tracks like “15 Years In A 10 Year Town”, “I Got You” and a rousing rendition of The Eagles hit “Desperado”.
Lucero was up next and I admit, I’m not the biggest fan of theirs and I was hoping to get a better feel for the band in a live setting, but it didn’t work out that way this evening. Between Ward and Cody, they were kind of the odd band in the sound mixing department and I don’t think that worked in their favor. I did pick up on a few songs they played like “On My Way Downtown” which is my favorite track from the 2012 Women and Work album. Ben Nichols did a stripped down version of what I think was “The War” from the 2005 release Nobody’s Darlings. They also did “Texas & Tennessee” from their 2013 EP of the same name. They also played a newer song called “Hello My Name Is Izzy” which has been released as a single. They finished the set with a track from the 2002 release Tennessee titled “The Last Song”. I hope to be able to catch this band live again soon and catch a full set next time.
You could tell this crowd is ready for Cody Jinks by the time he hit the stage. Before we get into Cody’s set, I have to commend whoever was playing music before Cody came on. They mixed classic country hits with songs from current artists like Paul Cauthen, Alex Williams, Whitey Morgan and others who many in this crowd might not have heard of as Albany, GA is a fairly new market for Jinks.
Cody Jinks started right away with music from his new records. He kicked the set off with “Same Kind Of Crazy As Me” from The Wanting. This set was heavy on new tunes, but he plays a long enough set list that you still get everything you want. Speaking of the set list, he is doing something interesting with his set lists as of late. He has lines with two songs listed instead of one. It seems like these are parts in the set where he has two songs in the same key lined up and can select either one. This is a very cool way of doing things. It gives the band flexibility to read the room and it potentially gives fans a different experience each night instead of just having the same old set.
Jinks then went on with the title track off the Lifers album and followed that up my personal favorite off that record “Big Last Name”. More new songs followed with “Tell Em What It’s Like” and “The Wanting”. After those tracks we got into “I’m Not The Devil” which had a special appearance from Ward Davis who sang a verse. Albany, GA was also the site of the very first live version of “Where Even Angels Fear To Fly”. I really dig this one live and it is quickly becoming a favorite of mine off The Wanting album.
We also got another favorite track of mine off The Wanting album with “Which One I Feed”. I was especially looking forward to this one as it was one of my favorite preview tracks leading up to the albums release. More new music soon followed with “Ain’t A Train”. This song is huge for the fiddle solo that hits you hard every time it drops in the song. Well, the live band does not have a fiddle player so Austin “Hot Rod” Tripps grabs a dobro instead. While it’s a good track live, it’s just not the same without that hot fiddle solo. Jinks mentioned that this is one of his most upbeat setlists he’s ever done before going into one of his biggest tear jerker tracks in “David”. It still hits hard in a live setting.
Another new track followed with “Wounded Mind”. This isn’t one that I had anticipated hearing live, but it’s a good one. It’s a very good deep cut from The Wanting. Up next we had “Holy Water” from Lifers and “Think Like You Think” from After The Fire. There is a bit of irony singing a song like “Think Like You Think” in front of a drunk and rowdy crowd on a Thursday night, but it’s a damn good song live. “Cast No Stones” was one of the highlights of this night for me. It’s one of my favorite Jinks tracks overall, but this is especially good live as he brings the house lights up for an extended sing-a-long with the crowd. “Must Be The Whiskey” and “Hippies and Cowboys” closed out the regular set. “Must Be The Whiskey” is a huge fan favorite off the album Lifers and it feels like a hit every time I hear it live. Jinks came out for a two song encore which included the acoustic leaning “The Raven and The Dove” and one of his biggest fan favorite songs “Loud and Heavy”.
This was my third time seeing Cody Jinks live and his show never disappoints. From seeing him at the Ryman a couple of years ago to this show, he keeps getting better. He’s upped his showmanship a lot recently. He picks out kids in the crowd and gives them guitar picks and acknowledges signs and interacts with the crowd in a meaningful way. A lot of independent artists don’t do this level of crowd interaction but it is a must for bigger stages and crowds. Cody Jinks is riding high and the sky’s the limit. He’s always on tour and I can’t wait till the next time I get to see him live. You can find out if he’s coming to a town near you at this link.