Hoopla

Chris Janson's road leads back to Cedar Rapids

Connor Dwyer

Country chameleon Chris Janson is returning to one of his favorite cities when he plays the Paramount Theatre on Saturday night. “It’s always a special show in Cedar Rapids because of the fans there and how I feel when I play that city,” he said.
Connor Dwyer Country chameleon Chris Janson is returning to one of his favorite cities when he plays the Paramount Theatre on Saturday night. “It’s always a special show in Cedar Rapids because of the fans there and how I feel when I play that city,” he said.

Chris Janson isn’t afraid of YouTube.

A number of recording artists won’t preview unreleased songs, since fans will post the fresh cuts on the internet. However, the fiery Missouri native doesn’t care about that.

When Janson takes the Paramount Theatre stage Saturday (1/19) in Cedar Rapids, he plans to showcase about six new songs, including the catchy single “Good Vibes.”

“I’m not afraid of anything,” Janson said by phone from his Nashville home. “I have no fear of anyone posting something on YouTube or anything else. If I was afraid, I would be in the wrong business.”

It takes considerable courage to be a singer/songwriter.

“The success rate isn’t very high,” Janson said. “You have to work hard and get lucky. I look at it like I’m a songwriter from 9 to 5 every day.”

Janson, 32, received his first break as songwriter when he co-wrote the smash “Truck Yeah” for Tim McGraw, which charted in 2012.

“I’ll always appreciate how things went with that song since it got my foot in the door,” Janson said. “Being a successful songwriter helped me provide for my family, which isn’t easy in this business, but I wanted more.”

It’s not surprising that he hoped to make an impact as a recording artist, since he is a gifted multi-instrumentalist. Janson hit the country charts in 2013 with “Better I Don’t,” co-written with his wife, Kelly Roland. Janson laughed when asked how he felt the first time he heard his song on the radio.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“Oh my gosh, it felt like it went by so fast,” he said. “It was such a thrill. But I knew I had much more coming.”

Janson is an eclectic recording artist. He can hit with straight country, rockers and ballads. He pens songs from the view of a father (“Bein’ a Dad”), a carouser (“Power of Positive Drinkin’”) and a guy taking the high road (“Drunk Girl”).

“I come at you in a number of different directions since I’ve worn a lot of different hats in my life,” Janson said. “Most of my songs come from real-life experiences. I’m a husband and a father, so that comes out in my music. But I can also write drinking songs, even though I don’t drink like I did in the past. For me to write in a number of different styles and with different topics makes it interesting for me and for those who support what I do.”

Janson added some drum loops to the production of his most recent album, 2017’s “Everybody.” However, he failed to join some of his country peers who have included hip-hop and R&B to their songs.

“I can only be true to myself,” he said. “I won’t do anything to sell more of my music. I’m not going to compromise. I also don’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing. I just focus on my world.”

Janson claims that any city in Iowa is his favorite place to perform.

“I know what that sounds like, but it’s the truth, because Iowa helped put me on the map as a recording artist,” he said. “I also relate to the people from Iowa. I’m a Midwest guy. That’s where I grew up and I’ll have those Midwest values for as long as I live. It’s always a special show in Cedar Rapids because of the fans there and how I feel when I play that city.”

Expect a batch of fresh material when Janson plays the Paramount Theatre, but he’s uncertain what else he’ll deliver.

“I never make up a set list,” he said. “I go up there and play what I think will work. That’s what I’ll do when I get back to Cedar Rapids. I’ll play the new songs I’m excited about and who knows what else I’ll play?”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

Since he enjoyed some success with the title cut from his debut album, “Buy Me a Boat,” did he ever purchase a boat?

“I told you I write most of my songs through experience but I never bought a boat,” he said. “I bought my wife the ring she deserves instead of a boat. I manned up, since she had to have a great ring. The funny thing is that if I bought a boat, when would I have time to be on it anyway? My schedule is crazy and I’m about to go on the road again. A boat wouldn’t help me get from city to city.”

GET OUT!

WHAT: Chris Janson

WHERE: Paramount Theatre, 123 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday (1/19)

TICKETS: $39.75 and $49.75, Paramount Ticket Office, (319) 366-8203 or Paramounttheatrecr.com

ARTIST’S WEBSITE: Chrisjanson.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Want to join the conversation?

Consider subscribing to TheGazette.com and participate in discussing the important issues to our community with other Gazette subscribers.

Already a Gazette or TheGazette.com subscriber? Just login here with your account email and password.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.