Closing out 2023 the way Charlie Daniels would have wanted it.
New Year’s celebrations have been getting more and more extravagant over the years. With every major city having its version of the celebration, there is plenty of New Year’s Eve viewing for those of us who choose to spend the evening from the couch.
While I spent my evening switching back and forth from Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper broadcast (thank god CNN let them drink this year) to Nashville’s Big Bash, one performance I was so glad I did not miss was Cody Johnson’s.
We all know that Cody Johnson is the real deal, and he once again proved that he can talk and walk the walk with his New Year’s Eve performance. His cover of Charlie Daniels’ “Long Haired Country Boy” got the folks of Whiskey River Saloon rockin’.
The song, initially recorded in 1974, is a classic. With Daniels’ low and smooth vocals, the twangs of his voice as he sings the song about a simple country boy cannot be beat. Johnson recorded his version of the song for his 2019 album Ain’t Nothin’ To It, and I love that he has kept it in his setlist over the years.
Johnson counts off the band for them to start playing, and he begins stomping his boots on stage, which he is known for. The sound stomps of his wooden soles hitting the stage get the crowd going.
From the start, the band’s energy is electric, so you know it’s going to be a good performance. Johnson jumps in on the vocals and nails every single note while still having a little bit of fun as he sings the lyrics.
“But sometimes I think that preacher man Would like to do a little walking, too
But I ain’t asking nobody for nothin’ If I can’t get it on my own If you don’t like the way I’m livin’ You just leave this long-haired country boy alone…”
During the bridge, he steps aside and lets his band have a shining moment as they bring the Texas honky tonk flair to Tennessee. Hands down, it was one of the best performances of the evening from Nashville. (If you aren’t counting Elle King’s internet-breaking performance.)