The distance between Adair’s Saloon at Deep Ellum and the Dos Equis Pavilion at Fair Park is only about three miles. But for country singer-songwriter Cody Jinks, that route isn’t measured in mileage.
Ten years ago, the Haltom High School graduate and North Texas resident was just a few years into his honky-tonk singing career, but he landed a residency gig at the beloved country bar of Elm Street, playing Tuesday nights with the occasional weekend gig to boot. For a guy who had played in a thrash metal band for 10 years before landing the Adair gig, that was a big deal.
These days, Jinks is arguably the biggest independent country artist in the country, and on May 28, he’ll headline a comeback show at Dos Equis Pavilion, a venue with roughly 100 times the capacity of the Adair’s Saloon. A look at the amphitheater’s summer schedule reveals household names like Dave Matthews Band, Halsey, Santana, Imagine Dragons and the Black Keys.
It’s not just in Dallas where Jinks is one of, if not the only, independent artist on a giant venue schedule. He just packed the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston and is set to headline the spacious Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers, Arkansas, as well as headlining impressive festivals later this year.
For Jinks, the distance between Adair’s tiny beer-stained glass stage and the cavernous Dos Equis pavilion is measured in years on the road, gold and platinum records, billions of digital streams and countless devoted fans of the whole world. But he wasn’t always the top dog in his home country. In fact, Jinks says he had to leave as often as he could to even have a chance of making it in the country.
Since the late 90s, Texas and Oklahoma have been home to a growing country scene where a new band and a new venue seem to be born every day. When Jinks started releasing albums in 2006, he felt there was more room for him to grow and hopefully attract a crowd by not deliberately inserting himself into the Texas country circuit. . Established artists such as Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, Jason Boland and Stoney LaRue were filling dance halls and clubs across Texas, so Jinks took his band a long way.
“I told Wade [Bowen] and randy [Rogers] that I left Texas because I couldn’t compete with them,” he says over the phone. “There was this cast of characters and a lot of great music here in Texas. I was playing a little more traditional kind of George Jones-type country at the time, and I was banging my head against the wall to make a crack here. At one point, we were selling more tickets in Minneapolis than at home. »
Granted, the 41-year-old Jinks has not only managed to gain a huge following close to home, but his following has grown exponentially in recent years thanks to an enviable string of successful and buzz-generating album releases. Since leaving I am not the devil in 2016, Jinks albums consistently debuted near the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart, along with those of 2015 Adobe Sessions recently received RIAA Gold certification for sales of 500,000 copies and streaming equivalents.
Aside from 2018′s Stellar sentenced to life LP, released on respected roots label Rounder Records, Jinks self-released his albums, maintaining full control from start to finish. The freedom that comes with successful album launches and the ability to attract thousands of people in virtually every city where he performs not only allows him to choose the artists he wants to work with, but also provides them with a platform -shape.
Over the years Jinks has toured, written songs and performed regularly with Nikki Lane, Paul Cauthen, Tennessee Jet, Ward Davis and Whitey Morgan, to name a few. Each performer is a viable attraction in their own right, but there’s no denying that each has benefited from their association with Jinks. Even though he can take big names like Lukas Nelson and the aforementioned Rogers and Bowen on tour for him these days, Jinks isn’t about to give up on his friends.
“I love being with these people because we’re friends first,” says Jinks. “They’re all wonderful songwriters and performers, and I’ve written songs with all of them, and that’s close to my heart. When you find a group of people that you really associate with when you’re writing or performing, it’s is something special, and I greatly admire each of them.
Another major example of Jinks letting his flag of artistic freedom fly was in November 2021, when he released a full-length hard-rock album, under the moniker Caned by Nod. Not only did he have no record label costumes to advise against, but Jinks knew his fans would welcome this musical extension of his outlaw country-style work. In 2018, he hosted the Loud and Heavy festival, in celebration of his 38th birthday, featuring country artists as well as riff-heavy metal bands, the sword and the corrosion of conformity, playing with l roaring approval from over 8,000 people who showed up in stormy conditions that day. to celebrate.
Acknowledging his success amid tons of touring and a growing number of press inquiries can sometimes be difficult for a musician, but Jinks has sometimes found himself in awe of what he’s been through. He points to the first time he performed to a packed house at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in 2017, and the time he sold the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater in 2019. He still finds it hard to believe the one of country music’s first outlaws, Kris Kristofferson, opened for him in 2017 in Grand Prairie to more than 5,000 fans.
Just last year, music line The magazine named Jinks its Independent Artist of the Year thanks to the strong national radio airplay he had received. In a young gun’s game, Jinks is still going strong, and the distance between Adair’s Saloon and Dos Equis Pavilion seems like more of a starting line than a full course.
“It feels like uncharted territory,” he says. “I feel like my career is still on a slope. I’m going to be 42 this year, but we keep growing and improving. It’s a wild ride, that’s for sure.
Cody Jinks will perform on May 28 at the Dos Equis Pavilion. To visit livenation.com for tickets.