"If you'd have asked me where I was gonna be nine months ago, I wouldn't have told you here," Chris Janson tells Rolling Stone Country. "I would have just said touring and doing my deal."
A year ago this week, Janson was in Las Vegas doing precisely that, playing a string of nightly shows to a sometimes sparse crowd of National Finals Rodeo fans outside of a casino on the Strip. Tonight, however, he's returning to Vegas and to NFR — performing to a much larger audience on Fremont Street. Such is the power of a hit single. For Janson, that's "Buy Me a Boat."
On the strength of that song, Janson's first Number One, the Missouri native landed tours with Toby Keith, Luke Bryan and now Blake Shelton. The Warner Music Nashville label mates will hit the road in February. But despite Shelton's reputation for boozing (Janson drinks only Mountain Dew), his opening act doesn't anticipate a raucous road trip.
"Before you go on tour with people, you think it's going to be rowdy, but from my personal experience. . . it's not that way at all," Janson says of his upcoming tour. "I'm going into it with a humble heart. I'm very thankful for the opportunity, because [Blake] could have picked anybody."
Janson says fans — and Shelton — can expect him to bring his A game. "When you're opening the show, sometimes you can get that opening-act stigma, and I won't accept that," he says. "I go out there and give it all I got from the very beginning. And it's paid off. You just put the work in and you'll reap the rewards."
Janson's new single, "Power of Positive Drinkin'," has just entered the country charts.