With his first album for Warner Music Nashville, Buy Me a Boat, making a strong showing in its first week of release — a week dominated by Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church — Chris Janson made his debut appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. While the Missouri native is currently working his new single “Power of Positive Drinkin’,” he chose to perform the LP’s title track, the workingman’s anthem that went Number One in September.
Delivered in a slightly slower tempo and deeper voice, the performance highlighted Janson’s natural-born twang, as well as the mad harmonica skills that made him a must-see during his playing-for-tips days on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. Now riding a wave of buzz, the singer-songwriter (he has two songs on the upcoming Hank Williams Jr. album) has graduated to arenas — he’ll open Blake Shelton’s winter tour, beginning February 18th in Cincinnati.
“I’ve got a schedule that’s so strenuous, but that’s a good thing; I love it. It’s good to have a job. It’s good to be known, too,” Janson tells Rolling Stone Country. “When you go out and play a lot of years for people and you’re building it grass roots, fan by fan. . . Now I have a fan base that’s already established, thanks to people hearing me on the radio. I’m busier than ever and proud to be busy.”