When CMT announced it would fund and produce its first-ever music video specifically for an artist, the network chose Chris Janson, whose out-of-nowhere single “Buy Me a Boat” catapulted him onto country radio. Apparently, CMT was convinced of the song’s buoyancy, even debuting the video online during its tent-pole CMT Music Awards earlier this month.
Filmed in Joelton, Tennessee, and directed by P.R. Brown (Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs”), “Buy Me a Boat” doesn’t reinvent the wheel — Janson stands in a bass boat, singing, playing guitar and getting soaked — but it does capture him in his element: surrounded by his family and friends. At one point, Nashville star and Janson’s frequent songwriting collaborator Charles Esten floats by on a kayak. The pair performed onstage together at the Grand Ole Opry in April.
Janson recently marked his 100th performance at the Opry, which is where he first debuted “Buy Me a Boat” live. “It got a standing ovation. It was like, ‘Oh my gosh,'” Janson recently told Rolling Stone Country. “I don’t just say it for gesture: It’s a huge blessing to play the Opry. And the first time I played ‘Boat,’ people were laughing from the get-go, from humor, and people were hooting and hollering. It was a packed-out house, and when you sing real songs in front of people, they’ll gravitate toward real.”
The Missouri native, who turned in a show-stopping performance at CMA Music Festival earlier this month, has been taking “Boat” — which was also used in a Pepsi commercial — around the country as the opening act on Toby Keith’s Good Times & Pick Up Lines Tour.
“We wanted to write a lifestyle piece that not only us but other people can identify with,” Janson says of the song, which he co-wrote with Chris DuBois. “We tried to write it to America and people who live normal lifestyles. I am that guy.”
Janson will perform at Country Fest in Wisconsin this Wednesday, before heading to Detroit for a weekend show with Keith.