It’s not an easy task to match the caliber of duet partners Willie Nelson and Jamey Johnson, whom Ward Davis recruited for a cover of Ed Bruce’s “Old Wore Out Cowboys” on his 2015 LP, 15 Years in a 10 Year Town. Frequent collaborator Cody Jinks, however, who comes from the Johnson school of barroom baritone, filled the beard – er, bill – with dusty depth on stage at Davis’ recent show in Newport, Kentucky. Watch above.
Bruce first recorded the track, then titled “Old Wore Out Cowboy,” on his 1978 album Cowboys & Dreamers. It was the same year that Nelson and Waylon Jennings turned Bruce’s most famous song, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys,” into a chart-topping hit. If that seems like two steps in a six-degrees-of cowboy-separation, it is: Johnson released “The Last Cowboy” in 2008, and Jinks “Hippies and Cowboys” in 2010 – so, suffice it to say, this is a crew keeping country’s wrangler dreams well intact.
Jinks wrote the title track to I’m Not the Devil, one of Rolling Stone‘s Best Country Albums of 2016, with Davis. The duo is currently on the road together through February with Paul Cauthen.