Nashville, TN — I had been hearing buzz about Whiskey Myers from multiple sources, but never heard them on the radio stations I normally listen to. Therefore, when I was given the chance to hear and meet them in person, I could not pass up the once in a lifetime opportunity. They are not a new group as Whiskey Myers has been together for over 10 years. In the southern rock world, they are very well-known and revered as their fans packed out a sold-out show at Nashville’s famed venue, The Cannery Ballroom.
Before their show, Cody Cannon (Lead Vocals, Guitar) and John Jeffers (Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Lap Steel, Vocals) sat down with me for an interview. It turns out these two from Palestine, Texas, have been friends since childhood and have been playing in a band together for 11 years. Cannon stated that he never set out to play music. “I never had an ‘aha’ moment. I just looked up and now I am sitting on the couch talking to you. It just kind of happened. We just like playing music. You think about doing that for a living but that never seemed real. Its fantasy stuff, like you have the same chance as being quarterback for the Cowboys. Over time you are just playing show after show and you look up one day. We never set out to be anything, we just like playing our music and it just happened.”
Ballard of Southern Man was one of the songs that launched their career. When I asked what was it about a southern man that others didn’t understand, Jeffers stated, “It’s really the blue-collar man. It’s kind of a universal appeal. You can be in Brooklyn New York and still have the blue-collar feel.” Cannon continued, “It was kind of a ‘kiss my ass’ type song.” Many people don’t get the southern lifestyle. Cody politely agreed, “But, there is nothing wrong with that. We might not get them fully too. Being a southern man can mean different things to different people. But most of our music is tailored to the blue collar worker.”
Like most of the artists who write and perform their own music, they write what they know. And what Whiskey Myers knows is Texas Red Dirt Country infused with Southern Rock sensibility that creates a unique sound which is all their own. That is why songs like On the River, Mud, Lightning Bugs and Rain and Deep Down South really resonate with the southerner and/or blue-collar worker.
Their biggest hit to date is Stone, which was featured on Kevin Costner’s Yellowstone where they actually got to be in an episode. Cody Cannon’s vocals along with Kevin Costner’s cinematography will stop you in your tracks when you see/listen to it. Cannon exclaimed, “[Filming that episode] was great, everybody was so nice. It was a cool experience. We had never done anything like that before. We got to be actors for a day.” Even though many of the Whiskey Meyers’ songs are featured on the show Yellowstone, I am not sure that Cody Cannon or Whiskey Myers have any clue how outstanding they are.
This year they have been invited to perform at the iconic Stagecoach Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California at the end of April. Jeffers explained, “We’ve toured the West Coast a lot, but we’ve never got the chance to play Stagecoach.” Cody agreed, “Any time we get to chance to play some music we are excited to do it.”
Whiskey Myers currently just completed recording their 5th album, tentatively named, Die Rockin’ which unlike their previous records, was self-produced. Jeffers stated, “You learn some stuff from self-producing, but I think we’ve matured enough to do it. Some parts were easier, some parts were harder. Before, once you got done with your part in the studio, you could leave and let someone else take care of the rest.” Cody said, “We were worried about stuff on the front end like creativity, parts and tones and stuff like that just came so naturally. Other stuff like background vocals and mixing had to get done even though were scheduled to be back on the road.”
Since they write all the music they perform, Die Rockin’ isn’t all that different in that aspect. Jeffers stated, “It’s pretty authentic us.” After hearing the title track live, I can assure that it is as organic and raw as the rest of their music. Cannon explained, “It’s hard for us to say whether the album is different or not because we are so close to it. Somebody else is going to have to say if it’s different or not. We don’t care if we sound southern rock or country or rock or anything. We just go in there and do it and that’s how it comes out.” Jeffers continued, “We are not emulating anything, it’s just who we are. Sometimes we sound like Skynyrd and sometimes we sound like something else.”
To date, Whiskey Myers has sold 355 thousand+ albums and amassed 134 Million+ streams as they’ve established a devoted fan-base through relentless touring schedules, playing nearly 2,000 shows since their formation just 10 years ago.
While being a part of a packed out crowd who knew every word to every song that they had previously released, I can assure you that Whiskey Myers will be a part of our lives for a very long time. Once you hear their music, you will be one of those singing along. After having recently attended the Farewell Tours for both Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Seger, my heart is warmed by the fact that Whiskey Myers is going strong and that southern rock (or whatever genre they are) will be around long after I am gone.
You can follow Whiskey Myers on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram at @whiskeymyers.