Possessing an easy swagger and sly sense of humor, Chris Janson carved out a niche that resided somewhere between the party-hearty bro country of the 2010s and the brawny country-rock of Eric Church. Janson cut his teeth as a professional songwriter, penning Tim McGraw's "Truck Yeah" and Justin Moore's "Off the Beaten Path," prior to cutting "Buy Me a Boat," a lean and funny tune that gave him his breakthrough hit in 2015. Janson moved toward a breezier style on his subsequent hit "Fix a Drink" and 2019's Real Friends, but with All In in 2022, he emphasized the grittier elements of his music, partially through collaborations with Church.
Christopher Pierre Janson was born and raised in Missouri but moved to Nashville to pursue music the summer after finishing high school. A guitarist as well as a stellar harmonica player, Janson first made his mark as a songwriter, penning Tim McGraw's 2012 hit "Truck Yeah," and he's co-written with former Guns N' Roses members Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin, among others. He had released his first single, "'Til a Woman Comes Along," for BNA Records in 2010, but left the label when it was restructured. After signing with McGraw's Bigger Picture Music Group, he delivered a second single, "Better I Don't," produced by the legendary Keith Stegall, early in 2013. A self-titled EP followed later that year, which spent a week at number 47 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Another EP, Take It to the Bank, followed on Columbia Nashville in early in 2014.
Buy Me a Boat
In early 2015, Janson released the single "Buy Me a Boat" without any label support. After receiving play on the nationally syndicated country radio program The Bobby Bones Show, the song climbed into the Top Ten of the country chart and earned Janson a deal with Warner Bros. in April, as well as a performance spot on the CMT Music Awards telecast that June. The full-length debut Buy Me a Boat followed in October. Alongside the title track came a pair of new singles, the rowdy "Power of Positive Drinkin'" and the heartfelt "Holdin' Her," both of which entered the Hot Country Songs chart. Meanwhile, the album climbed to number four in country and number 18 on the Billboard 200.
In early 2017, Janson released the single "Fix a Drink" in anticipation of the release of an EP of the same name, which arrived that July. A Top Ten country single, "Fix a Drink" also appeared on Everybody, his sophomore album, in September 2017. The latter debuted at number seven on the country albums chart. February 2019 saw Janson issue the energetic single "Good Vibes," following it with the upbeat love song "Done." Both of those songs topped the Country Airplay chart surrounding the October release of his third long-player, Real Friends, which went on to peak in the country Top 20. Janson then had a minor hit with "It Is Christmas" over the 2019 holidays.
He stripped his music down to its sinewy essence on All In, a 2022 record that featured duets with Eric Church, Rhett Akins, and Travis Tritt. It was preceded by the single "Bye Mom," an earnest tribute to his recently departed mother.