Chris Janson Grateful for Closed Doors
Chris Janson is finally getting his chance, and the only people happier about it are his friends and family. Make no mistake, the "Buy Me a Boat" singer is thrilled with the song's success and what it has led to. But there's an entire city that's been pulling for him for years. Those people — many of whom you know — are the ones standing and cheering, literally.
Earlier this month, Janson played the CMT Awards. It was his first awards show performance after five years releasing singles with labels big and small. He was signed to Sony for a short while, as well as the recently shuttered Bigger Picture Music Group. Critics appreciated his live show and sound (ToC included "Better I Don't" to the 10 Songs That Should've Been Hits list in 2013) and fans remained loyal. Janson has played the Grand Ole Opry more than 100 times!
When you quit worrying about those closed doors … I find that things work a lot better.
For all intents, however, he was still a struggling musician, worrying how he would find the money to pay the musicians who worked on the single. So, as he prepared to sing on national television, it was emotional. "Super emotional," he clarifies.
“I got done playing and Keith Urban got up and gave me a standing ovation and started the whole thing,” Janson tells Taste of Country. Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum followed, then Dierks Bentley. "It made me feel like, 'Okay, you've done it now.'"
Janson is now on Toby Keith's Good Times & Pickup Lines tour, bringing his music to the country's biggest stages. At Country Jam in Grand Junction, Colo., he described how he's gotten through the lean times, when all he heard was "No."
“For every door that shuts there is one open,” Janson says when asked why he's not bitter as many of those same people are now inviting him to do things he'd only dreamed of.
“In hindsight … I’m so glad that the doors that did shut in my path closed. It’s taught me to walk through the right ones,” he assures.
The father of four (including two from wife Kelly Lynn's first marriage) remains rooted, even bringing the crew with him on the road. He says only when he quit worrying about those closed doors did things start to work.
“I can sniff out the people that have come out of the woodwork," he says, "and I can sniff out the ones who have been there for a long time just waiting to say ‘Good job.’”
So, where is he now? Is he able to buy the boat, the Yeti cooler or the beer? Janson doesn't drink anymore and has been buying Yeti coolers for a long while. He aspires to be a boat man — a certain Malibu would be nice.
“Maybe one will show up at my house one day, you never know," he says, kind of serious. "‘Buy Me a Boat’ showed up out of thin air. We wrote it on a whim, and it happened.”
See the Best of Chris Janson at Country Jam