Cody Hibbard Dreamed of a Career in the Navy — God Had Other Plans [Interview]
Cody Hibbard joined the U.S. Navy, but it didn't go exactly like he thought it would. Then, he started pipelining, and that definitely didn't lead him to where he thought he was headed.
The Oklahoma native is a product of both stories gone — not wrong exactly, but different. If you believe that you can show God your plan just to hear him laugh, you'll find something in the "Beer Problem" singer's story.
Who Is Cody Hibbard?
The short version of Hibbard's life journey to country music is, he was adopted at 13 months and grew up on a few hundred acres in Adair, Okla. He picked around on guitar when he was young, and paid attention to his dad's classic rock and his mom's gospel music ("When they came together, we listened to country," he tells Taste of Country), but joined the Navy after high school.
One torn rotator cuff, one torn labrum, a few dozen dislocations, seven anchors and one real big scar later, he was out of the Navy.
"The thing bothers me to this day. Still ain’t got my golf swing back,” he'll joke about his left shoulder.
Later, he'll admit to feeling like he'd failed. As a high school athlete and midwestern American male, he fought failure like one might fight the devil: if you don't believe, it's not real.
“I battled a lot of depression about it," he says. "I battled — I still do think about it — just how when your body fails you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
On Aug. 18, a song called "Bend" will serve as something like a product of his guilt about the discharge. The lyrics were inspired by watching military veterans and their spouses and then coming home to study a willow tree on the family property.
"I just remember it getting hammered by the wind," he shares. “It reminded me of the bond those couples have.”
What Does Cody Hibbard Sing?
A want to add meaning to drinking songs dots other popular cuts including "Ice Cold Therapy," "Half Whiskey, Half Lonely" and "Beer Problem."
"We Speak Country" is his most anthemic cut:
Hibbard's country career began in earnest about four years ago, when a restaurant waiter challenged his country credibility because of how he looks. So, he took the stage to prove a point and ended up with a gig. Soon he was writing on his own, and then with friends and musicians in Texas and Oklahoma before his first trip to Nashville to write with hitmaker Jordan Walker ("When It Rains It Pours").
There's very little that makes Hibbard anxious. In fact, after talking to Taste of Country he was off to a pair of meetings with record labels, but one can only guess he wasn't planning to change out of the black T-shirt and black ball cap that reads "Cowboy Hat" for suits and decision makers.
“Either they like me, or they don’t," he says as if he's reporting the local weather.
Writing with Walker and later, Rivers Rutherford, wasn't scary exactly. Instead, he labeled it as motivation to get better.
Hibbard brings a get-to-work approach to all his affairs and manages his career like a business. This, he says, is a product of rig welding. You're essentially a contractor, so if you're not working, you're not eating. Saving money and planning for the future is essential.
The downside of this, he says after careful consideration, is he's prone to insulate himself or hide in the safety of a select group of singers and songwriters.