music in the park san jose

.Cody Jinks Gets Back on Track With ‘Change the Game’

And he’s in San Jose on May 17, opening for Luke Combs

music in the park san jose

Cody Jinks flat out says he won’t make another album like his new effort, Change the Game. It’s not that he doesn’t like the album. In fact, he says he thinks it’s his most complete effort.

He just doesn’t see himself being in the same headspace and place in life again. And he wouldn’t want to relive the changes and struggles that are reflected in the new songs.

“This record, I was working on myself personally, exercising some personal demons and trying to live better, live healthier, be a better husband, be a better father, and that translates into being a better boss and putting on a better show,” Jinks says. “I’m not going to have another record like Change the Game. It was too heavy.”

Jinks didn’t go into detail about the personal issues he confronted, beyond quitting drinking and smoking. But he’s living now with a clear head and a better outlook.

“It really came down to my mental well-being. I wasn’t in a good place mentally. I knew that I needed to make a change,” Jinks says. “I didn’t know exactly what changes I needed to make or how to go about it. Setting some things down was probably a great place to start. But really, I looked at my daughter one day. She’s a teenager now. I just had one of those internal conversations you have with yourself. I was sitting there, I was like oh my gosh, dude, in the next decade I have to be a grandfather. I need to slow down.”

There were also issues with his music career, even though he was playing the biggest venues of his career and finally beginning to get songs played on country radio, which for years had resisted his outlaw country sound. But Jinks decided to go completely independent, manage his own career and set up his own record label with a new distribution partnership.

“The last few years on a professional level have been nothing short of amazing and such a blessing to have had the career that I’ve had thus far,” Jinks muses. “But I just kind of thought that we were at that cap. You know, I was like man, we’ve kind of hit our ceiling and stuff like that. I was just going through some things with my organization and feeling like I needed to make some changes.”

Jinks’ tour schedule for 2024 backs up his belief that things are on track with his career. He has a healthy mix of headlining dates at outdoor amphitheaters and arenas, co-headlining shows with the Turnpike Troubadours and a handful of stadium shows opening for Luke Combs. He’s on the bill at Combs’ May 17 show at Levi’s Stadium.

He says he’ll probably play three songs or so off of Change the Game in his shows—including the first three singles from the album: “Outlaws and Mustangs,” “Sober Thing” and the title track. He’s also bringing out his biggest visual production.

“We have a really cool stage set up for this year,” Jinks says. “I say I grew up in honky-tonk bars. My mom and dad ran a honky-tonk bar so I love them. That’s where I came from. It’s where I cut my teeth. I’m comfortable in a smoky old bar room, roadside bar or tavern. So me and my production manager and my day-to-day manager got together and I said, ‘Man y’all have fun with it.’ They went to a set designer in Nashville and they put me together a bar. So we made on stage look like a honky-tonk bar. And it’s cool as hell, man.”

Jinks isn’t exaggerating when he says he cut his musical teeth in bars. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Jinks built his career the hard way, with lots of touring, gradually working his way up from bars to his current place as a large venue headliner as he released 10 studio albums.

That 10th album, Change the Game, was released on March 22. The album finds Jinks opening up lyrically and being more vulnerable than ever in sharing moments and experiences from his recent life, while offering his familiar mix of sturdy ballads and twangy, hard-edged rockers.

Change the Game figures to remain a standout album for Jinks regardless of how well it sells simply because it was a special experience.

“In the credits on the record I thank (producer) Ryan Hewitt and his staff and my band and crew because that was such a vulnerable record,” Jinks says. “There were several different times during the making of the record where there were tears shed, and I’m not just talking about me. It was a heavy experience for all of us.”

Cody Jinks will appear at Levi’s Stadium on May 17 at 5:45pm. Tickets start at $51.50.

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