NYCS First Impression: Chris Janson ‘Real Friends’

Platinum award-winning singer-songwriter Chris Janson released his third album Real Friends today, and the album is as personal as it can get.  Real Friends is Janson‘s latest project with Warner Music Nashville, and a follow up to previous chart-topping records Everybody and Buy Me A Boat. All thirteen tracks are co-written and produced by Janson, and the album lives up to its title because he created it with all of his “real friends” including the song-writing, the producing, and even the special guest track featuring his “Ol Friend” Blake Shelton.

Janson kicks off the album with the Top 10 chart-topping country song “Good Vibes” which Billboard dubbed an “electric, juiced-up anthem” about soaking it all up and enjoying life.  He keeps the energy high with the second track, “Check.” The twangy up-tempo song reflects on all that he has, and how far he’s come. The talented multi-instrumentalist breaks out his harmonica mid-song and the anthemic chorus is as catchy as they come.

“Done” is the third track and it is an ode to his wife and his admiration and love for her.  Janson recently released the autobiographical music video to “Done” and it is an incredible display of true love.  He sings on how he knew he met the one with lyrics, “Done, the first time I saw you, done.”  “Normal People” is the next song that everyone can relate to.  It describes the day to day life of the world that we live in with lyrics, “We live for the weekend, jump off of the deep end, in a backyard pool keeping it cool, barbeque on the grill, we got church on Sunday, we got work on Monday, we’re keeping it real, keeping it simple, normal people”.

Halfway through the album, Janson turns it up a notch with “Say About Me,” a heavy guitar song, that has a bit of an edge and a whole lot of rock and roll to it. Janson confidently sings, “I make money, I make music, I got swagger, and I use it.”  Even though he’s a redneck boy, he was raised to not care what people say about him.   Janson continues to emulate his determined and blue-collar persona on the next track “Waiting on 5.”  It is a tribute to those who work hard and watch the clocks waiting to get out of work to enjoy life and “have a little party.”

There is no doubt Janson is a husband and family man.  Janson shows off his strong vocals with the ballad “Hawaii On Me” where he explains how he would want people to live life once he’s passed on.  He mentions not to mourn, but rather celebrate and have a party.  He reminds his love, “I made a good living, I lived a good life, I raised some great kids, and I loved a great wife, so get on a plane in a first-class seat, when I die, go to Hawaii on me.” In the following song, “Mine Does” Janson shows off all that he loves about his wife in a more playful uptempo manner.

The singer-songwriter takes a break on love songs and shows appreciation for life and nature with “God’s Gotta Be A Good Ol’ Boy.” He explains God must be something special since especially since he “put the bucks in the woods, he put bass in the water, and put the redneck in the old blue-collar.”  Next up is the title track “Real Friends” which features country superstar Blake Shelton. An electric guitar and a thumping background beat allow Janson and Shelton to tell us a story of when things in life may not be going your way, or you need an extra hand, you can count on your true friends to raise a drink with you and get you through it. “Real Friends” is an anthem that can and will be played in bars all over the country.

Janson keeps up with the positive vibes once again with “Everybody’s Going Through Something.” It is a subtle reminder that at the end of the day everything is going to be okay.  The last two tracks of Real Friends is all about the good times.  “Beer Me” is the ultimate party song and every reason why we all would want to have a drink.  Janson sings it best with, “Any ol’ time is a damn good time to beer me.” The party continues on the next track with “Country USA.” The rowdy song gives us a taste of what it’s like in letting loose after a long week of work in a small town.

Real Friends in its entirety is an example of unrefined artistry, incredible talent, and ability to turn life stories into songs.  Janson did exactly that on what matters most in life and that is what makes him an unbelievably successful singer-songwriter.  He is currently headlining his Real Friends – Fall 2019 Tour, a 22 date run that has already made headlines selling out Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennesee. Rolling Stone calls Janson a “live legacy in the making,” and his explosive stage presence and authenticity night in and night out is one to be seen.  Janson will be bringing his charismatic energy to Brooklyn, New York on December 4th for NY Country’s Stars & Strings Concert.

Real Friends is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

To keep up with Chris Janson follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Real Friends Track Listing
1. Good Vibes* (Chris Janson, Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley)
2. Check (Chris Janson, Tommy Cecil, Greylan James, James McNair, Mitch Oglesby)
3. Done (Chris Janson, Mitch Oglesby, Jamie Paulin, Matt Roy)
4. Normal People* (Chris Janson, Zach Crowell, Tommy Cecil)
5. Say About Me (Chris Janson, Shy Carter, Tommy Cecil)
6. Waitin’ on 5 (Chris Janson, Shy Carter, Tommy Cecil, Craig Wiseman)
7. Hawaii on Me (Chris Janson, Kelly Roland, Will Nance)
8. Mine Does (Chris Janson, Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip)
9. God’s Gotta Be a Good Ole Boy (Chris Janson, Brock Berryhill, Brad Clawson, Greylan James, Mitch Oglesby)
10. Real Friends (feat. Blake Shelton) (Chris Janson, Brad Clawson, Greylan James, Mitch Oglesby)
11. Everybody’s Going Through Something (Chris Janson, Tom Douglas, Tony Lane)
12. Beer Me** (Chris Janson, Brock Berryhill, Jason Blaine, Jay Brunswick, Mitch Oglesby)
13. Country USA (Chris Janson, David Lee Murphy, Mitch Oglesby)

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