Back in the old days, the Roanoke Valley’s favorite musical genre was called country & western. The “western” part of that title fell off as the years rolled on, but there remain plenty of cowboys participating in the music.
Cody Johnson is one of them. The 32-year-old Texan wears a cowboy hat, but he also can ride a horse. He rode in rodeos in his younger years, and sold his self-produced records at those events.
These days, he’s all in on the country (and western) thing, with a recently announced Country Music Association nomination for best new artist and a top 20 single, “On My Way to You,” to his credit. He brings his show to Salem Civic Center on Saturday.
One of Johnson’s songs, “Dear Rodeo,” is essentially a love song to the ridin’ and ropin’ lifestyle. Johnson, who told Taste of Country online that he quit rodeo because he was not good enough, saw his ode to the beloved sport reach No. 11 on the Billboard country digital song sales chart last year. See and hear the Sebastopol, Texas, native perform the song in a video shot live at the Houston Rodeo, via youtu.be/DS5wxB2poTA.
Another Texan, Josh Ward, is on the road with Johnson. The Houstonian’s album “More Than I Deserve” went to No. 31 last year on the Billboard country albums chart.
A Roanoke Valley act, Crawford & Power, is on the bill as well. Guitarist/singer Jacob Crawford and Dobro man Ethan Power, Franklin County natives, sat in with The Marshall Tucker Band, which was opening for Travis Tritt at Berglund Coliseum in April. Power played most of that set, and Crawford sang verses on “Can’t You See.” The duo has its own music too, which can be heard on its debut EP, “Play A Hank Jr. Song.”