This year’s “ACM Honors” special on CBS boasted performances from big-name superstars such as George Strait, Alan Jackson, Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett and Brad Paisley. Those are the names you expect to see on a major show like that.
Chris Janson was on the show as well, paying tribute to the late poet and songwriter Shel Silverstein with the fieriest performance of the night. Chris tore through two of Shel’s compositions — the Johnny Cash staple “A Boy Named Sue” and the Dr. Hook rock hit “Cover of the Rolling Stone.”
As you can see in this clip from the show, Chris’s turbo-charged performances earned a big smile from George Strait, who was in the audience. Just watch as Chris wails on the harmonica and commands the stage at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
Though he’s scored hits with his sing-along anthems “Buy Me a Boat” and “Fix a Drink,” Chris knew this performance slot was a big opportunity for him to introduce himself to a lot of new fans. That’s why he worked extra hard to make sure he had these cover songs down cold.
Chris tells Rare Country, “I had to listen on headphones, on repeat, to the actual words to the songs. Of course, I can sit here and sing ’em just like you can all day long and kind of mumble half the words. Knowing every single line, every single phrasing and everything is freakin’ hard. Especially with the wordy songs Shel Silverstein wrote, because he was a poet, and a great poet at that.”
Chris goes on to tell us he had a few butterflies before going onstage about keeping those words straight, but it all worked out beautifully.
He adds, “When I got onstage, something seems to overtake me where the music just leads, and I just went with it.”
You can see Chris’s full “ACM Honors” performance here.
Look for Chris’s new album, “Everybody,” to come out this Friday, September 22, featuring the hit single, “Fix a Drink.”