Chris Janson Finds New Freedom With ‘The Outlaw Side of Me’ [EXCLUSIVE]

Chris Janson‘s The Outlaw Side of Me is out! The record includes “21 Forever,” his collaboration with Dolly Parton and Slash, plus 13 other tracks. It’s a project that Janson is proud of creating, more than any of his previous albums.

“I went back into the studio, the actual studio in Nashville to record it,” Janson tells Everything Nash. “So that’s the first time I’ve done that in the last three albums. And it felt good to get back in the studio, with the band all together in one room. The last couple of records I made, I was in and out of my house, which was great. But this one, just the camaraderie level of cutting songs, back-to-back, two days in a row was so fun with the band. We all had such a good time. And when it was over, I was sad.”

Janson wrote or co-wrote all 14 songs on The Outlaw Side of Me. It was a deliberate decision on his part, who tries to have a hand in everything he releases.

“That’s one thing that I’m real adamant about actually,” Janson explains, adding that the only time he ever wavered from that was his “You, Me & The River” collaboration with Eric Church, from Janson’s 2022 All In record. “That was the first time I’d ever recorded somebody else’s music that I didn’t write. So yeah I always try to make it an example that I write and collaborate on everything that I do. I want it to be 100 percent authentic. If I’m gonna do somebody else’s stuff, I might as well be doing a very popular cover.”

In addition to “21 Forever,” The Outlaw Side of Me also includes “Hank The Hell Out of The Honkytonk” with Brantley Gilbert and “Every Day of The Week” featuring Darius Rucker. It’s just part of a new musical chapter for Janson, who moved to Big Machine Label Group, in partnership with his own Harpeth 60 label, to release this project.

“First of all, they’re great friends, and they’re great people,” Janson boasts of Gilbert and Rucker. “And secondly, with this album, I was given the reigns in such a freeing kind of way. Like, let’s just let the music speak and follow the music, which has always been something that I do anyway naturally. For instance, with the Brantley duet, with ‘Hank The Hell Out of The Honky Tonk,’ when I got my recording back of it, the master, I was like, ‘This needs Brantley Gilbert on it.’ That was literally the first thought I had. And so I just hit him up and he was like, ‘Hell yeah, I’d love to.'”

Of course, the biggest superstar on The Outlaw Side of Me is Parton. While it might seem like a far-fetched idea to get the Country Music Hall of Fame member to sing on any project, the father of four refused to believe it wasn’t possible.

“I go back to the same mantra I’ve said, for as long as I’ve been on this earth,” Janson says. “‘If you don’t dream big, how could you expect to win big? And if you don’t believe in yourself, how in the world could you expect anybody else to believe in you?’ So I’ve always shot for the biggest and the best, and 99 percent of the time it works in my favor. I had a strong heart and gut feeling that Dolly would be great on this song with me. So we reached out, and she said, ‘Absolutely.'”

See a track list for The Outlaw Side of Me below. Find music and tour dates at

The Outlaw Side of Me Track List:

The Outlaw Side of Me Track List:
1) Rowdy Gentle Man (Janson, Tommy Cecil)
2) Honkytonk Minute (Janson, Matt Rogers, Ben Stennis)
3) Outlaw Side of Me (Janson, Chris DeStefano, Lee Miller)
4 All I Need Is You (Janson, Brad Clawson, Ashley Gorley, Mitch Oglesby)
5) Hank The Hell Out of The Honkytonk (featuring Brantley Gilbert) (Janson, Brinley Addington, Tommy Cecil, Mitch Oglesby)
6) Dirt In My Life (Janson, Tommy Cecil, Dallas Davidson)
7) Tap That (Janson, Preston Brust, Brandon Kinney, Chris Lucas)
8) Good Folks Goin’ To Work (Janson, Tommy Cecil, Tom Douglas)
9) GOAT (Janson, Tommy Cecil)
10) Get It Right (Janson, Brandon Kinney, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
11) Every Day of The Week (featuring Darius Rucker) (Janson, Bob DiPiero, David Lee Murphy)
12) 21 Forever (featuring Dolly Parton and Slash) (Janson, Tommy Cecil, Tom Douglas)
13) Days In the Field (Janson)
14) 21 Forever (Original Version featuring Slash) (Janson, Tommy Cecil, Tom Douglas)