Cody Johnson Finds Himself on Authentic ‘Leather’ Album, Out Now

Cody Johnson‘s 12-track Leather album is out. The record, the first of two parts, is very country, and very, very authentically Johnson.

“This is where Cody Johnson is in his life personally and creatively,” the Texan tells CMT. “Now, next year, you’re going to get the second half and it’s going to be the deluxe edition. We’ll talk about that Cody then.”

The production, sound and lyrics on the title track, and all of the songs on the record, were an intentional decision by Johnson to make something that would “look, feel, sound, smell, and taste like country music.”

“I’m at a point where I’m mature enough, and I’m far enough along in my career where I’m going to go eff it, for lack of a better term,” Johnson explained. “I’m going to put out what I want to put out. If it’s too country for somebody, then maybe they’ll come around once the pendulum swings. But I’m starting to see authenticity make a comeback in our genre.”

Leather features collaborations with both Jelly Roll and Brooks & Dunn. One artist that is absent from the project, however, is Carrie Underwood, whose duet with Johnson will appear on the deluxe edition of Leather.

“The issue is, when you’re dealing with an artist of that caliber; you have to be very respectful of their time,” Johnson told Everything Nash and other outlets at a recent media event. “You have to be respectful of their tour when they’re releasing an album when they’re releasing a single.”

Although Underwood isn’t on Leather, the singer has nothing but praise for the country music superstar.

“Carrie was so gracious to work with,” Johnson boasted. “I respect her so much as a vocalist and an artist. I think a lot of newer artists would have got that [collaborations]. and said, ‘Look, I have a duet with Carrie Underwood! Look, look, look!’

Johnson is currently enjoying a Top 25 hit with “The Painter,” the debut single from the record, released in honor of his wife, Brandi.

“She’s tougher than I am, but you kind of have to be a little tough if you’re going to be with me,” Johnson said on Apple Music Country’s Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen. “It’s not all frills and rainbows. But she’s definitely the motor behind a lot of this, and I admit that. There are times where I come home and I’m like, ‘I am so overwhelmed. There’s so much going, and it’s all good stuff.

“I’m releasing a record,” he continued. “I’m going out of the country to go play. We’re on this award show and we’re traveling to here, and I just can’t take it anymore.’ And she’s going, ‘Yeah, you can. You’re doing a great job.’”

See a track list for Leather below. Johnson will embark on his The Leather Tour on January 19 in Sacramento, California. Find music and tour dates at

Leather Track Listing:

1- “Work Boots” (Jason Afable, Brett Beavers, Canaan Smith)
2- “Double Down” (Jeff Hyde, Adam James, Clint Daniels)
3- “Watching My Old Flame” (Kat Higgins, Wynn Varble, Clint Daniels)
4- “That’s Texas” (Andy Sheridan, Erik Dylan, Wyatt McCubbin)
5- “Dirt Cheap” (Josh Phillips)
6- “Jesus Loves You” (Mark Holman, Chase McGill, Michael Hardy)
7- “Whiskey Bent” (feat. Jelly Roll) (Adam James, Mikey Reaves, Rocky Block)
8- “Leather” (Ian Munsick, Rivers Rutherford, Jeremy Spillman)
9- “People In The Back” (Devin Dawson, Austin Taylor Smith, Mark Trussell)
10- “Long Live Country Music” (feat. Brooks & Dunn) (Phil O’Donnell, Wade Kirby, Trent Willmon)
11- “The Painter” (Kat Higgins, Benjy Davis, Ryan Larkins)
12- “Make Me A Mop” (Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, Alan Shamblin)

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Schmidt Relations / Chris Douglas