Cody Johnson has been a longtime fan of Reba McEntire, which is why he honored her with a performance of her classic hit, “Whoever’s in New England.” The song, which Reba originally released in 1986, takes on an entirely new spin with the Texas native’s acoustic performance.
Cody also teamed up with Reba for his current single, “Dear Rodeo.”
“The story behind ‘Dear Rodeo’ is more a story about life and less about rodeo,” Cody shared at a virtual media event. “I feel like everybody has their own ‘Dear Rodeo’ story and when I found out that Reba was impacted by this song enough to want to do a duet, it was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my career. Reba adds a certain level of authenticity to this song that makes it so special. I love it when people sing songs about rodeo and cowboys, but there’s a little bit of a different feel when you know that somebody can walk the walk they’re talking.
“Neither one of us has a problem saying ‘Hey, this is where I come from, you can check the credentials, we’ve got the scars to prove it,’” he added. “I think that the honesty is really going to speak to people, and hopefully we can help people with this song.”
Reba was also thrilled to join Cody on “Dear Rodeo,” since it was a song that resonated personally for her as well.
“It was a thrill to get to sing ‘Dear Rodeo’ with Cody because we’re both from the rodeo world,” Reba said. “I grew up in a rodeo family, I’m a third-generation rodeo brat. So the song means a lot to me because I did leave rodeo to be in the country music business. I sure miss it.”
“[‘Dear Rodeo’] is so heartfelt,” she continued. “People can think on the very surface that it is about rodeo, but then when a person listens to it, it could be a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, relationship, or life in general. So it has got legs. It’s like throwing a rock in a pond and the ripples are taking effect. I was thrilled to pieces, and I fell in love with it because of my rodeo background. I did have to say goodbye to the rodeo, and so this really settled in my bones.”