Skyline Sessions

Live In Studio: Cody Jinks

Texas-based artist mines the era of Merle and Waylon.

Denton, Texas-based singer-songwriter Cody Jinks is part of a movement of artists (which includes critics’ darlings Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson) making “traditional” country music – traditional in the sense that the music hearkens back to the heyday of artists like Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and George Jones, when Nashville wasn’t afraid of producing a darker, emotionally bare and genuine product. In Jinks’ breakout hit “I’m Not The Devil,” the narrator has hit rock bottom and appeals to a hurt lover for forgiveness. The crime isn’t revealed; “I slipped, and I fell” is about the best we know of the narrator’s mistake, but we know it was a big one. The song’s vagueness makes it applicable across a spectrum of misdeeds, and that’s smart songwriting. Whether rebelling against the current slough of radio twang-pop or simply admiring and adhering to a nostalgic sound, artists like Jinks are reminding us what good country music does best: It inspires deep reflection.

Jinks, with bandmates Josh Thompson and Chris Claridy, visited Houston Public Media’s Geary Studio to record “I’m Not The Devil.”