Rolling Renegades

With “feets on the ground and eyes on the horizon,” Whiskey Myers has charged ahead, holding onto their individuality and earning fans one by one as they gain momentum across the country. As the lyric from their song “Feet’s” (off their latest album “Tornillo”) said, this band has forged its own way through the musical waters and won’t stop for anything. “Gotta keep on movin,’ chasing down a dream.”
With a strong Southern rock influence, the band from East Texas formed in 2007 and paid its dues in the small local honkeytonks. They drew attention around the red dirt scene for their unique blend of rock, country and blues, which tends to be a winning combination.
Lead singer Cody Cannon belts out his self-penned lyrics with grit and soul, touching on different emotions with each new song. Cannon is backed by John Jeffers on lead guitar and slide guitar, Cody Tate on lead guitar and rhythm guitar, Jeff Hogg on drums, Jamey Gleaves on bass, and Tony Kent on percussion and keys.
This band of brothers set out to play the music that comes from the heart, and have not wavered in that mission. While missing the mainstream airwaves at first, Whiskey Myers gained authenticity with their honest approach.
Their debut album, “Road of Life,” didn’t make the charts in 2008, but the follow-up project “Firewater” made its way to No. 26 on the Country Albums chart in 2011, led by the single “Ballad of a Southern Man.”
They continued to climb up the ranks with their 2014 album “Early Morning Shakes” making it to the No. 10 spot on the country charts. Then 2016’s release, “Mud” slid into the No. 4 spot.
As they continued on their path, a big opportunity was waiting around the bend. Taylor Sheridan, creator of the television series “Yellowstone” had tuned into Whiskey Myers’ music, and thought their sound matched his new show. The band was featured in an episode of season one in 2018, and they, along with the show, became a big hit. This exposure drove the band’s catalogue to the Top 10 on iTunes country chart.
They followed the success of their “Yellowstone” appearance with the release of their self-titled fifth album in 2019, which took the top spot on the Country Albums chart. Whiskey Myers self-produced the album, which was their first turn at the task. They enjoyed putting every ounce of themselves into the record, and decided to self-produce their latest album “Tornillo,” as well. This 2022 release features 12 tracks written by the band, which lean further into the rock and roll vein.
The group of renegades is touring across the country with a stop at Harrah’s Rio Vista Outdoor Amphitheater on Saturday, March 18. Here’s what the bandmates had to say about their journey.

How did the band form and how has it evolved?
Most of us grew up together in East Texas, playing music locally and then eventually growing into a touring band – from the days of all cramming into a Suburban and setting up our own gear, to now having tour busses and an incredible team around us. It all happened really naturally, so it’s cool to look back now and know we’ve all made this journey together and that we’re still as close as we were back in the day.

How did you carve out a space for yourselves in the business? 
We try to not think too hard about the business side of things – we just make music that feels good to us and that we hope our fans will love. When you do that and surround yourself with a great team, the rest tends to take care of itself.
Describe your sound for those who don’t know. 
A lot of people have tried to label our music over the years, but part of what feels special about it is that you can’t really fit it into a box. We’re just a bunch of guys from Texas who grew up on old school country and rock and roll music – you hear all of that in our sound.

How were you approached to appear and use your music in “Yellowstone?” What was your experience like on the show?
Taylor Sheridan has been a fan for a long time and has always been great to us. In the early days of “Yellowstone,” before it even aired, he was looking for music to fit certain scenes and Whiskey Myers seemed to fit the bill. They’ve used a bunch of our songs over the years and even had us out to perform in an episode during season one. We have a lot of respect for actors after seeing that – it was a long day of shooting for our one-song scene.

Do you credit the show with bringing awareness to the group?
Absolutely. We had been building a pretty good following and had been touring heavily for about a decade, but that brought so many brand-new eyes and ears to our music at once.

When working on new music, what is your process? Where does the inspiration come from?
It varies with every song or album, but we’ve always found inspiration from real life – our experiences, our families, stories we hear. A lot of our songs are solo writes, but occasionally we’ll write with friends, too.

What was it like self-producing your last albums?
For our last two albums, we went down to the Sonic Ranch studio, which is right on the border of Mexico, and stayed there for several weeks so that we could go all-in with recording each project. We self-produced both and it was cool to test ourselves in that way – to take everything we’ve learned from working with amazing producers over the years and run with it ourselves.

What can fans in Laughlin expect from your show? 
One high energy, no holds barred, hell of a night!