The One Song Chris Janson Would Have Back, If He Could

Chris performs a free show at KNCI’s Pet a Palooza in Elk Grove Regional Park Sunday June 2nd

By kncitom on May 23, 2019
Photo by: Tom Mailey

Chris Janson is unique among most country artists. He’s written some huge hits for himself, of course: Drunk Girl, Fix a Drink, Buy Me a Boat. But he’s also written some monster hits for other artists: he co-wrote I Love This Life with Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of LoCash, who went on to record the song. And Janson wrote Truck Yeah and Who I’ll Always Be for Tim McGraw. 

Of those songs he “gave away”, are there any he’d like to have back? Yep. Who I’ll Always Be.

“I love the song, and out of any song that I’ve ever written for anybody else, that would be the one that I would have done.” 

Janson was speaking with me for the July episode of my podcast, Write You a Song. He said McGraw reached out to him about writing a song and suggested something that was a cross between Don Williams and Keith Whitley.

“If I had a a perfect world of what I wanted Tim McGraw to sound like, I would want it to sound like Everywhere…or My Little Girl, or Red Rag Top. Very nostalgic kind of songs.”

So that, he said, was what he brought into the writers room when he sat down with co-writers Jamie Paulin and Jeremy Stover. 

“The great thing about How I’ll Always Be is…those lyrics are about me. They just happened to fit his (McGraw’s) lifestyle too.”

He goes on to say the song came about quickly.

“That song was an easy one to write, took about an hour.” 

He says he emailed copies of it to Tim and his producer as soon as it was done, and McGraw recorded it the next day.

Since then, the song has been played over a million times on the radio but if you want to hear Chris do it, you’ll need to come to Pet a Palooza on Sunday, June 2nd at Elk Grove Park, where he is performing a free show along with pop star Andy Grammar. It’s gonna be a great day and if you’ve never seen Chris…as good a songwriter as he is…? He’s every bit that and more as a performer. More information is available on our homepage!

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