I was playing trivia at the Long Branch a few weeks ago when my teammate Philip Moore leaned over and whispered:
“I’ve got six tickets to the Cody Jinks show in Corpus Christi on Friday night, Oct. 11. Wanna go?” he inquired.
“How much are the tickets?” I asked. Before he could respond I asked a follow-up question. “Where are the seats located?”
He answered the second question first.
“Oh, they are really good,” he smiled. “They are up in front of the stage. Tickets with everything attached are $100.”
“I’ll take two.” With that the deal had been agreed to, the date was on my calendar, and it was time for the countdown to begin.
So it is written, and so it shall be done.
For the next few weeks, Philip thought he had his final two tickets sold. I knew it was going to be me, Philip, Kasey and Philip’s oldest friend ever from first grade in Fort Worth, Bret Tillery. We made plans to book a hotel room in Corpus, and I even dabbled with the idea of taking the motorhome down for the weekend. In the end, we wound up getting a hotel room at the Holiday Inn on the 11th floor overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Early indications were that Friday night was going to be epic.
Fast forward to Friday, Oct. 11. A cold dreary day in early October greeted us. The thermometer never made it above 52 degrees. Not to worry — for we were like the post office — neither rain, snow, sleet, nor gloom of night would stop these anointed concert lovers from attending the Cody Jinks show. We were on a mission from God, and come hell or high water, we were going to Corpus. What else could we do? We had $600 invested in the tickets already.
After arriving in Corpus and checking into my room, I called Philip and asked him where he was at. He was just two doors down. I meandered over and we chatted awhile. The whole crew was in the room, so we opted to go down to the hotel bar to discuss our itinerary for the evening.
It was here that things got really interesting. It turned out Phil’s friend Bret knew Cody Jinks. He not only knew him, but they were next door neighbors years ago. As Bret told his story, I found out he worked with Cody selling his concert t-shirts for years. He had been a driver for Cody in the formative years of Jinks’ career. He then dropped a bombshell: “I’ve texted him a couple of times and asked if we could meet with him before or after show,” Bret said. “I’m just waiting for a text back from him.”
“What the heck!” I thought to myself. “How cool would it be to go backstage and meet Cody Jinks!”
It was time to Uber off to the venue. When we arrived at the Concrete Street Amphitheater, we were surprised to learn that there were no seats; it was festival seating. Fortunately, we had arrived early, so we found a piece of real estate right in front the stage and set up camp for the four of us. We were relieved to learn that even though the Concrete was an amphitheater, we would not be sitting outside under the clouds because it looked and smelled like rain. We were under cover, right in front of the stage, and the bathrooms were just to the left of us. Cool.
It wasn’t long, however, before the show began and a great night of country music was in front of us.
Two other performers were going on first.
First, we got to hear 30 to 40 minutes of Wade Davis and his band. Wade Davis is from Monticello, Arkansas, but has written songs for such stars as Trace Adkins, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Sammy Kershaw, Jimmy Van Sandt and many more. He co-wrote “I’m Not The Devil” with Cody Jinks. The song was the title track of Jinks’ album that sky-rocketed to number four on the charts. While Davis was playing, Jinks came out and sang the song with Davis. The crowd loved it, and it was obvious there was chemistry between Jinks and Davis. As Jinks was walking off stage, Davis turned to him and said: “Cody can we share your good news that you got today?”
Jinks smiled, gave the nod it was OK, and then Davis dropped the bombshell that sent the amphitheater crowd into a roaring tizzy. Davis announced that Jinks had just found out that for the first time in his life, his latest album had made it all the way to the top—the number one selling country music album in the world.
Obviously, I was quite amazed and moved by that bit of information. After the second act was over (a great female singer from East Texas), I leaned over to Bret and asked him if he had heard anything back from Cody. He looked at his phone and nodded in the negative. No response. I was disappointed, but I know Bret and Philip were even more deflated because they both knew him and had been backstage with him before.
Nevertheless, it was time for Cody Jinks and he didn’t disappoint. He literally rocked the house from beginning to end.
There was one moment, however, that proved to be the highlight of the night for all of us, but certainly for Bret. Just before Jinks sang Hippies and Cowboys, he asked if there was anyone in the crowd that had ever been to Ft. Worth. Then he asked if anyone in the crowd had ever lived there. Some people raised their hands, including Bret. We were right up front so as Cody looked over the audience, he looked down and then he saw Bret there. He smiled from ear-to-ear, pointed at Bret, and after the song was over but before he left the stage, he threw his guitar pick to Bret.
It was a nice moment. Jinks closed the encore with Must Be the Whiskey and left everyone feeling good about themselves. I was especially happy for Bret. He never quit smiling. His friend had remembered him after all.
It was worth the trip just to see that moment. Thanks, Cody Jinks, for a wonderful night in Corpus.