BobbyCast Recap: Jaren Johnston Chats About Producing, Upbringing In Nashville and New Record

Johnston has a deep love for country music.

BobbyCast Recap: Jaren Johnston Chats About Producing, Upbringing In Nashville and New Record
BUENA VISTA, CO - SEPTEMBER 01: Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three performs on Day 2 of Seven Peaks Festival on September 1, 2018 in Buena Vista, Colorado. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

On episode #240 of his podcast, the BobbyCast, Bobby Bones chatted with Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three about many things, including the current coronavirus pandemic. Jaren told Bobby he’s been staying busy during quarantine by co-writing with musicians on zoom.

“I look forward to it so much because I’m not just sitting there wondering what’s wrong with the world and if it’s going to get fixed,” says Jaren. “I’m basically just being creative and writing and trying to write the next Cadillac Three record and write some hits for other people.”

Johnston has also been staying busy producing projects for other artists, including Kelleigh Bannen and Drake White.

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“I’m a huge Drake White fan, a huge Kelleigh Bannen fan, so as soon as somebody calls and says, ‘Hey, can you make me sound raw and dirty, but still kind of accessible?’ I’m like, hell yeah, that’s what I try to do,” he says.

Jaren explained that his love and skill for producing music comes from his upbringing in Nashville and from his dad, who was a drummer for the Grand Ole Opry.

“Growing up in Nashville and country music with Garth Brooks and and Clint Black and Faith Hill and all these mega, huge — you saw how big a country star could be,” he says. “Garth was wearing a damn headset flying around the room, and you realized, ‘Oh, this is kind of rock ’n roll.’”

The Cadillac Three; Courtesy of Big Machine Records
The Cadillac Three; Courtesy of Big Machine Records

Since Jaren had such an exclusive window into the country music industry and the Grand Ole Opry as a child, he says he has countless memories of interacting with big-time country stars. He shared one funny story about Porter Wagoner.

“I stumbled into his dressing room, I was probably 11 or 12, and he had this huge bodyguard named Tony, I think was his name, and he was kind of Sopranos-esque, but he’s a Nashville guy,” says Jaren. “He was very intimidating. So, Porter came in a yelled at me and told me to get the ‘F’ out of his dressing room. My dad went up to Porter and Tony and said, ‘If you ever talk to my kid like that again, it’s your ass.’”

Bobby and Jaren also chatted about The Cadillac Three’s new album, Country Fuzz, which was released in February. Jaren gave the background stories behind some of the songs, including “Crackin’ Cold Ones With The Boys” and “Hard Out Here For A Country Boy,” featuring Travis Tritt and Chris Janson. For “Hard Out Here For A Country Boy,” Jaren says Chris called him while Travis was recording his part and asked if he could be included on the tune as well.

“You know how crazy he is, he’d probably had 15 Mountain Dews by that time in the day,” says Jaren of Janson. “I sent him the track, and he sent it back the next day and put harmonica on and everything. It was one of those things that so easily came together and was so fun.”

To hear more from Bobby’s conversation with Jaren Johnston, including the one song he wrote for another artist that he would have liked to keep, listen to episode #240 of the BobbyCast.