Chris Janson Recalls The Moment Tim McGraw Changed His Life 

These country stars go way back.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

February 8, 2023


2:40 pm

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Tim McGraw, Chris Janson; Photo Courtesy Chris Janson

Chris Janson took to social media on February 2 to pen a heartfelt message to country superstar, Tim McGraw, who he credits for getting his career started back in 2012, when he cut the song, “Truck Yeah.”

His caption read, “This guy changed my life, cut one of my songs in the beginning. I’m a huge fan & proud to call him my friend & now a label mate. Love ya @TheTimMcGraw #howillalwaysbe #truckyeah @BigMachine.”

This track was written by Janson with Chris Lucas, Preston Brust of LOCASH and Danny Myrick, and features a cluster of catchy lyrics that highlight some of the best aspects of the traditional country lifestyle while also relating to the younger generation with a nod to rapper, Lil Wayne. 

It was released as the first single off McGraw’s 2013 album, Two Lanes of Freedom, and marked his first single for Big Machine Records. “Truck Yeah” debuted at No. 22 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of July 21, 2012, becoming McGraw’s highest chart debut at the time.  

“I’ll never forget getting the call from Janson the day he told me McGraw was cutting ‘Truck Yeah,’” Brust previously told Taste of Country. “He sounded happier than a skinny tick on a fat dog. Chris [Lucas] was standing right next to me, and let me tell you … we hollered ‘Truck Yeah’ so truckin’ loud! The song is such an anthem. It’s got a cool energy, and Tim truckin’ nailed it!”

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Since the success of this song, Janson has gone on to write many more fan favorites as well as establish a place for himself in the industry as an artist. With the release of his new tender-hearted song, “All I Need Is You,” on Friday (Jan. 27), he made his label debut with Big Machine Label Group (BMLG). 

Chris Janson – All I Need Is You; Courtesy of BMLG-Harpeth 60 Records

The love song, which is slated to impact radio airwaves on February 10, was written by Janson alongside Brad Clawson, Ashley Gorley, and Mitch Oglesby, and inspired by his relationship with his wife, Kelly.

“The whole overview of the song is, all I need is you, my wife. Kelly’s my best friend, of course, and the person I love most in this world. So, you know, it was a really a love song about her in full,” Janson told Country Now

While the chart-topping singer/songwriter has written several romantic tunes throughout his career including “All In” and “Love Don’t Sleep,” this new tune certainly strikes a chord for Janson.  

“I love my previous love songs and of course, I’ll probably have more, but with this one, it just stands out,” Janson explained. “I think just because of the timing of when it was written and where it was written, those kinds of things. It was just real, you know, it was coming out of a pandemic, nobody really knew what was gonna be happening with life or jobs or anything, and I was just writing to be writing, which makes me feel really good, just writing real life stuff, which is love.” 

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He brought this love song to life during a recent trip to the Grand Ole Opry. The night was especially memorable for Janson because his youngest where he got to share the stage with his youngest son, Jesse Bo Janson.

“Awesome Night playing My New song “All I need is you” at the @opry Tonight! ❤️ & having my youngest onstage to play ‘Reel Bass Pro.’”

“All I Need Is You” is a glimpse into Janson’s upcoming album, which he teased is set to drop this summer. Before then, fans will have the chance to hear plenty of live music from Janson as he’s currently in the midst of his headlining trek, which kicked off December 17. 

With support from Tim Montana and rising star Shane Profit, the country star will make stops in name Michigan, Utah, Iowa, Arkansas and more, before wrapping up in Redwood Falls, Minn on July 8. 

His next show is slated for February 9 in Jim Thorpe, PA at Penn’s Peak. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.