Rolling Stone Bio By Andrew Leahey
Gutbucket blues. Gypsy jazz. Back porch rock & roll. Cody Brooks plays it all, whipping up a raw, rootsy racket with help from a 1929 B&J Victoria parlor guitar and a voice that’s as wild and roughhewn as the Tennessee backwoods.
The music all started 20 minutes outside of Nashville, where Brooks’ childhood home was filled with the sounds of the nearby Marrowbone Creek and his parents’ 78 rpm record collection. He listened to it all: Tommy Dorsey, Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, Son House, Jimi Hendrix. Brooks picked up the guitar as a teenager and began traveling, too, spending time in Oregon and the southwest before Nashville’s music scene lured him back home.
There, before he could legally drink, he started playing gigs at the blues bars downtown, tossing in his own songs between covers by R&B singers and Delta legends.
Brooks’ songs spin stories of revenge, anger, dirty love, clean breaks and the infamous time that a baby copperhead snake bit him on the arm, resulting in a three-day fever dream (and inspired songwriting session) while he lay in bed and sweated out the poison.
Although being in the 2020s, Brooks has lived the sort of life that’s more typical of someone from some previous century — a life of restlessness, of travel, of baths in creek water and makeshift beds in barns — embracing that old-world vibe and constantly updating his sound with the sneer of punk rock and the swagger of hip-hop.
It’s music for Saturday night sinners, delivered with the sort of fire-and-brimstone fury that’ll attract a few Sunday morning holy rollers, too.
In parts of the Bible Belt, most friendships still start off with a handshake. This is Brooks’ handshake, his grand introduction to the public. He’s happy to meet you. You’ll be seeing more of him soon.