Cody Jinks hails from Fort Worth, geographically, and from Heavy Metal, musically, having been the frontman of a metal band called “Unchecked Aggression”, which broke up in 2003. Being from Fort Worth, during his childhood, he was exposed to a significant dose of country music, which he actually loved. And what better place for a dissatisfied heavy metalist, than …..country music? Relying on his exposure (and inspiration) to the likes of Jennings, Cash and Haggard, he launched himself into his second musical career, as a country artist. The year is 2005, and it all starts with the formation of his own new band (The ToneDeaf Hippies) and a massive touring of honky-tonks all around the country. Very soon Cody starts recording his own albums, and as of today he already has a few to his credit: “Collectors Items” (out of print), “Less Wise” (2010), “30” (2012), “Blacksheep” (Ep, 2013), “Adobe Sessions” (2015), and we apologize for some others which are possibly missing, due to lack of clear documentation. Like in all the best smalltown stories, Cody starts making a name for himself among critics and fans, searching for gold, in the fascinating world of “alternative” productions. His sound and stylistic mark are an extraordinary mix of tradition, outlaw, rock and songwriter music. Listening to his previous work, the listener can clearly perceive an increase of self consciousness, steadiness, voice balance (his voice is a rich baritone able to generate very important emotional substance), richness of sound (sometimes light and caressing, sometimes imposing and rumbling), which lies on deep, very reflective, at times, cryptic lyrics, (like Waylon used to do). His lyrics always tend to delve into the introspective side of people, including the typical confrontation between good and bad, God and the Devil, optimism and pessimism. That brings us to today, where we find this “I’m Not The Devil”, which appears as a solid, convincing consecration of a rising country music star, more Texas than Nashville (even if he doesn’t like to be considered part of the Red Dirt scene), but strongly rooted into a traditional/outlaw mix, a sound that few (despite many wannabes) can pull off as good as Cody Jinks does here.cody-jinks-publica-nuevo-disco-im-not-the-devil-2016Recorded at Sonic Ranch Studios in Texas, and produced with the support of ToneDeaf bassist, Joshua Thompson, this album is a magnificent trip into the heart of sincere, deep, passionate country music, originating from the heart, the mind and the hands of a solid master, upholding Waylon’s, Merle’s, Johnny’s and Hank’s heritage. The music here is wonderfully crafted between acoustic and electric, in a perfect meltdown, solid, at times shining, at times mystical. Since the first opening notes of the persuasive mid-tempo, all fiddle-and-steel song “The Same”, we realise how much care, how much love, how much complex simplicity has gone into forming the ground on which Cody has built a flourishing sonic and emotional garden. “I’m Not The Devil” (co-written, no surprise, with his friend Ward Davis, a very compatible promising artist) is a melancholy three-four time song testifying the pure qualities found in this artist. And while you’re still pondering about the message of redemption, put so well musically and lyrically into the song, you find yourself thrown into the “multi tempo”, aggressive, Waylon-esque “No Guarantee”: crystal clear, seductive, unstoppable. The tracks flow fluidly and leave the listener with that feeling of having to search for “clarification”, pleasantly forcing him to go back and listen again, for that guitar riff, that phrase, that change of speed, that vocal trick. We have mentioned the first three tracks in mere chronological listening order, but all the songs would be worth mentioning. Well, we’ve got space for two more recommendations. Firstly, the delightful apocalyptic “Heavy Load”, obscure and pessimistic, to listen to with your eyes closed, marvelously lending a citation from the bible, already used by Johnny Cash for his “The Man Comes Around”. Secondly, the childhood memories of “Gaylor Creek Church”, perfect, pure old country style, top level instruments and voice. Oh, we should also mention the spectacular acoustic and profound track, “Grey”.. and the sorrowful “Vampires”, about the loss of innocence… and the thundering, threatening, dark “Hand Me Down”… Well, didn’t we say “just a couple more recommendations”? Let’s make a deal: lose yourself in this album, and let us know. He once said “I wanted to be James Hatfield (Metallica)”. We guess he became the fantastic Cody Jinks. (Alex Rambani)