A New American Outlaw
By John Midkiff
Cody Bolden is as American as they come — a fan of country music, tasty pie, and good whiskey. He grew up in Georgia but spent every other weekend with his father on his family’s property in Alabama, affectionately referred to as “the farm.”
When asked what that was like, Bolden said, “Georgia is home; it always will be, but it was nice to get back there. It was like camping with power, sitting at the pond, which was backed up to the Talladega National Forest. It was just pure.”
Some of his music draws its roots from those Alabama trips. His feature song, “Yonderway,” is a callback to a simpler time when there was nothing to worry about except what was in front of you.
Bolden didn’t grow up in a typical music household. His mom sang along with the radio. His dad did karaoke and would sometimes take him along. It wasn’t until Christmas of 2014 that Bolden considered playing music. That year, his wife bought him a guitar and five 30-minute lessons. Admittedly, he didn’t get a lot out of those lessons. By the time he got in the room and got his stuff unpacked, the lesson was nearly over.
A few years later, Bolden’s wife enrolled him in a guitar class at Kennesaw State University. That was when the guitar started to make sense. The class length and the weekly repetition helped solidify things for him.
Even so, the path to performing hasn’t been a straight one for Bolden. He doesn’t draw income solely from his music. He and his wife also own Pie Bar in Woodstock.
After a new music venue opened next door to Pie Bar, Bolden performed at their undiscovered artist event. This performance was the first time he had ever played for an audience, and it inspired him to get serious about his music. He started writing songs and enjoying the artistry of it. In 2017, he played his first paying gig and never looked back.
When Bolden decided to record his first track with a full band, he had never recorded with a group of musicians or that many instruments. He told the musicians to do their own thing around the acoustic guitar, to let the song develop organically. Bolden wanted the song to be as much an act of creation for them as it was for him.
Bolden’s new EP dropped in July and is available on iTunes and Spotify. For more information about him or his upcoming shows, visit CodyBolden.com.