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Joe Nichols – MCE Interview

Joe Nichols (http://www.countrymusicislove.com)

Attention country music fans!  Joe Nichols is back!

It’s been awhile since the country crooner was a household name in country music.  He is one of the more traditional artists still on the mainstream circuit.  He has scored four #1 hits and eight Top 10 singles in his career, including “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” and “Gimmie That Girl.”

Now, after a few years’ “hiatus” from the country music world, Mr. Joe Nichols is back with brand new music.  He was one of the first artists signed to Red Bow Records, the newly created imprint of Broken Bow Records.  With his current smash hit and Top 25 single, “Sunny and 75,” which will soon be followed by the release of his new album, ‘Crickets,’ in October, Nichols is well o his way to becoming a household name once again in 2013.

We at Music City Encore recently had the chance to speak with Joe about the positive response from fans to his new music, what we can expect from his brand new album, and what motivates him as a country music artist after all these years.

Music City Encore: Your brand new album, ‘Crickets,’ is set to be released on October 8th.  This will be your first record on your new label, RED BOW Records.  How has the experience been with them so far?

Joe Nichols: It’s fantastic.  They’re a great group of people.  They have a strong sense for quality music.  It’s a great home for an artist to be.  Leadership is great….honestly is a great fit for me.  Everyone has a great head on their shoulders, and we all have the same goal in mind, to put out the best record we can.

MCE: The album features the lead hit single, “Sunny and 75.”  This son has really been received well by country radio and the fans.  How great was the feeling to be welcomed back by the fans so warmly on your first single in quite some time?

JN: Man I’ll tell you what, it’s a very warm feeling to have an absence from country radio for a year and a half, and to put out a new single, after almost re-launching my career, it’s a great feeling.  We have been welcomed back by country radio and the fans with open arms.  It’s always a scary feeling after being away for a while on how people are going to perceive you.  It’s been great.

MCE: ‘Crickets’ includes 16 songs, including “Footlights,” a cover of the Merle Haggard classic.  It’s certainly one of the standout tracks on the album, and it holds special significance for you as well.

JN: It’s an old favorite of mine and my father’s as well.  I’ve done this for years and years at shows, but I’ve never recorded it.  It’s the perfect song to compliment the record’s direction.  The new progressive sound, it was a good way to balance the record.

MCE: ‘Crickets’ has something for everyone, from ballads to fun up-tempo tracks and everything in between.  I’m assuming that was the goal of this record, the first on your new label?

JN: Absolutely.  It was very thought out…how we could make a record that would appeal to everyone, or as many people as possible.  The traditional stuff, more stuff that they expect from us…but also we used some progressive sounding sounds.  We really tried to bring it all in for this record.  And we are excited to hear what everyone has to say about it!

MCE: How has country music changed since you entered the business?

JN: My thoughts are complex about how country has changed.  The digital world has really launched and social media since 2002 when my first record came out.  There’s that instant access between artists and fans.  Have to change our business.  New direction with the other artists from genres…it’s not really anything new…just a little different with the time and age.  It’s been going on for decades, and I don’t think anyone can say it’s the first time it’s happening.  If the record is good, people are going to buy it and it’s going to succeed.

MCE: You’ve had four #1 hits, eight Top Ten singles, you’re a four-time Grammy nominee.  There are CMT Awards, CMA Awards, and ACM Awards.  At this stage in your career, what motivates you as a songwriter, as a performer, and as an artist?

JN: The passion for music and to please country music fans.  I’ve always had it in my blood to do this and this is where I belong.  I’m very fortunate for that.  I questioned along the way whether or not I was good enough to do this, but I never questioned whether or not I was meant to do this.  This feels right 100% of the time.

For the latest news and updates on Joe Nichols, visit his official website.