Joe Nichols Aimed For An Upbeat, Positive Tone On New Album

09/24/2013
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(Radio.com) Joe Nichols is a happy guy. And why shouldn't he be? He's got a solid marriage, a new baby daughter and an impressive music career that includes ACM awards, GRAMMY nominations and a long string of hit singles including "Brokenheartsville," "Gimmie That Girl," "The Shape I'm In" and "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off."

Add to that Crickets, the brand-new album that Nichols will release early next month (Oct. 8). It's Nichols' eighth studio album, and to hear him explain it, the 16 songs inside represent a fresh new approach to music, and to life, from one of contemporary country's most well-respected artists.

"I'm at a bright place in my life," Nichols told Radio.com during a recent interview in Nashville (watch the video above). As we browsed through the racks at local record store Grimey's (Nichols was as intrigued by the vinyl reissues of classic Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Mickey Newbury albums as by the big display for Daft Punk), he cheerfully talked about working with a brand-new label (Red Bow Records), what initially struck him about his current single "Sunny and 75," his positive outlook on life and how these and other experiences have worked their way into the songs and sounds on Crickets.

"I'm in love, I've got a brand-new baby. All these things are happening in my life that are going really great. So we wanted songs that reflected that."

Since his debut album in 2002, Nichols has earned a strong reputation as a neo-traditionalist. And while wasn't looking to walk away from that entirely–it's too deeply ingrained in his soul–Crickets shows him exploring new sounds, production, and songs with a fresh attitude.

"[Red Bow label head] Benny Brown felt it was important to capture the changes in my life over the past few years," Nichols explained. "So we started looking for songs that mirrored that. The result is we have a record full energy, full of life, full of goodness." More including video.

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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