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L.A. Beat

Joe Nichols to play the hits and preview some of new CD in Lethbridge concert

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Arkansas born, East Texas based country star Joe Nichols makes his long awaited debut in Lethbridge with Gord Bamford, April 9 at the Enmax Centre as part of a 10 date Western Canadian tour with Gord Bamford which dips into California, Arizona and Texas.Joe Nichols plays Lethbridge for the first time, April 9. Photo by Joseph Llane
“I’m a little nervous. The first couple of shows of a tour a little nerve-wracking. But were going to have a lot of fun. The people around me know what they’re doing,” rumbled Nichols from soundcheck in Medicine Hat, where they began the tour, April 7.

“I don’t play Canada very much, just bigger festivals,” he drawled adding he is looking forward to not only  playing his many hits like “Brokenheartsville,” “She Only Drinks When She Smokes,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” plus  some music from the long awaited follow up  to his 2014 album “Crickets” including the lead single “Freaks Like Me.”

“This is going to be a new experience for me,” he said, just returning from some well deserved time off with his family at their east Texas home near Dallas.

“It was much needed. My voice was getting strained. So I took some time off and got to know the family again. Now I’m feeling recharged and rejuvenated,” he said adding he hopes to see them again mid-tour.

“I just found out I have a day off on the tour, so I’ll go and see them, he said adding he is excited to get back on the road for another busy year.
“I’m excited to meet some people and make a few new fans. That’s the stuff I get excited about. We’re going to have some fun,” he said.
He is also excited abut the new CD which he expects to release by the end of the year.

“I’ve had a lot of comebacks, which is funny because I’ve never really gone anywhere,” he said, noting he has busy on the road pretty much non stop since releasing “Crickets”  in late 2013.
“I haven’t had time to write anything for the new album, at least nothing worth cutting,” he said, adding choosing the songs from the upcoming CD has been a time consuming process.

“Finding time to go into the studio and cut tracks has been difficult. But I love the songs we did,” he said.
“There’s a song called ‘Undone’ that we’re really excited about. And people really like ‘The Girl in the Song. It feels like a stadium anthem. And  ‘We All Come’ is the meat of the album— that big a-ha moment of an album,” he enthused.
“I’ll be in and out of the studio in between tour dates,” he said.

“I’m going to keep finding quality fans and keep the fans happy. I want to find songs fans can relate to,” he said.

His breakout hit “ Brokenheartsville,” from his debut album was one of those.
“A friend of mine received it and said he heard  George Strait had passed on it, he said adding he was immediately impressed by it.
“It was close to the country music I was raised on,” he said.

 He had a similar reaction when he heard his current single “ Freaks Like Me.”
“It’s got a great message. It’s a song that really engages people,” he said.

 He cited Merle Haggard, who passed away at the age of 79 on his birthday, April 6, as one of his biggest influences.

“He was the biggest influence on me. He was a huge influence as far back as I can remember I was trying to sing like him,” Nichols said.
“He was like the Bob Dylan of country music. He had a simple style. That blue collar style  and wrote the type of lyrics a that just speak to the working class,” Nichols enthused.
He is excited to tour with Gord Bamford for the first time.
“We’ve never played together. We’ve run into each other in Nashville though,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to hearing him. I’ll be listening to him at soundcheck,” he said.
 He is excited about the show itself.

“We’ve got a lot of songs, about for or five  from the upcoming album and some goofy moments,” he promised.
 While many of Nichols’s contemporaries lean towards pop music, Nichols roots are straight in traditional country music. Though he   has played a country version of ’80s rap hit “ Baby Got Back.”

“I just started playing that in the tour van just to joke with the band and they started to play along with me. So I guess the joke’s on me. It was so much fun, we actually recorded it  for the new album,” he chuckled, noting it probably won't be a single.

“We may release it just to push it,” he laughed.

Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford and Trevor Panczak and Rough Stock’s  concert begins at 7:30 p.m., April 9 at the Enmax Centre. Tickets cost $51.25, $71.75 and $86.75.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 December 2017 15:02 )  
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