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Man With a Memory

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Album Review

From the looks of him — long, unkempt hair and wrinkled jeans jacket over a black T-shirt — on the cover of his major-label debut, Man With a Memory, you might expect that Joe Nichols aspires to be the next Kris Kristofferson-style Nashville rebel. Appearances can be deceiving, however. Vocally, Nichols sounds like Alan Jackson trying to make like George Jones, and he sings Nashville country songs played by Music City session players. The album's lead single is "The Impossible," a piece of country philosophy about how impossible things happen. In the first verse, the narrator's apparently invincible father turns out to be able to feel pain after all; in the second a paralyzed friend learns to walk. Most of the other songs range from barroom weepers ("She Only Smokes When She Drinks") to expressions of romantic devotion. Tom T. Hall's "Life Don't Have to Mean Nothing at All" is a particular highlight.

Biography

Born: 26 November 1976 in Rogers, AR

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Joe Nichols took the roundabout way to country success, scoring his first major hit six years after landing his initial record deal. A native of Rogers, Arkansas, Nichols grew up watching his father play bass in a local country band. He himself played in a rock band during his teenage years but soon came back to country, and after high school took a night job as a DJ while supporting himself as a mechanic by day. He met producer Randy Edwards at the latter job, and under Edwards' guidance, he performed...
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Man With a Memory, Joe Nichols
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