"Crickets" by Joe Nichols on iTunes

16 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

For his Red Bow debut, Crickets, Joe Nichols updates his traditional country-rooted sound with radio-friendly numbers that celebrate the pleasures of cold beer, warm babes, and backwoods fun. Nichols’ easy yet commanding vocal style (complete with killer baritone moves) gives anything he sings a certain extra gravitas. His knack for simultaneously getting loose and keeping classy serves him well on “Hee Haw” and “Open Up a Can,” a pair of tunes that lean toward the cheerful rowdiness of Luke Bryant and Jake Owen. If there’s a streak of the ornery in these tracks, it’s more than balanced by Nichols’ sweeter, more poppy instincts, evident on romantically inviting fare like “Yeah” and “Baby You’re in Love with Me.” “Sunny and 75” is a simmering, slightly moody tune that captures the singer at his seductive best. When he digs deeply into a slower tune—as he does on the tender “Better Than Beautiful” and the reflective “Billy Graham’s Bible”—Nichols renews his credentials as one of country’s most appealing balladeers. A soulful cover of Merle Haggard’s “Footlights” adds a dash of authentic honky-tonk.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For his Red Bow debut, Crickets, Joe Nichols updates his traditional country-rooted sound with radio-friendly numbers that celebrate the pleasures of cold beer, warm babes, and backwoods fun. Nichols’ easy yet commanding vocal style (complete with killer baritone moves) gives anything he sings a certain extra gravitas. His knack for simultaneously getting loose and keeping classy serves him well on “Hee Haw” and “Open Up a Can,” a pair of tunes that lean toward the cheerful rowdiness of Luke Bryant and Jake Owen. If there’s a streak of the ornery in these tracks, it’s more than balanced by Nichols’ sweeter, more poppy instincts, evident on romantically inviting fare like “Yeah” and “Baby You’re in Love with Me.” “Sunny and 75” is a simmering, slightly moody tune that captures the singer at his seductive best. When he digs deeply into a slower tune—as he does on the tender “Better Than Beautiful” and the reflective “Billy Graham’s Bible”—Nichols renews his credentials as one of country’s most appealing balladeers. A soulful cover of Merle Haggard’s “Footlights” adds a dash of authentic honky-tonk.

Mastered for iTunes
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5

335 Ratings

Nailed it!

AJD2392,

It just doesn't get much better than Joe Nichols

Great Country Album

rcarrie03,

No, I haven't listened to the entire album in it's entirety yet but from sampling the tracks, boy this sounds good and fresh Country Music that Joe is keeping traditional, This is Country Music!!!! Every song sounds great. Can't wait to own the album CRICKETS!!!

About Joe Nichols

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 regularly and worked on his songwriting.

He landed a record deal with Intersound and released his self-titled debut in 1996, naturally with Edwards producing. The single "Six of One, Half a Dozen (Of the Other)" was a minor hit, but the album didn't sell particularly well. It did manage to earn Nichols a shot with Warner Bros., but a series of label mergers left him out in the cold, and he worked a series of day jobs around Nashville while looking for a new deal. In 2000, he struck up a songwriting partnership with session guitarist Brent Rowan, and two years later he signed with Universal. His label debut, Man with a Memory, was released in 2002, and its lead single, the ballad "The Impossible," went to number three on the country charts, also crossing over to the pop Top 30. In the wake of its success, his first album was reissued under the title Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other.

Another single from Man with a Memory, "Brokenheartsville," became his first number one country hit in early 2003, and it helped send the album into the country Top Ten. The accolades were suddenly flying fast and furious. The Academy of Country Music named Nichols its Top New Male Vocalist, he garnered three Grammy nominations, and Billboard declared "The Impossible" the tenth most-played song in 2003. Nichols and his band toured with Alan Jackson through August of that year, and saw the single "She Only Smokes When She Drinks" enjoy similar success at country radio. In September, the buzz around Nichols continued with a Horizon new artist award nomination from the Country Music Association.

His second disc for Universal South, Revelation, and a holiday album, Traditional Christmas, were released in 2004, followed by the Top Ten hit III in 2005. His next record, Real Things, hit the shelves in 2007 and focused primarily on tender country ballads with a smattering of uptempo jams. Old Things New followed two years later in 2009. Old Things New was another solid hit for Nichols thanks to the singles "Believers" and "Gimmie That Girl," and Nichols followed it up in 2011 with It's All Good. It's All Good performed respectably -- it debuted at 19 on the Billboard country charts -- but it didn't generate a big hit single. After its release, Nichols parted ways with Universal and signed with Red Bow in October 2012. A year later, he returned with the sunny, pop-oriented Crickets.

Crickets generated two major country hits -- "Sunny and 75" and "Yeah" -- which kept the album on the charts through 2014. In 2015, Nichols released "Freaks Like Me," the single that was intended to be the first taste from his eighth solo album, but it didn't generate much attention, nor did its 2016 sequel, "Undone." Following these two singles, Nichols reworked the eighth album, which was released as Never Gets Old in July 2017. ~ Steve Huey

  • ORIGIN
    Rogers, AR
  • BORN
    Nov 26, 1976

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