by Joe Nichols


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Amiable guy that he is, Joe Nichols adapts easily to a new surrounding -- and 2013's Crickets certainly does place the neo-traditionalist country singer in a new setting. A devotee of the Haggard/Travis/Jackson school, Nichols is savvy enough to realize that this kind of deeply felt country no longer really sells in 2013, so he treats his first album for Red Bow as an opportunity to reposition himself as a modern kind of guy, the kind who not only knows about iPods and chatrooms but will sing about them too. All of Crickets is peppered with these kind of off-hand references to the modern world, but Nichols' true tell is the bright, affable sound of the record, how it finds a cozy middle ground between his burnished signature and the hyper-stylized, over-sized country of new millennial sports bars. Usually, Nichols seems at ease with the easy-rolling tunes -- "Better Than Beautiful" is a sweet ballad that could've fit into the Urban Cowboy era -- but when the tempo is perky without being sprightly, the production crisp without gleaming, he sounds chipper and affable too, as on "Hard to Be Cool" and "Sunny and 75." So much of the success of Crickets depends upon Nichols' inherent likability -- a crutch he's relied on before, when the traditionalist well started to run dry -- and in this irrepressibly cheery context this nice-guy attitude is no doubt an asset, as it gives the slickness humility. But no matter how well Joe Nichols wears these new clothes, all it takes is a smooth, understated cover of Merle Haggard's "Footlights" to remind us that his true strengths are rooted in the past, not the present.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/08/2013
Label: Red Bow Records
UPC: 0697487688724
catalogNumber: 76887
Rank: 26027

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joe Nichols   Primary Artist
Eddie Bayers   Drums
Pat Buchanan   Electric Guitar
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar
Larry Franklin   Fiddle,Mandolin
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Derek George   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Kenny Greenberg   Acoustic Guitar
Tony Harrell   Keyboards
Jim Horn   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar
Steve Nathan   Keyboards,Hammond B3
Russ Pahl   Steel Guitar
Charles Rose   Trombone
Biff Watson   Acoustic Guitar
Lonnie Wilson   Drums
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar
Troy Lancaster   Electric Guitar
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Casey Wood   Percussion
Mickey Jack Cones   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Scott Ducaj   Trumpet
Jimmie Sloas   Bass
Glen Worff   Bass
Mike Johnson   Steel Guitar
Mark Hill   Bass
Wild Wild Westwood Women   Background Vocals
Brentwood Good Ole Boys Choir   Background Vocals
Jenee' Fleener   Fiddle
Aubrey Haynle   Fiddle,Mandolin

Technical Credits

Merle Haggard   Composer
Brett Beavers   Composer
Steve Bogard   Composer
Derek George   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Neal Coty   Composer
Jim Collins   Composer
Kelley Lovelace   Composer
Rivers Rutherford   Composer
Jason Sellers   Composer
Michael Dulaney   Composer
Glenn Sweitzer   Art Direction
Dave Berg   Composer
Chris Wallin   Composer
Rich Herring   Composer
Casey Wood   Programming,Engineer
Mickey Jack Cones   Producer,Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Ashley Gorley   Composer
Brent Baxter   Composer
Bill Whyte   Composer
Jimmy Melton   Composer
Dylan Altman   Composer
Lisa Shaffer   Composer
Ben Hayslip   Composer
Dallas Davidson   Composer
Bryan Simpson   Composer
Michael Heeney   Composer
Marla Cannon-Goodman   Composer
Clay Mills   Composer
Eric Paslay   Composer
Ryan Tyndell   Composer
John Edwards   Composer
Rhett Atkins   Composer
Chris Dubois   Composer
Paul Jenkins   Composer
Jason Delkou   Composer
Justin Wilson   Composer
Jason Sever   Composer
Tammi Kidd Hutton   Composer
Bob Hatch   Composer

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