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'Sunny and 75' in Pa. -- Joe Nichols to perform

August 23, 2013|By AMY DULEBOHN | amyc@herald-mail.com
  • Country singer Joe Nichols will headline a music festival Saturday at the American Legion Grounds in Greencastle, Pa.
By Ann-Marie Hensley

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- —  Joe Nichols can trace his love for country music back to when he was a small child.

“I’d sing with my dad. I used to go with my dad to a lot of VFWs and beer joints,” he said during a telephone interview from Ohio where he was set to perform on a recent Friday night. 

But the influences at such establishments got the young boy in trouble, he said.

“I went to church, I was maybe 5 years old. And the preacher asked the congregation for requests — and he said, ‘If you have any requests, just stand up and start singing and we’ll join in with you.’ So I stood up and I said, ‘All right, I’ve got a request,’ and so I stood up and I started singing ‘Red Neckin’ Lovemakin’ Night,’ by Conway Twitty, and no one joined in. At the time, things like that weren’t laughed at so much. So I got in quite a bit of trouble for that,” Nichols said with a laugh echoing his signature baritone voice.

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Humor is a mainstay in Nichols’ shows, he said. He is scheduled to perform Saturday, Aug. 31, at the American Legion Grounds in Greencastle, and he said he those who attend can expect to have fun. 

“I like to keep the show as humorous, as lively, as energetic as possible,” he said. “We have several party-type songs, but we also have some serious stuff that people know us for. At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that people feel like they got their money’s worth. (We hope that) they left there truly entertained, rather then, ‘Oh I saw a singer sing.’”

Since his debut on the country music charts more than a decade ago, Nichols, 36, has had three No. 1 hits, including “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and “Gimmie That Girl.” 

His latest single, “Sunny and 75,” is the debut track of a new album due out Oct. 8. Nichols said the song is shaping up to be another hit. 

“Sales are outpacing any single I’ve ever had. I couldn’t ask for anything more, especially for a new single off a new album,” he said.

After a few relatively quiet years, Nichols has signed with Red Bow records, and said he thinks he’s made the right decision.

 “I feel like musically, I have total freedom with this new label to expand, do new things, find out who I was,” Nichols said. “My relationship with the previous label didn’t end well; it wasn’t well the last few years, and it kind of felt like I got a little bit jaded on myself and what I was doing. I feel like with the new label, with the new attitude, I think it’s time for a clean start, so that’s what I’ve been given.”

He also said he’s a fan of his upcoming album.

“It’s called ‘Crickets,, and that’s exactly what we’re not hoping for,” Nichols said with a laugh, referring to the use of the word “crickets” after a lame joke that no one has laughed at.  

Crickets, the insect, though, are a recurring theme on the record. “There’s a couple of songs that mention crickets and of course the title track is a song called ‘Crickets.’ It’s an earthy little, organic, out in the country kind of title, but it’s cool,” he said. 

“I definitely think that this new album is the best one that I’ve ever made, and I’m not just sayin’ that ’cause I’ve had several along the way that I thought were good, but not the best,” Nichols said. “But I feel very confident in saying this album is the best collection of songs, best vocals, best tracks that I’ve ever been able to accomplish ... great producers ... they put together one heck of an album.”

If you go ...

Who: Joe Nichols

When: Saturday, Aug. 31; Gates open at 10 a.m. Music is scheduled from 1:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: American Legion Grounds, 4775 Williamson Road, Greencastle, Pa.

Cost: $20

Contact: Call Greencastle American Legion at 717-597-9954 or go to www.missiontix.com

More: Also performing are Chris Woodward & Shindiggin; Brittany Taylor; and Striking Matches. This is an all-ages show; BYOB, coolers are permitted on the grounds, but no glass containers

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