Country Music People May 2019 - Page 16

Must-hear Joe Nichols Brokenheartsville As powerful today as it ever was. The Rose Is For Today Classic Charley Pride for today. Let’s Get Drunk And Fight Rowdy, commercial and still country as hell. If I Could Only Fly With Lee Ann Womack, this is even better than Haggard. Don’t Ruin It For The Rest Of Us One of the best songs Strait never got hold of. Old School Country Song Contemporary old-school charm. That’s What Love’ll Get You Could’ve been AJ. Cheaper Than A Shrink Good ol’ boy sage advice. The Impossible The one that started it all is as stunning now as it ever was. Billy Graham’s Bible Quality song on every level. My Whiskey Years Jeffrey Steele-penned killer song. It’s All Good Full of that old-school charm. Cool To Be A Fool Perfectly executed in every way. I’d Sing About You One of the best from Never Gets Old. An Old Friend Of Mine Absolute stone country. What’s A Guy Gotta Do Cajun-inspired and better than Adalida. You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet Randy Travis eat your heart out. Man Woman Never underestimate the melody. My Old Friend The Blues Simple, moving, and perfect. No Time To Cry Heartfelt proof of Nichols’ skill with hardcore ballads. from 2009, the hits slowed down a little for Joe Nichols. Even the Arkansas born singer himself didn’t see the success of Sunny And 75 coming. The song got him back on the charts in a big way in 2013. It was the first single from his album Crickets on his Red Bow Records debut, the single topped the Country Airplay Chart and went Top 5 on Hot Country Songs. “I thought the song [Sunny And 75] was a little progressive for me, a little contemporary, and it was a shock that it came out the way it did. I, certainly at radio, didn’t think it would click as well as it did. It took off and became a huge record.” Reflecting on his time in the business and whether it is becoming even more difficult to balance the fight for the records you want to make as an artist and keeping a record deal, Nichols says, “I think that record labels are like any other business. It’s like, ‘What can you do for me? What have you done for me lately?’, and, ‘What can you do for me tomorrow?’. I think there’s a very real…my world is a very steady kind of thing. My touring is what it is, I play a lot of shows, my income is pretty much predicted at the beginning of the year, and signing a guy like me with a record deal I think there’s, ‘he’s going to make this much money, he’s going to have this much success… this much radio’. There’s a clear economic decision to be made. With a lot of the people that don’t have record deals, the younger people, there’s 16 cmp - MAY 2019 more of an opportunity to… I don’t want to be mean… but…with a younger person, they really want a deal more desperately, so they’re willing to give ‘up’. And so I think labels find an easier opportunity to sign younger acts and make more potential money on the back end. With a guy like me they hear, ‘Uh, I don’t wanna give you 100% of my touring yet, I’ve had hits on the radio so I can go work, I’ve got a fan base, I’ve done things that kind of give me a place in country music. Sure, would I like to keep on having radio hits? Absolutely. Do I really want to give you everything I earn to do it? I don’t know about that. “I think there’s a lot of people coming up…in order to get to a successful level I think they’re willing to sell a lot of parts of everything that’s worth something. People need to be careful, and I would say that to anybody that wants to get into the business and be a successful artist. Do everything you can to hold on to 100% ownership of yourself because the one thing I think people are looking for most in signing people, label, publishers, anything like that, is to have ownership of you, and eventually that’ll become a big payday. You’ve gotta decide whether you want them to make that money or you want to make that money. Do you believe in yourself or do you believe in them? These days it’s easier for a guy like me to make that call. I imagine when you’re coming up and the prospect of having