Sweet and “Sunny’ summer: Joe Nichols headlines Roughrider Days concert

FNS Photo by Brian Basham
Joe Nichols shakes hands with some fortunate women in the front row of VIP seating Aug. 7, 2010, at WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Every day this summer has seemed sunny and 75 for Grammy-nominated country star Joe Nichols.

He has one of the top songs of the summer, recently got to spend some time on tour with his wife and two daughters, is with a new and burgeoning record label that specializes in country music, and has a new album dropping this fall.

The singer with such No. 1 singles as “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and “Gimme That Girl” will be in Dickinson on Wednesday as the headliner of the Roughrider Days Fair & Expo concert that begins at 8 p.m. with Restless Heart opening for Nichols.

“Honestly, things have been going pretty great for me lately,” Nichols said. “I can’t complain about anything.”

Nichols’ single “Sunny and 75” hasn’t reached the top of the charts but it has held steady with strong radio airplay and has a five-star rating on iTunes, where it is his second-best selling single behind his catchy 2005 hit “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.”

“It’s a made-for-summer type of song,” Nichols said via a phone interview while in Oshkosh, Wis. “Hopefully the song is not only connecting this summer but for summers in the future and it’s played throughout every summer.

“It’s the kind of song you love bringing to radio. It’s a tempo thing for the summertime. We need songs like this on the radio. The track feels great, it’s well written. The vocals are beyond what I’ve done before.”

Nichols said fans who come to Wednesday’s concert will hear a good mix of old hits and new singles of his untitled upcoming album, which he said will be released in September or October. It will be his first album with the record label Red Bow.

“We play the songs that people are familiar with us for,” Nichols said. “We’ll play the things that bring people to the show. We’ll try to mix in as much of the new music as possible.

“We’ve got a really cool opportunity. We get to play enough hits to make a show, but at the same time, we get to play new stuff added in there that we feel like doesn’t have to be a hit for people to like it.”

Some of Nichols’ biggest hits never hit No. 1 on any charts. Two of his most well-known songs are the memorable ballads “The Impossible” and “I’ll Wait For You.” He is also known for swinging singles “What’s a Guy Gotta Do (To Get a Girl in This Town)” and “Cool To Be a Fool,” as well as the slower-tempo hits “She Only Smokes When She Drinks” and “If Nobody Believed In You.”

Along with “Sunny and 75,” Nichols is also featured this summer on Randy Travis’ newest single, “Tonight I’m Playin’ Possum,” which was released June 11.

Though they haven’t been released on iTunes — or anywhere else for that matter — Nichols said crowds have given him big responses from new songs, “Yeah” and “Yee-Haw.” He said “Yeah” feels like “a pretty obvious second single,” while “Yee-Haw” is “corny, kind of goofy, fun to play live.”

Kevin Stockert of the Roughrider Commission said the group’s search for concert performers began in November. Stockert said he is pleased they were able to bring Nichols to Dickinson, along with Restless Heart.

“It’s good timing,” Stockert said in reference to Nichols having a new single and upcoming album. “Of course, Joe Nichols has got numerous hits and is Grammy nominated and such. We’re looking forward to a really good show.”

Nichols, who is an Arkansas native, said Thursday that his wife, Heather, and two daughters, 14-year-old Ashlelyn and 14-month-old Dylan, just left the tour and won’t join him in Dickinson.

While some stars don’t bring their families on tour, Nichols said he loves having them along for the ride.

“Man, I love being a dad,” he said. “Every part of my life, outside of music, is wrapped around being a dad. I love it. I love every part of that. I’m a fairly easy-going guy.”


Author: Dustin Monke

Former newspaper editor. Now I market the best baked goods and donuts in America. But every once in a while, I write a cool story too.

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