Joe Nichols is set for an interesting year in 2011.
The country star has been in between a new artist and a star for the last five or so years. He found success in 2002 and 2003 with his major label debut. After a few big hits he slowed the momentum some with his second album. Then in 2005 things kicked into gear again with the huge crossover hit Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off. A gold record followed along with more top ten hits. After another album and a trip to rehab for personal reasons Joe kind of surprised everybody in 2010 with the surprise number one hit Gimmie That Girl.
Throughout his career Joe has been a consistent hit maker. He’s one of the best traditionalist singers in Nashville right now. His albums are always well respected by critics and he has a devout group of fans he can play for each summer during the touring stretch.
The crazy thing with Joe is he just can’t seem to break into the star status of a Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, or even Billy Currington. Joe Nichols is an in between artist, but perhaps 2011 will change it all. Sometimes an artist just needs that one or two big hits to get the momentum going with a large audience.
Joe Nichols in 2011
As of right now Joe Nichols is actually riding one of my favorite songs on the radio right now.
With The Shape I’m In Joe has found a song that has all the makings of a big hit. The song has a catchy melody. It doesn’t sound like anything else on the radio and it’s catching on with most country fans for its honest approach to life. Despite all the bad things in life – and it sounds like more than a few things have gone wrong for Joe – he’s doing alright.
That positive approach to life is appealing in an artist. Country music has always had the down on your lucky, depressed side. Fans come to country music looking for something to let them know they’re not alone in the world. When fans hear that others, especially success artists can get down on their luck it makes them feel a bit better about themselves.
The Shape I’m In is the third single from Joe’s latest album Old Things New. I’m not sure if the label will release a fourth from the collection once Shape runs its course, but there are a few that could be great singles.
After that 2011 seems like another interesting year in the career of Joe Nichols.
To kick of 2011 there will be a greatest hits collection from Joe. The new set will have 10 of Joe’s biggest hits, but no new songs on the set. It seems like this is just a good way to close out one stage of a career and move into a new stage. Perhaps there are some big things planned for Joe in the future?
The set should do well, but greatest hits albums have struggled over the past few years. There probably won’t be much noise around the album.
New Music and Album
Once The Shape I’m In runs its course on the charts we may see some new music from Joe. Perhaps sometime around the summer or fall we’ll have a brand new album from the country traditionalist. I’m excited to see how The Shape I’m In does on the charts. I’m hoping the song creeps its way into the top ten at least and I think it has the legs to make it top five.
I’ve really liked Joe’s last two albums. The most recent Old Things New I especially like. He has a good way of dipping into the deep side of life and pulling out some emotions most artists are afraid to take on. Along with that he can also bring out the positive songs with stuff like Gimmie That Girl and Believers.
It’s hard to figure what a new album would be from Joe. There will probably be a bit of the dark side of things although since he came back out of rehab there has been a noticeable change in Joe. He always came across as the guy that was fun and engaging outside of home, but that could go off with a short fuse once and a while. I don’t claim to know him. That’s just my interpretation of his behavior. It seems like now he’s a little more aged. A little more mature in life. It shows in his music and demeanor a bit.
I’d expect to see something similar to Joe’s previous albums if he comes out with something new in 2011. There has been a bit of growth over the years with his music, but he’s made the transition from each album so seamless it’s hard to see the real difference unless you really take notice.
I’m hoping for new music from Joe in 2011 and I’d expect nothing short of great traditional country music.
A Star is born in 2011?
Joe Nichols has been on the cusp of country stardom for five or so years now.
It’s hard to know if 2011 will be the year Joe steps out from in between newcomer and star. He’s been right there and usually labels get sick of messing around with artists that don’t become stars. The thing with Joe is he’s always been the biggest and most consistent act on his label. Due to a recent merger though he now shares a label with Trace Adkins and Toby Keith. Perhaps the friendly competition will kick things into a new gear for Joe. He seems like a guy that wants to succeed and he certainly has the talent.
It would be a tough bet to see if Joe could become a star by the end of the new year. The country scene is kind of a in a pop stage right now. Traditional acts are kind of struggling to find the really big hits on radio. Rock and catchy pop kind of rule the country airwaves. I wouldn’t want to see Joe try and real crossover stuff. It’s not his style.
Perhaps it will take a few years before Joe can become a star, but I think we’ll eventually see it. And when it happens it will be a great story of persistence and determination.
Joe Nichols is my favorite kind of country singer. He has the traditional style of Alan Jackson, George Strait, and Tracy Lawrence yet Joe has his own deep side he brings to his music.
Joe Nichols may not be a star yet in the eyes of the broad country fanbase, but he’s one of my favorite artists and I think 2011 will be another good year for the singer.
Bonus Video – The Shape I’m In