Joe Nichols Commits to Traditional Country

Talks New Album Never Gets Old and Honky-Tonk Version of Sir Mix A Lot’s “Baby Got Back”

Through the years of country music trends, one thing that will never go out of style is Joe Nichols’ voice and the traditional country he sings.

On his latest 12-track album Never Gets Old, he mostly sings about love — making it (“Hostage” and “Breathless”), falling for it to the sounds of live music (“Girl in the Song”) and investing in it (“Diamonds Make Babies”).

But on the striking “We All Carry Something,” co-written by Westin Davis and Justin Weaver, Nichols sings about the imperfections that make people human. The verses sing of a woman who inherited alcoholism from her mother, a Chicago cop who cries over witnessing a world of crime on the job and a Purple Heart war veteran who lives with memories of his time in the service and shrapnel in his arm.

“We all kind of carry our junk from our past and so the being alone part doesn’t have to be part of the problem,” Nichols said during our interview. “There’s a redeeming factor in the song that doesn’t make it such a sad song about pain. It’s sad song about everybody having pain and it’s alright. We’re all in it together. It’s a very powerful song that’s unique in the fact that it grips you from the very beginning, and it punches you at the very end.”

For our Q&A, Nichols kicked back on a couch at the Music Row headquarters of his home label Red Bow Records, an imprint of Broken Bow Music Group (Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch, Chase Rice and others). The 13-minute conversation was mostly about Never Gets Old, including his updated honky-tonk version of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s hit “Baby Got Back.” Nichols remembers there was no escaping the 1992 hit 25 years ago. It was everywhere.

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