Country hit-maker Joe Nichols will join Eric Church, Josh Thompson, and Thompson Square at WGNA's Countryfest 2012.


Meet Joe Nichols:

When I first heard Joe Nichols sing "The Impossible" in 2002, I was happy to hear a traditional artist on modern country radio.  More importantly, I learned how inspirational his first song was to so many people, as requests and stories rolled in on my show.  People were sharing stories of overcoming addictions, disabilities, and goals that seemed out of reach, in response to the powerful lyrics Joe was singing on the radio.  In my opinion, fans' reactions to a song like this are more important than how far a song gets on the charts. Then came "Brokenheartsville", and I became a loyal fan!

As his star was rising, I actually had the chance to see him in concert at Gilley's Night Club in Texas, while I was hosting a group of listeners on a road trip to Dallas/Fort Worth in 2004.  Now I was seeing the real deal in person, no voice processing and no studio overdubs or production. This guy had natural talent. Joe had a strong voice and charming stage presence, even reaching down to hold the hand of one of our travelers while singing a love song. I could easily see that this guy was our generation's "Merle Haggard" or "Vern Gosdin." Joe's voice had that perfect country sound as the steel guitar and fiddle filled the air, while he debuted his new single at the time, "What's A Guy Gotta Do".  Although I love all styles of country music, it was just great to see a new star in the early 2000's singing "real" sounding country.

I had the chance to visit with Joe backstage, and I learned that he had actually been making music long before his major record deal with Universal South.  At 19, Joe had actually had a deal with the smaller Intersound record label and released a few songs.  For whatever reason, the singles flopped and the record company closed it's doors.

Joe went back to moving furniture, installing cable, and selling steaks door to door until his second chance came along.  This time his connection with studio guitarist Brent Rowan would lead him to making an album that was picked up by Universal South and Joe was finally getting his music to the public and climbing the Country Music charts.

It's been 10 years since Joe took his first single "The Impossible" to #3, now he's just released a Greatest Hits collection and he's secured his place in Country Music as a traditionalist who is here to stay!  The CMAs 2003 Horizon Award winner has built himself a loyal following thanks to hits like "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" (a popular selling ringtone), "The Shape I'm In" and "Gimmie That Girl."

WGNA presents Joe Nichols, Eric Church, Josh Thompson, Thompson Square at Countryfest 2012 at the Times Union Center on Saturday, July 7.  The event starts with a free street party on Pearl Street starting at noon with Dustin Lynch and other acts to be announced.