Joe Nichols Chase Bryant Drew Baldridge
As Joe Nichols began work on a brand new batch of old-school country music, he found himself looking back for inspiration. Back to his early career, back to true friends and the simple perfection of pure country music … back to things that never get old.When Joe Nichols released his debut album, he was barely 20 years old and trying to put his youth behind him. Looking back now, he laughs at that thought, but some things never change. Back then he was scrappy and defiant about his quest to revive traditional country, and that drive remains. In fact, he says it’s one of those things that never gets old.“I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” he says. “With my first album, there was this apprehension of ‘Is country music ready for a traditional country record?’ It was a little bit scary, but we went for it, and with Never Gets Old I still feel the exact same passion – it’s like ‘Let’s give it to them anyway.’ Now, I think country music is ready.”
Despite being on the cusp of exceptional achievement for someone so young, Bryant sees little difference between himself and the audience. “We’re all fans,” he says. “We’re all friends. And the music is our connection. To me, it’s a lifelong relationship and we’ll all get where we’re going together. That’s the beauty of music. This is the first chapter of my book, and I think people will find it defines where they’re at just as much as it defines where I’m at — because we’re the same – I’m just the guy with the guitar. If I wasn’t, I’d be the guy on the front row with his arm around his girl raising a glass to the guy onstage. No question. It’s just who I am. Music is everything.”
Punchy horn section stabs … a popping bass beat … James Brown guitar jangles … a slamming backbeat …
It’s all there on the opening track from Drew Baldridge’s Dirt On Us — and yes, it is country music, as country as it comes.
He pauses for a second, then wraps it all up with characteristic candor. “I know I’m not the most talented guy in Nashville, but I also know that nobody can outwork me. I’ve worked hard my whole life. I moved here five years ago but I’ve been playing in bars for seven years. I’ve had my band for more than three years. We’ve done over a hundred thousand miles on the road. We’ve got a lot of dirt on us. That’s one of the reasons I call this album Dirt On Us. Maybe people don’t know that, but I know that.”