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He’s a 21st century traditionalist — an artist who’s both timely and timeless, racking up a half-dozen Number 1 singles and ten Top 10 hits with a sound that honors his heroes. From his first radio smash, 2002’s “The Impossible,” to 2021’s Home Run,” Nichols has proudly done things his own way, blurring the boundaries between country music’s past and present along the way.
It’s an approach that has earned Nichols multi-platinum success, three Grammy nominations, a CMA award, an ACM trophy, and — perhaps most importantly — the support of his idols. He still remembers the day he received a letter from Buck Owens, who passed away the same week his message arrived in Nichols’ mailbox. The two had previously crossed paths in Bakersfield, California, where Owens complimented Nichols on his classic sound… and gave him some good-natured teasing about the length of his hair.
“He wrote me the day before he died,” remembers Nichols, who was still riding high on the success of his gold-selling fourth album, III, and its chart-topping single “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.” “It was so nice of him to do that. He said, ‘I’m really proud of you. I love the way you’re keeping it country. And thank you for cutting that daggum hair!’ An honor like that is irreplaceable. It’s got nothing to do with winning awards or having your songs on the radio. It’s much more than that. It’s the kind of thing you pass down to your grandkids.”
For Nichols — an Arkansas native who grew up listening to icons like George Strait, Merle Haggard, George Jones, and Buck Owens — keeping things country has been a lifelong mission. He made his major-label debut with 2002’s Man With A Memory, a platinum-selling album rooted in southern storytelling and honky-tonk hooks, then continued blending the worlds of neo-traditionalist country and modern twang with follow-up records like Real Things, Crickets, and It Never Gets Old. Between duetting with Dolly Parton on “If I Were a Carpenter,” serving as Garth Brooks’ hand-picked opening act, and numerous other career milestones, Nichols also kept things lighthearted, showcasing his easy-going humor with “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and a slow, shuffling cover of Six Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” At the core of his sound, though, remained a serious commitment to a bigger goal: making genuine country music that nodded to his influences while still breaking new ground.
“It’s a fine line to walk,” he admits. “How do you stay fresh while also honoring your roots? I’ve always admired people like Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, who built their careers on timeless songs and created their own sound by electrifying traditional country music. It’s one thing to have hit songs, but it’s something else entirely to have hits that still sound timeless 15 years later. That’s always been my goal. I’m a country singer who loves the old-school stuff. I throw it back and pay homage to the guys I grew up listening to, while hopefully bringing that sound into the modern world.”
Learn more about Joe Nichols by visiting his website!
A salt of the earth Southerner with a straight-shooting swagger and kind smile, Shane Profitt’s musical toolbox is full of all-natural talent. At the end of 2021, he was still pulling overtime at his job with the city, busting his back about an hour south of Nashville and living for the weekend – with a few decades left to go. But now, the 22-year-old is rocking sold-out crowds at the historic Ryman Auditorium, touring with his chart-topping hero Chris Janson and writing modern Country tunes so genuine, they slip on like a pair of broken-in work boots. Because no one has to tell this singer/songwriter what a blue-collar life is all about. Profitt’s journey starts a few years ago, when his grandad asked what he wanted for Christmas and his wish was to learn how to play Hank Jr. songs on the guitar. Beginning with G, C and D chords, he stuck with it. Gifted with a heavy-duty vocal, Profitt became a regular draw at the popular Southern-cooking chain, Puckett’s, traveling all over Tennessee to weekend shows while still holding down his job back home. And while that made for some long hours, it also led to inspiration for original music. Today, the emerging artist debuts his boots-on-the-ground writing style and big, barrel-chested voice with a 3-song collection MAURY COUNTY LINE, available now via BMLG Records/Harpeth 60 Records. With tracks like the hook filled honky tonker “Better Off Fishin’,” chest-thumping charmer “Guys Like Me” and his hopeful heaven-on-earth Country radio single “How It Oughta Be,” Profitt puts his life to music – along with the lives of so many others. And this is just the beginning.
Learn more about Shane Profitt by visiting his website!
Nate began playing piano when he was only five, but the Taylor acoustic guitar given to him by his dad at age 14 became the instrument that has accompanied him everywhere and helped to lay the foundation for his musical career. That career has seen up to 300 shows a year for the last five years: from coffeehouses to mainstages, Nate has pleased audiences with his feel-good tunes and relatable lyrics. Nate has shared the stage with the eclectic likes of Eric Hutchinson, Barenaked Ladies, James Bay, Ingrid Michaelson, and Lukas Graham, and calls upon his influences of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and his big-band pianist grandfather while crafting his music.
His songs have received regular rotation radio play and won numerous awards, including 2015 Project Aloft national songwriting contest judged by industry professionals. A 25-city tour in 2016 took Nate and his music to new audiences, and it only gets bigger from there. Nate’s dream is to share his music with a wider national audience and to leave with his listeners a lasting impression of singable melodies and lyrics that, as Nate says, “Can feel were written just for them to find a glimmer of hope.” Find Nate’s full-length release Hourglass including the single “This Is Your Moment,” co-written with acclaimed producer Billy Mann, on Itunes, Amazon and CD Baby.
Why worry about how you’re getting home when you can stay at our on-site hotel? The Portlander Inn welcomes you to Portland with the cozy feel of a true Northwest lodge. All 100 guest rooms offer refrigerators, microwave ovens, coffee pots, free wireless internet, direct-dial phones with voicemail and televisions with complimentary HBO and Showtime premium channels. Learn more and book your room here.
All tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable with the exception of event cancellation. Support acts are subject to change.
No re-entry permitted.
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