Joe Nichols Talks Comebacks, ’90s Country, New Music and More [EXCLUSIVE]

Joe Nichols has been making music for more than 25 years, but last year might have been one of his best yet. The Arkansas native celebrated having a Top 20 hit — his first since 2014 — with “Good Day for Living.” The song is the title track of his latest record, which also includes his current hit single, “Brokenhearted.”

“It’s funny how that’s happened. As one Twitter user put it, I’ve had more comebacks than the McRibs,” Nichols tells Everything Nash with a laugh. “That sums it up. It seems like I go a couple of years without having a song on the radio, and then I get three or four more, and then go a couple of years again. It’s another part of the cycle, but I’m glad for it.”

Nichols’ eponymous debut record came out in 1996, released independently. It would be six more years, in 2002, when Nichols’ released his first record on a major label, with Man with a Memory. That record included Nichols’ first Top 5 hit, with “The Impossible,” followed by “Brokenheartsville,” which became his first song to land at the top of the charts.

“Sometimes it feels like another person,” Nichols reflects. “Sometimes it feels like yesterday. I know for sure that I can remember the day we listened to ‘The Impossible’ for the first time on the radio in Nashville. The first time I heard it on the radio, we were sitting at lunch at the record label, all gathered around the conference table, and I heard it on the Nashville radio station. That feels like it just happened last week.”

“Brokenhearted” is Nchols’ way of embracing the classic country music that he still loves, full of heartbreak and angst.

“I’ve had success with griping songs like ‘Brokenheartsville,’ ‘What’s A Guy Gotta Do,'” Nichols maintains. “It’s just kind of a playful way to say what sometimes you’re thinking, out loud. Where are the good ol’ country songs that we can commiserate with? The ‘Misery and Gin’ and ‘Farewell Party’ and ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today.’ We need some of that in country music.”

Nichols has enjoyed a lot of success with Good Day for Living, but he is already working on a new project, one that is a throwback to his favorite kind of music.

“We’re working on a new album,” Nichols reveals. “Got some really cool stuff too. Some old ’90s-country feeling stuff … There’s some real good dance music in there, some feel-good stuff. A lot of stuff we can get on the dance floor with.”

Nichols was recently surrounded by some of country music’s most legendary artists, when he was part of the 2024 Country Music Cruise, which included Tracy LawrenceShenandoah, Neal McCoy, Clint Black and more.

“They’re growing on me,” Nichols says of being part of a cruise. “My first experience was not as good as this one. I’m scared to death of big boats and big water, but I feel like any time I get on one of these, it gets a little better, and this has been a nice experience. Everybody has been really kind, and it’s been an easy ride, so all things considered, it’s been pretty good.”

Cabins for the 2025 Country Music Cruise, which includes John Michael MontgomeryDeana CarterThe Bellamy BrothersDiamond RioThe IsaacsJamie O’Neal and more, are on sale now. The cruise will depart from Fort Lauderdale on January 19, and head to Key West, Cozumel and Costa Maya, returning on January 26.  Use code EverythingNash for an exclusive low rate available only to Everything Nash readers.

Find all of Nichols’ music and upcoming shows at

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