Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins helped keep country's traditionalist flame burning during the crossover-happy late '90s, mixing classic honky tonk with elements of gospel, blues, and rock & roll. Adkins was born in the small Louisiana town of Sarepta in 1962 and took up the guitar at an early age; he went on to study music at Louisiana Tech, where he also played football and worked on an offshore oil rig after graduating. His finger was severed in an accident while on the job, and once several years had passed, he returned to music with the gospel quartet the New Commitments. In the early '90s he began to pursue a solo career, playing honky tonk bars and clubs as often as he could, and honing a powerful, wide-ranging baritone voice in the process. He spent several years on the circuit and finally moved to Nashville to try his luck in the industry; he was quickly signed to Capitol by Scott Hendricks, who had produced the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Faith Hill, and Alan Jackson.

Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins helped keep country's traditionalist flame burning during the crossover-happy late '90s, mixing classic honky tonk with elements of gospel, blues, and rock & roll. Adkins was born in the small Louisiana town of Sarepta in 1962 and took up the guitar at an early age; he went on to study music at Louisiana Tech, where he also played football and worked on an offshore oil rig after graduating. His finger was severed in an accident while on the job, and once several years had passed, he returned to music with the gospel quartet the New Commitments. In the early '90s he began to pursue a solo career, playing honky tonk bars and clubs as often as he could, and honing a powerful, wide-ranging baritone voice in the process. He spent several years on the circuit and finally moved to Nashville to try his luck in the industry; he was quickly signed to Capitol by Scott Hendricks, who had produced the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Faith Hill, and Alan Jackson.

Joe Nichols continues to prove how hip and relevant country music can be. With the aptly titled Old Things New, the award-winning, Grammy nominated singer once again balances artistry with accessibility, applying his distinctive baritone to new songs that define country music for modern times. It's the perfect follow-up to his acclaimed 2007 album, Real Things, which landed Nichols on a multitude of best-of-the-year lists, including those published by the New York Times, Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News, Associated Press, CMT.com and many others.

Old Things New is the sound of a singer who has come to know exactly who he is-and what he does best. "I feel like I'm in a really cool position," Nichols says. "I've found my place by moving deeper into the kind of music I love, which are songs that draw on the traditional side. A lot of country music at the moment is real aggressive and hard. I love that music, but it's not what I do. I've found my niche by doing something outside of what everyone else is doing."

What Nichols does is zero in on his strengths: He gives weight to the heart-stirring message of "Believers" and fills the title song, about timeless and enduring qualities, and the unforgettable "An Old Friend of Mine," about a man giving up the bottle, with the genuine emotion of a man singing about what he knows. Elsewhere, Nichols shows his wide range, from the swing-with-a smile "Cheaper Than a Shrink" to the jazzy, romantic "This Bed's Too Big," and from the modern upbeat rhythm of "Give Me That Girl" to the lonesome blues of "It's Me I'm Worried About."

All together, the album reveals the talents of a wholly distinctive singer who has accumulated the experience to convey the emotion, or the fun, of each story he has to tell. "I think this album is full of great songs that would sound great on the radio," Nichols says. "But I'm at a place in my career where it's not just about hits, but about who I am as an artist. It's about the work as a whole and what it says about me. I wanted this record to represent the best of who Joe Nichols is, and I'm really proud of what we've done."

Thompson Square

"A husband-and-wife country duo comprised of Keifer Thompson and Shawna Thompson, Thompson Square combine classic rock, country, and singer/songwriter strands into a sharp, pleasant country-pop mix. Shawna grew up in Chatom, AL, where she listened to acts like Alabama and Reba McEntire on the radio and learned country songs from her guitar-playing father. Keifer hails from Miami, OK, where he was drawn to everything from Roger Miller to Merle Haggard and punk rock to heavy metal before honing his songwriting talent by listening to artists like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. Shawna and Keifer relocated to Nashville the same week, and met at a singing competition a few days later -- by all accounts, it was love at first sight. Both pursued solo careers in Nashville, though, for several years before deciding to go as a duo. Thompson Square's cutting-edge style soon created a buzz, and they signed with Stoney Creek Records early in 2010 and were soon working on a debut album. An initial single, "Let's Fight," was released by the label in June of 2010, followed by a second single, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not," a month later in July." - Steve Leggett, AllMusicGuide

$28.50 - $130.00

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Pozo Stampede 2013 with Trace Adkins, Joe Nichols, Thompson Square

Saturday, April 27 · 12:00 PM at Pozo Saloon