Joe Nichols 'It's All Good' - Humphead/ShowDog

One of Music Row's more traditional singers Joe Nichols never-the-less isn't going to rock radio's boat here. Production by Buddy Cannon and Mark Wright (five tracks each) keeps the instrumentation country with steel, banjo, fiddle and accordion all in the mix along side the upfront rhythm section and the massed guitars. The songs come from some of the current crop of approved writers with names like Mark Nesler, Gary Burr, Georgia Middleman, David Lee Murphy, Jim Bevers and Kelly Lovelace - amongst the others - in the writer credits. Songs like Somebody's Mama is a reflection an old flame. It's All Good is another songs that talks of the seemingly de rigueur song check list that these days includes "that old truck" a cold beer, a good woman and a much written about lifestyle. This Ole Boy is a similar 'life is good', laid-back tale of uplifting utopia.  No Truck, No Boat, No Girl is the other side of the coin but delivered with equal evocation for better times. The rest of the songs follow a similar direction which may be the message radio wants to spread in troubled times but seems to lack some depth and balance overall. Aside from that Nichols sings these songs with some conviction and possesses a pleasing and purposeful voice and the music has enough of the elements of contemporary country infused in the production that it will please Nichols fans and those who have been reared on what represents mainstream country to a wider audience than you might find on some more traditionally minded independent releases that exist on the fringes. For all that many will enjoy this album that's all good for those that do.