Joe Nichols’ Convention-al Booking


Joe Nichols photo courtesy of Universal South.

Aug. 22, 2008 — Joe Nichols is tossing his hat in the ring for the upcoming Republican National Convention — not as a candidate, or as a delegate, but as a performer at the Grammys Rock The Convention benefit.

The concert, set for Sept. 2 in Minneapolis, is intended by the Recording Academy as a bipartisan event to educate the nation’s politicians on issues that affect music and musicians. A Grammy-related show is also slated for the Democratic convention in Denver.

Joe’s performance takes place at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus, where he’ll share the bill with pop singer Greg Laswell, pop-rock band The Abdomen and country songwriter Brett James, whose credits include Martina McBride’s "Blessed," Tim McGraw’s "Drugs Or Jesus," Carrie Underwood’s "Jesus, Take The Wheel" and Jessica Andrews’ "Who I Am." Brett almost has to perform the latter song at the Recording Academy concert: It actually features a Grammy reference in its lyrics.

That event is just the latest addition to country’s presence outside the convention. LeAnn Rimes and the Bellamy Brothers play a private show at Trocaderos on Sept. 1, while Gretchen Wilson, John Rich and Cowboy Troy will invade the same venue the next night. Charlie Daniels plays Sept. 3 in a Creative Coalition Gala Concert, and the same night, Clay Walker will perform with a band that includes former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on bass. Steve Earle and Allison Moorer provide decidedly dissenting voices when they perform Sept. 1 at a free concert in Harriet Island Park.