We gave it a B+
Can Joe Nichols, whose 2002 debut garnered three Grammy noms, really be the next master traditionalist, fit to rub elbows with Haggard and Jackson? Certainly he’s not playing it safe in Revelation, covering the audacious title track, a 1972 Waylon Jennings song that fuses politics, sex, and the Second Coming. But if Nichols’ bruised baritone can’t convey the numbness of Iris DeMent’s ”No Time to Cry,” he’s nothing short of eloquent in hoisting a beer to ”Farewell Party,” a tune made famous by Gene Watson. Pull up another bar stool, fellas. This new kid’s here to stay.