It's a Thursday afternoon in Nashville and Joe Nichols is escaping the summer sun in the cool, dark confines of Westwood Studios. Ensconced there with producers Mickey Jack Cones and Derek George, as well as some of Music City's top session musicians, Nichols is likely feeling a different kind of heat. He's working on his Oct. 8 debut for Red Bow Records, a new imprint under the Broken Bow Records umbrella that launched last fall with Nichols as its first signing.

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