With a career that started with hits like "Brokenheartsville," "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" and "Sunny and 75," Joe Nichols has more than done his part to keep traditional country music alive and well. Now, he continues to carry the flame with his first single in three years, "Home Run," a song that delivers smooth nostalgia and a story line of yearning to get back to the familiar feeling of being home.

But on the other hand, the new single is also deeply contemporary: It speaks to the shifting priorities and desire to return to simpler times that country fans and artists alike have experienced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.

"It's more than a great hook; it's a great message, too," Nichols explains of his new song. "After the year we've had, we could all use a little bit of a break, just to step away from the rat race for a while and get back to our roots. We could all use a reminder of what home feels like."

The new single's dual purpose as a nostalgic throwback and a look toward the future represents where Nichols is in his career, too. After departing his longtime label home, BBR Music Group, in 2018, he has recently returned to the studio. "Home Run" is the first song off Nichols' upcoming new album under his new label, Quartz Hill Records.

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Joe Nichols, "Home Run" Lyrics:

Life's been coming at me like a fast ball / Been in the weeds, it'd be nice to see some corn growing tall / Need to trade some hurry up for some hey, y'all / Oh, and I can't hug my mama through these phone calls / Need to drive through the pines / See my boys, wet a line / And drink a beer on the edge of town / Been striking out ...

Chorus:

It's time I hit a home run / Point it towards that south sun / I'll be touching bases with them faces / All them places I ain't been in way too long / 'Cause I've been way too gone / Swinging for the fences, I've been missing where I come from / It's time I hit a home run ...

I need to hear that skillet popping in the kitchen / Stop and smell the magnolias, I'll be on a mission / Maybe go and pay that tombstone a visit / Ain't felt nothing that real in a minute ...

Repeat Chorus

I might leave tonight / 'Cause what I need is waiting on me past that welcome sign / Home run / Running back to those dreams / I used to have when I was 17 ...

Repeat Chorus

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