Chad Cooper's archive

Not many know, but Joe Nichols had a very tough decision to make as a teenager in high school — continue to play baseball and become the best baseball player he could be or go down the path of music. Apparently, it was the right one.

Born and raised in Rogers, Ark., Nichols, now 34, signed his first independent record contract at 20, but after several years of hard work, Nichols upgraded his status by signing with Universal Records, now Show Dog-Universal Music, and releasing Man with a Memory in 2002.

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West Coast rockers Lit are back and seem to be better than ever. The band that brought our ears the giant hits “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Miserable” are in the midst of releasing a new material for the first time in more than seven years.

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It’s been seven long years since punk legends Social Distortion have put out a new record, and according to sales and popularity, the SoCal veterans remain strong as ever.The new album Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes on Epitaph Records was released in January and debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts, which gave the group their first-ever Top 10 album.

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Fresh off dual nominations at the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards for Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist, country music’s hottest act Jason Aldean returns to Beaumont on Friday, May 6 and this time it will be his sort of party.

After selling out Ford Arena in January 2010, Aldean will play outdoors at Ford Pavilion on the My Kinda Party Tour, which features fellow musicians Eric Church and the JaneDear Girls.

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Classic rock icon Kansas will take the stage at Nutty Jerry’s in Winnie on Friday, April 22 with doors opening at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $33 and can be purchased online at nuttyjerrys.com, charge by phone at (877) 643-7508 or at the facility.

Three of the original members still remain with the group including Phil Ehart (drums), Steve Walsh (vocals, keyboard) and Rich Williams (lead guitar) and other members include Billy Greer (bass), who joined Kansas in 1986, and David Ragsdale (violin).

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