A new fourth album released earlier this month sets the backdrop for the Florida Seafood Festival’s featured entertainment.
When Jerrod Niemann takes the stage Saturday evening, Nov. 4, following an evening that opens with three local bands, he will be just weeks away from the Curb Records release of “This Ride,” which has been favorably received in early reviews.
“Country music’s leading experimentalist returns with an ambitious, and satisfying, new LP,” wrote Rolling Stone Country/
“This Ride… shows a deeper side of the typically party-starting singer, both lyrically and melodically,” noted Billboard.
Adding to this acclaim, superstar Garth Brooks, who has recorded three Niemann singles including Brooks’ #1 hit “Good Ride Cowboy,” a tribute to the great Chris LeDoux, said during a Facebook Live event that Niemann “is one of the greatest talents I’ve ever got to run into, just a humble kid from Kansas.
“I would write with this guy every day. I think his well is infinite and I think he’s a great writer, great kid, great singer,” said Brooks.
Niemann is gearing up to unleash his new single “I Got This” that will officially hit the country radio airwaves on Dec. 11. Written by Rodney Clawson, Josh Osborne, and Luke Dick, “I Got This” is a grooving modern-country standout that has been called a “strutting indie-pop jam” by Rolling Stone Country and a “simply feel-good tune” by Billboard.
The catchy tune is the third single from “The Ride” album, following the sunny “A Little More Love” (featuring Lee Brice) and classy “God Made a Woman.”
Known for clever wordplay and attention-grabbing lyrics, the engaging singer-songwriter last topped country charts with his Platium-certified anthem “Drink to That All Night,” a multi week #1 from the 2014 album “High Noon,” on which Niemann co-wrote eight of the 12 tracks.
Festival President John Solomon said the festival’s 12 board of directors selected Niemann in part for his style of warming up to the crowd, as well as for his up-and-coming talent.
“His music fits this area and we think it will be a great show,” said Solomon. “We did research and he plays with the crowd and works them into it. The sound guys we use sid they did a great show for him two weeks ago.”
Niemann’s appearance will be one of the few open-air concerts in the area this season, a number of them scratched due to inclement weather, Solomon said.
“If you want a good open air concert this is the place to be for the rest of the year,” he said. “And for only $5, you can’t beat that no other place.”
Niemann’s show will be preceded, beginning at 5 p.m. by three local bands, Southern Flood, Boo Radley and Brian Bowen.
Niemann, 38, was raised in Liberal, Kansas, and from an early age, was influenced by country acts such as Lefty Frizzell, Keith Whitley and George Strait. He learned to play his first musical instrument on a Tracy Lawrence autographed guitar his mother won in a contest at a Lawrence concert.
After attending South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Niemann began his professional music career by singing and playing acoustic guitar in Texas clubs and bars, particularly the Stockyard Saloon and the historic White Elephant Saloon in the Fort Worth Stockyards.
In 1999 Niemann self-released his debut album “Long Hard Road,” and then moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Following a developmental deal with Mercury Records that did not lead to an album release, Niemann and his band toured the club circuit across America playing venues such as the Grizzly Rose in Denver and the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. He soon traveled to Europe to tour with the band Kane consisting of members Christian Kane and Steve Carlson.
In 2006, he signed to Category 5 Records and charted with the single "I Love Women (My Momma Can't Stand),” but after the label closed shortly after this single's release, the album “Behind This Microphone” was never released.
Niemann signed to Arista Nashville's Sea Gayle division, co-owned by Brad Paisley, in 2010, and his debut single "Lover, Lover,” was released in early 2010. The song became Niemann's first Top 40 single on the country music charts and is on his first major-label album, Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury,” which was named one of The New York Times Top 10 Albums of the Year.
In Nov. 2010, Niemann was nominated in the "New Artist" category for that year's Country Music Association ‘s awards. He finished up the year with four nominations at the American Country Awards, including "Artist of the Year: New Artist," "Music Video of the Year," "Music Video: Male," and "Music Video; New Artist" for "What Do You Want.”
Niemann’s album, High Noon, was released in March 2014, debuting at Number 2 on Billboard (Magazine) Top Country Sales. In April 2014, "Drink to That All Night" became his second Number 1 single. He collaborated with rapper Pitbull on the remix of the song.
Niemann parted ways with Arista Nashville in January 2016, shortly after releasing another single titled "Blue Bandana., and signed a record deal with Curb Records. In March 2017, he released the single "God Made A Woman," a song he called "my favorite song I’ve ever recorded."
Early in his career, Niemann found legendary Nashville songwriters such as Whitey Shafer, Dean Dillon and Paul Overstreet influential in his songwriting and went on to co-write with all three while living in Nashville.
Artists who have recorded Niemann's work include Jamey Johnson, Lee Brice, Blake Shelton, Colbie Caillat, Diamond Rio, The Cadillac Three,” Mark Chesnutt, Neal McCoy, Christian Kane, and Julie Roberts.
Niemann married Morgan Petek in 2014 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The couple founded non-profit "Free The Music USA," which provides musical equipment and education to children in need. They are also actively involved with many animal rescue non-profits. Niemann is also involved with the United Service Organizations and went to Afghanistan, Kuwait, Romania, and Kosovo in 2016 on his first overseas tour.