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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Rising Star Jerrod Niemann

Country Singer Jerrod Nieman

Jerrod Niemann is a rising star and a rare talent in the country world. Not only does he write his own music, but he also soldiered on in his efforts to get signed to a major label.

His debut album, “Judge Jerrod And The Hung Jury”, peaked at number one on the country charts and produced three top 15 singles, including “Lover, Lover”, which reached number one. The record has since reached gold certification, with more than 320,000 copies sold.

The success of the album has also led to some high profile tour appearances for Niemann. He last played in MA as part of Brad Paisley’s “H20 2″ tour and will be joining forces with Miranda Lambert and Chris Young for the “On Fire” tour, stopping in Amherst on Feb. 16. He recently talked to The Mass Media about his fast rise to prominence and his upcoming performance in MA.

Were you surprised with the huge success that “Judge Jerrod And The Hung Jury” had?

Yes! I made that album without a record deal, and so I wasn’t really expecting much. I’d been through a couple of deals and I was just so depressed and miserable, when no doors open for you and nothing’s happening you’re like “what do I do?”

With the advice of Jamey Johnson, I went into the studio and just cut my own album with my band and my buddies, we just did it to rejuvenate the passion of when I first moved to Nashville. After about a year Brad Paisley took it to Sony and they were kind enough to pick it up and leave it as is. It was a dream come true, I wasn’t expecting anything.

So many of your songs have such a cool, laid-back feel. Is that just you? Who influences your sound?

A lot of it was just out of lack of resources, we tried to find a way to make it work so it didn’t sound like we were playing in a garage, which I’ve done. We came up with a lot of acoustic driven things, that way the electric tones and textures wouldn’t stick out.

This next album we’ve kind of learned why people gravitate towards our music, what they like, what they feel, and it really helps you identify yourself because everything we record is a part of us.

You write your own lyrics, right?

Yes, I wrote 10 out of 12 songs on the first album and on the second album I wrote every song.

Do you think that sets you apart in a country music world where so many stars are relying on songwriters for their lyrics?

It seems like now, just as we speak, a lot of singer-songwriters are coming up. Lee Brice, one of my best buddies, just wrote Eli Young Band’s number 1 hit, and wrote a couple others for artists like Garth Brooks, and he’s one of the best singer-songwriters in Nashville. He’s out right now. I think we’re going to see a nice surge of singer-songwriters over the next decade.

So you’re about to head out with Miranda (Lambert) and Chris (Young) for the “On Fire” tour…

I’m so excited for that. I got to know Miranda a little bit when I was on tour with Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton last year. Obviously she’s married to Blake, so she’d come out on her time off and we became really good friends.

It was really exciting when she was kind enough to extend me an invitation to come on tour with her. Chris Young has been one of my buddies for the last five or six years and he’s a solid, solid guy so I’m looking forward to it.

Your stop coming up in MA will be on Umass’s campus. Do you feel like your music lends itself to the college crowd?

I love to have fun and make people smile, and the songs I’ve written do just that. When we play colleges we have a great time because it’s easier to cut lose. It’s easier to look at a 20-21 year old college student and sing my songs than a child with their parent haha.

What do you think about how country music has caught on in the Boston area in the last few years?

Going out to Boston with stations like WKLB (Country 102.5) that have turned it into a giant market, literally over two decades, they should get a lifetime achievement award for that. It’s awesome, who would have thought all of us could love the same music? It’s the same with New Jersey, Portland, and all these great places that are so happy to have country music. I think it’s healthy for the format and it’s great.

Tickets are on sale now for Jerrod’s stop on the “On Fire” tour, February 16th at the Mullins Center in Amherst at Ticketmaster.com

All of Jerrod’s music is available on iTunes, and for more info go to http://www.jerrodniemannofficial.com/

To read the entire interview, please visit www.newenglandcountry.wordpress.com