Jerrod Niemann talks ’90s country, working with ‘non-PC’ songwriters and more

Jerrod Niemann. Photo: Ryan Hamblin.
Jerrod Niemann. Photo: Ryan Hamblin.
Published October 10

Watch your feet. Because in discussing how we'll someday remember this decade in country music, Jerrod Niemann is about to drop a huge name.

"Garth Brooks told me time is good to music," said the 39-year-old singer. "I really didn't understand what he meant in that moment. But as the years go by, there's a few different definitions that come to mind."

One, he said, is how recording technology has changed a Nashville ecosystem built around session musicians. The other is about the little moments in life that country still captures well: "Maybe it was your first kiss, your first dance, high school friends chilling on the tailgate, whatever takes you back," he said. "Those songs are a snapshot in time in that way as well."

Deep talk from the guy who sang Donkey, right? But Niemann's always had a lot to say. A prolific songwriter for artists like Brooks, Blake Shelton and Jamey Johnson, Niemann has carved out a 20-year career of his own, including No. 1 singles Drink to That All Night and Lover, Lover.

On Sunday, Niemann will play St. Petersburg's inaugural Country Music on the Bay festival, alongside Scotty McCreery and Wynonna and the Big Noise (click here for details). Beforehand, he called from Nashville to talk songwriting, '90s country and more.

For more of our interview with Jerrod Niemann, click here.

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