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Jerrod Niemann Shares Secrets of Miranda Lambert Tour, Duet With Colbie Caillat + the Special Girl in His ‘Shinin’ on Me’ Video

Jerrod Niemann
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Two years ago, Jerrod Niemann was floating on a cloud, having just released his debut album on July 13, 2010, a few days before performing with Brad Paisley for 100K boaters at Aquapalooza on Lake Travis in Texas. Then, he sat down and wrote a new song — the one that would go on to become the lead single from his sophomore project called ‘Free the Music,’ available Oct. 2, 2012. Yup, this country music thing seemed pretty easy for the ‘Shinin’ on Me’ singer. 

And unlike other road-to-success stories, it hasn’t gotten much harder for Niemann. The 32-year-old from Kansas notched three Top 20 hits from ‘Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury,’ but perhaps more importantly, he invented a style he can call his own. The singer mixes layers and textures in ways many artists don’t dream of. As a result his music always sounds uniquely… well, uniquely Jerrod Niemann.

The ‘Lover, Lover’ hitmaker hung out with Taste of Country Nights radio and host Jeremy Robinson on Monday night (July 9) to talk about the new album and the women in his life. There’s this girl named Miranda — you might know her — and another named Colbie, and then there are all the beautiful women in the music video for ‘Shinin’ on Me.’

Jeremy Robinson: Do you personally find the hot ladies for your videos?

Jerrod Niemann: You know my girlfriend is in that video, so I found one personally. The rest of the girls I can’t vouch for but I say my buddy Chris Hicky who directed the video did a great job.

JR: What! This is news. When did this happen? Who is she?

JN: Oh it’s one of those six-year — a late night conversation for you and I, Jeremy, to really get into it [laughter] No, she’s a great girl. She’s too smart for me. The only girl that I’ve dated that I have to have a dictionary in one had and a thesaurus in the other to win an argument.

JR: What can we look forward to on this new album?

JN: It was so much fun to go in and record this record because for the first time in my life you think, ‘Wow, people actually care.’ So you have this new inspiration to go in and try to be better. And since my label is kind enough to let me and the guys go in and kind of do my thing, I feel it’s my duty to try to be my best and to try to outdo myself.

JR: I love that we’re gonna hear a lot of horns on this album, is that right?

JN: What people don’t realize is that the steel guitar was invented in 1948 … and so 25 years before that, in country music history we had horns and fiddles and many other things. It’s cool to go back to the ’20s and adopt some of the layers they used back then, too.

JR: We hear you’re teaming up with Colbie Caillat.

JN: It was a song that I wrote with a buddy and we recorded it and I thought, ‘Man, we oughta really see if we can find someone — maybe outside of what we do — to sing on this to kind of highlight the jazz. George Strait did a lot of the old slow jazz type songs, and Garth did a couple. So it kind of has that vibe. They said, ‘If you could have anybody sing on it, who would it be?’ I said, ‘Colbie, but I’m sure she won’t do it, because I don’t really know her.’ And they just reached out to her and asked her and she was so awesome … It really, really, really makes it. I have her turned up way louder than me.

JR: So it’s going to be a sultry song?

JN: Yeah, I wrote it with Richie Brown. He’s the guy I kind of got into the scene, we wrote ‘Good Ride Cowboy’ together with Garth (Brooks), and it was just … one of my favorites. It’s a ballad and she just really, really, really does a fantastic job.

JR: Is this right, that recently you did something for 10 hours straight, without stopping?

JN: That’s right. I chugged a beer [laughter]. We were at a fan club party, me and Lee Brice teamed up and said, ‘Hey let’s just make one fan club party and hopefully twice the fun.’ So we maxed out the building at 500. We just hung out, sort of like a meet-and-greet for 10 hours. We started out in the bar, and it went on so long that they kicked us out, so we went to my bus.

JR: What is like to be on tour with Miranda Lambert?

JN: Do not upset her. No, I’m sort of going to sort of let the cat out of the bag, that once you really get to know her and you can peel back the layer of guns and knives and cuss words, there is such a good human being. Her and Blake (Shelton), they’re just salt of the earth and you see why the whole world loves them. She’s probably the most accommodating headliner that I’ve ever seen. And she’s the most accessible. She wants to hang out with me and Chris Young pretty much every day and you know, someone like Brad (Paisley) he’s involved in every detail of his career. He has little time to himself to probably even go use the restroom let along hang out as much. So, I just wanna say I made a great… buddy out on the road and I was just really thankful that she let us hang out with her for six months.

Read the ToC Nights Interview With Brantley Gilbert

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