Jerrod Niemann – Jukebox of Hard Knocks

Rest easy all you true lovers of country music, the gentry is alive and well, and it’s future is bright with the promises of one new talent named Jerrod Niemann. His depth and versatility as both a singer and a songwriter are apparent from the very first note, the very first line. Steep in the rich traditionalism of country music’s masters, Jerrod’s voice has honesty and power that turns his singing into persuasive storytelling. Listening to his songs, the audience is taken on a train ride where country’s traditional music landscape collides with Jerrrod’s ability to apply modern realities of here and now. Born and raised in Kansas, Jerrod cut his teeth on country and popular music while still a small child, thanks in part to a small “honky-tonk” and later a skating rink that his parents owned. Exposed to everything from Merle Haggard to Bruce Springsteen, the definitive moment of country music gaining an upper hand when Jerrod heard George Strait’s 1986 Christmas album “Merry Christmas Strait to You”. From that moment on, his passion for the gentry was ignited, and Jerrod spent the majority of his college years in Texas performing in local clubs.

Jerrod’s road to Nashville began as a trip back in time as he started to explore the roots of country music and came under the spell of artists such as Lefty Frizzell, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and George Jones. He realized the new traditionalists like Randy Travis, Keith Whitley, and Alan Jackson had drawn upon the wealthy inheritance of those who had come before them. It was also about this time Jerrod discovered “liner Note” and subsequently the wonderful songs penned by Whitey Shafer, Dean Dillon, Paul Overstreet, and Aaron Barker. These were some of the men who would become his “heroes”, and his dream became not only that he would become a recording artists, but that other artists would record his songs as well.

Writing songs since the age of eight, Jerrod’s material exhibits a refined musical maturity that extends well beyond his years. Whether listening to his lamented words drenched in a tremendous, heartbroken refrain or to one of his loud rollicking honky-tonk stories delivered with sheer, unabashed delight, it’s not hard to imagine his “heroes” nodding their approval. In fact, one of Jerrod’s first co-writers upon arriving in Nashville was one of those he has so admired, Whitey Shafer. Since then, the young songwriter has had the opportunity to collaborate with Dean Dillon, Paul Overstreet, Aaron Barker, Larry Cordle and Garth Brooks among others – writers who personify what Jerrod believes is the true heart of country music.


CD Review – Jukebox of Hard Knocks

Track One – Got Mud

Fun, rollicking track about hanging out with your friends, having fun in the rain, mud and sun with music and cold beer. Awesome!

Track Two – A Whiskey Kind of Way

Beautiful ballad written by Jerrod . This tune is about whiskey being the catalyst in the reality and heartbreak of a broken relationship. Also recorded and released by Zona Jones and doing well on the Texas Country Music charts.

Track Three – The Jukebox of Hard Knocks

Title track about a jukebox that has seen the good, bad and ugly of human relationships, while standing the test of time.

Track Four – I Can’t Look The Other Way

This tune is about undeniable love for someone and how their mere presence takes control of your emotions.

Track Five – Dear Diary

A sweet tune about a man reading his significant others diary and seeing her hopes and dreams and adding his own entry.

Track Six – Country In My Home Town

Tune about the reasons why living in a small country town hold a special place in your heart.

Track Seven – I’d Rather Be Out Of My Mind

Melancholy tune about missing someone you love so much that when thoughts of her are in your head, you tend to zone out the world.

Track Eight – Underneath the “X” in Texas

This song is reminiscent of the George Strait tune, “All My Ex’s Live in Texas”. I love Jerrod’s vocals on this one, as he is unquestionably country to the core.

Track Nine – A Neon Plan

Upbeat track, this one is about making a plan to hang out under the neon lights and party with your friends on a Saturday night.

Track Ten – Hold It Right There

Touching ballad about holding a picture of the one you love in your head and your heart without the need for a camera or film.

Track Eleven – That’s Just Me

Rowdy track with such a great toe-tapping beat you can’t help but get up and dance! This one is about split decisions on a relationship that you love, but sometimes wanting to be free of the commitment.

Track Twelve – I’ll Stay

This is a great tune about wanting to hold off meeting your maker so you can pass on the love God has given to us with the great line “Love is a seed God put in our hands”.

Track Thirteen – Honky Tonk Time Machine

Great honky-tonk tune about working hard and not having the time to hang out and like the you used to and wanting to turn back time to the good ole’ days.

Track Fourteen – Read In Between The Lines

Tune about a father growing older and realizing that through a son’s eyes he is still the same inside no matter his outer appearance.

Jerrod Niemann possesses a true traditional sound coupled with noteworthy songwriting skills. With the criticism of many that Nashville has been breaking with tradition, he stands destined to be one of those who will have a career that matches the touch and longevity of George Strait. For more information on Jerrod, check out his website at:

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Special thanks and appreciation to Jerrod Niemann and Jason Bryan for providing bio and background information!