Jerrod Niemann

Article posted on Wed. Jan. 2nd, 2013
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    Jerrod Newman

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While writing and recording his new album, Jerrod Niemann immersed himself in the history of country music. A student of music theory and production–he majored in Performance Art Technology at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas–Jerrod pondered a question that is heard more and more frequently these days: Just what exactly constitutes country?

His answer to that query can be found in the musically and technically groundbreaking Free The Music. "This album is my interpretation of how I feel about country right now," Jerrod says.

The follow–up to his Sea Gayle Records/Arista Nashville debut Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury, which debuted at No. 1 and yielded the No. 1 hit "Lover, Lover" and the Top 5 single "What Do You Want," Jerrod's sophomore album emphasizes the early instruments that have shaped the genre: acoustic guitars and bass, fiddles, and even horns.

"The pedal steel guitar has come to define country music, but there were years and years of country being made before that instrument was even invented. Horns have been in country going back to the 1920s. And fiddles and other string instruments date back even further. I took all those things and put them on Free The Music," Jerrod explains. "I made this record in an effort to try and mix 1927 with 2027, but I didn't want to disregard 100 years of what people have already done musically. Instead, I wanted to take that and do it in a way that is also representative of the future."

The result is an adventurous release that redefines the listening experience. A "headphones album" if ever there was one, Free The Music is a sonic journey through a multitude of styles, including country, rock, honky–tonk, Dixieland jazz and reggae.

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