Jerrod Niemann learned how to play guitar on an instrument autographed by Tracy Lawrence, which his mother had won at a concert. His parents owned a roller rink and he played at talent shows as a young man and the White Elephant Saloon in Fort Worth, Texas.
"You get on stage, and it's just you and your guitar for four hours. If you mess up, it's on you. If there's hecklers or drunks -- you learn to deal with everything," the singer said in an interview with Southern Living magazine. "That was an important part of paying my dues."
Making Good in Nashville:
In 2000, Jerrod Niemann made the move to Nashville. The same year, he penned several songs for Garth Brooks, among them the No. 1 country hit "Good Ride Cowboy. But after fall-outs from two record deals, Niemann the solo artist was without a music label.
Hard Times and Turnaround:
"It gets so frustrating that you do start to lose the reason, the passion for why you came to town. I gained a lot of weight, ran off this girl I was dating clear to India, didn't write a song, didn't go to my publishing company for nearly a year," Niemann said in a 2010 interview with The Boot.
But a pep talk from fellow singer Jamey Johnson turned him around. He hit the recording studio and the result was his 2010 album Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury. It was notable for containing comedy skits between the songs, which were frequently of the humorous variety.
Sophomore Album, Tour with Miranda Lambert:
The lead-off single for Niemann's second studio album, Free the Music, was "Shinin' on Me," co-written with Lee Brice. Brice was also present to warn Niemann about a fire that consumed the singer's tour bus.