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Jerrod Niemann Discusses Traditional Country

Jerrod Neimann
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Jerrod Niemann may be one of the most popular rising country artists today, but the ‘Drink to That All Night’ singer holds a lot of admiration for the country music of an older generation.

“When people think about country music, and they use the term ‘traditional country,’ they’re talking about something that has happened in the past,” he tells Billboard. “But, when those songs were out currently, they were the freshest thing on the radio. Nobody was saying ‘Let’s go record traditional country.’ They just wanted to record music that meant something to them.”

Some country artists receive flack today for heavily mixing their music with pop and rock influences, but Niemann says that mixing genres has always been a part of the industry.

Willie and Waylon were getting flack for being progressive at the time because they were mixing it with rock and the outlaw thing,” he says. “Those guys were just doing what they wanted to do creatively. It’s such a bizarre argument because all those things were fresh back then.”

Niemann’s latest release, ‘High Noon,’ is a mix of genres, but that’s nothing new to the artist, whose 2010 release ‘Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury’ was heavily mixed with sounds from traditional country and R&B.

“I’ve always tried to respectfully add a few elements here and there,” he says. “We’ve all listened to country music our whole lives, and more and more things start occurring. When you look at the fact that Johnny Cash, Bob Wills and Elvis are all in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame, that makes you realize that it’s all been done before.”

‘High Noon’ is set for release on Tuesday, March 25. Click here to enter to win The Boot’s Jerrod Niemann ‘High Noon Saloon’ prize pack, which includes an autographed poster used on the set of his ‘Journey to High Noon’ short film, an autographed flask belt buckle, two signed copies of ‘High Noon’ and three miniature kegs.

Next: Is Traditional Country Music Dead?

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