Jerrod Niemann didn't find major success until he took matters into his own hands, created the album he wanted to make and walked into Sony Music's Nashville offices to pitch it. He figures there are many reasons it worked this time with 'Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury,' the album that ultimately topped the charts.

"I think it's a collection of many things," Jerrod tells The Boot. "One being the economy, which gets blamed all the time. But I think people are ready to listen to lyrics again, and that's a huge advantage for songwriters that enjoy speaking about things like that. When you have someone like Zac Brown and then someone like Jamey Johnson, both in their own way have literally knocked down the doors. Not to say, 'Hey, record exec, take this,' but for the record companies to say, 'Look! This can be done by people other than just the same people we've gone through for years.'"

"Everybody always looks at the record company as these evil, giant empires," Jerrod continues. "But really, they're spending a lot of money and there's a lot on the line, and they're looking at your career and they want you to do well, so they just don't want you to go into the studio with a bar band and waste everybody's time. So, I understand that and that's what was so exciting to go in and have this album done and for Jamey to go and do his record and for Zac to be so creative and play on his record. It's allowing not only other artists to be heard, like myself, but it's allowing a confidence in the record label to give a chance to people to be their own artists and have their own voices."

Jerrod, who just earned his first CMA nomination for New Artist of the Year, joins Gary Allan and pal Randy Houser for the fall leg of the Get off on the Pain tour in Salt Lake City, Utah, on September 16.