By Nolan Patrick Smith
High Desert Daily
(Victorville)–This Saturday, the High Desert will be treated to the music of country star Jerrod Niemann as he takes the stage at the San Bernardino County Fair in Victorville.
Niemann has had six top 40 entries on the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts on Billboard. His latest album, High Noon, contains the smash hit “Drink To That All Night”, which hit #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. His latest single, Donkey, has been everywhere since its release. Niemann is also set to go on tour with Keith Urban on the Raise ‘Em Up Tour this July. But first, he’s stopping in the High Desert to kick off the San Bernardino County Fair.
The sold out show promises to be one to remember, as Niemann brings his songs, energy and an overall good time to the High Desert. High Desert Daily spoke with Niemann regarding his upcoming performance, how he broke into the country music business, and, of course, donkeys.
“I have a lot of family in California, and every time I’m there, I meet more people that feel like family,” said Niemann. “For some reason I have always had a good time and a nice amount of people show up. Thank you to everybody in California showing the love.”
How did Niemann get started in the business? It all started with song writing, and a call from a country legend. “Well I got my foot in the door actually writing songs, and when I was 21 years old, I got a call from Garth Brooks. It was very random; I was headed to the airport with my momma on Mother’s Day. It said caller ID blocked on my phone, so I thought it was either my ex-girlfriend or a collection agency. I answered it, and it was Garth; I started freaking out and getting light headed. My mom was like “what are you doing?” cause I was driving and swerving. We just started a friendship and over the years we worked together and I had a few songs that he recorded. The song that really changed my life is called “Good Ride Cowboy” that he was gracious enough to let me be a writer on. It was a tribute to his fallen friend Chris LeDoux. It changed my life; it kind of gave me a pat on the back from the man upstairs saying, “Hang in there a little bit. When I tell the story, I sort of feel like I’m lying, I mean it sounds so far fetched.”
Performing at the San Bernardino County Fair means a lot to the country singer, as he knows the importance of music at the local county fairs. “The only chance we ever had for music was from our fairs. Then they started saying “I think we need to vote between a concert and a demolition derby. The demolition derbies won four years in a row, so we went four years without music. So that being said, hearing music was always at our fairs, so when I get to play fairs, it really means a lot to me.”
Of course, if you listen to country music, you have heard Niemann’s latest single, “Donkey”. Where did the song come from? Niemann broke it down for us; “Here’s the truth. I was watching the BCS National Championships and one of my buddies said, “man, you gotta hear this song called Donkey, I really think you’ll like it.” The first time I listened to it, I thought, “what in the hell?” I laughed, but then a couple of days later, I listened to it again, I listened to it probably half a dozen times, played it for my girlfriend and she said “that is a hit”. So I put it on my iPod and played it on the bus for about six months, I just put it in the playlist, and it would pop up randomly and people would say, “What is that?” So I thought, you know what? Every song doesn’t need to be a song about problems. If I can make anyone smile, then I’ve done my job.”
What can fans expect from Niemann’s performance at the fair? “Even though we are hired to be there at the show, the show is still your show there and you let us be a part of it. Being a fan, first and foremost, of country music, one thing I hated was showing up and not feeling any connect with the band. We try our best to bring lot to it, a lot of good times, and we hope you have a good memory to look back upon.”
Niemann will be performing Saturday, May 24th at the San Bernardino County Fair in Victorville. For more information on Niemann, visit his official website at http://www.jerrodniemannofficial.com/. For more information on the San Bernardino County Fair, visit http://www.sbcfairevents.com/2014/.