For country musician Jerrod Niemann, music has always been a part of his life.
“We don’t choose music. Music chooses us, whether it’s a song you need to hear in your life or if you’re the vehicle for the music,” he told Waccamaw Publishers in a phone interview last week.
Niemann is currently touring the country on his “Tallboys and Short Stories” tour.
The singer will perform a free show at The Boathouse in Myrtle Beach on Sunday, May 12, as part of the venue’s Landshark Summer Concert Series.
The show begins at 5 p.m. All ages are welcome until 8 p.m. when the venue becomes 21+.
Growing up, music was always there for Niemann.
“My parents used to own a roller skating rink back when those were popular,” he said. “I always associated music with fun.”
Niemann wrote his first song when he was 8 years old, a taunting piece about his sister Amy.
As he got older, he began playing piano. When his mother won a guitar signed by country star Tracy Lawrence, Niemann learned how to play the guitar.
After high school, Niemann studied music at a community music school in West Texas and then moved to Nashville at age 21.
“I kept hearing ‘no’ until somebody started saying ‘yes,’” he said.
In Nashville, Niemann met Lee Brice, Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser playing at local bars.
“We became best friends,” he said.
One day, Niemann got a call from an unlisted number and he hesitantly answered.
“I was just getting out of college, so I thought it was a collection’s agency,” he said. “It was Garth Brooks on the telephone. He’d listened to some songs I’d written and invited me and a friend to come write with him. I was lucky to be on his radar.”
Niemann recorded his breakout album in a studio above a shoe store. He had very little money at the time but he had a strong concept and a friend who trusted him and agreed to help him.
“Warner Brothers and Sony offered to buy it on the same day,” Niemann said of the 2010 album featuring debut single “Lover, Lover.”
Niemann said his songwriting process is “ever-changing.”
‘There’s no rules,” he said. “There are so many talented girls and guys in Nashville. You can get in a room and learn so much from them. The magical [songs] are the ones that come out of nowhere, that just come together in 20 minutes.”
Niemann has a room in his home where he writes music that is decorated from floor to ceiling in the color red.
“Red’s a creative color,” the musician said. “I have red shag carpet, red ceilings. It’s just really wild. It allows me to lock out the outside world.”
Niemann’s musical influences span decades, from George Strait, Willie Nelson, Randy Travis and beyond.
“You start realizing your heroes have heroes who have heroes,” he said. “When you engulf yourself in all this history, you can hear the influence in everybody’s music.”
Niemann and his band recently recorded some new music at Jimmy Buffett’s studio in Key West.
“I had my eyes set on recording my next record there,” he said. “It’s all about the vibe.”
Niemann’s favorite part of touring is “going to see places that if it weren’t for music, we’d never be there.”
The musician is excited to return to Myrtle Beach, a city he’s played a few times, including a wild night at House of Blues Myrtle Beach during his very first tour.
“This tour was inspired by playing on beaches,” he said. “This is show is what we had in mind when we booked this tour. We’ve been looking forward to it.”
Niemann encourages fans to bring their moms to the Mother’s Day show.
“We want to invite all the mamas out and show them some love,” he said.