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He has always been one of a kind. Since the day his chart-topping major-label debut, “Lover, Lover,”announced him as a truly original voice, Jerrod Niemann has been that guy—a little edgier, a littlecooler, maybe just a bit off-center in the bestpossible way.Ten years in, he is making some of the mostcompelling music of his career. As the world hits reset for a moment, Jerrod has done the same.“A lot has changed in the last couple of years,” he says. “I went through a divorce, and I took theopportunity to re-evaluate everything, personally and professionally, through the lens of what I dobest—music.”That meant hunkering down in his Red Room, the writing room/studio/Fortress ofSolitude in his home where life becomes art, and where he could revisit theattitudes andtechniques ofthe creative burst that led to his storied breakthrough record.“When I made my first album,Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury, my friend Dave and I recorded withoutmuch money or resources because we didn’t have much. But there was so much excitement. So thistime,I went into my Red Room, which is a magical place—no matter what’s going on outside these fourwalls, it neutralizes all thatand the creativity can flow. I never intended to play every instrument andsing every harmony, but as I tried one thing after another, it worked out that way. It was a learningexperience,and I love learning, so it just felt right.”The first fruits of that work are two songs that form the cornerstone of agrowing projectcalledLost andFound. The first is “Ghost Rider,” a haunting song of loss with a feel that is contemporary yet pureJerrod. The second is “Tequila Kisses,” an all-vocal extravaganza with orchestral richness and a vibrantlyfresh sound.“Taken together,” he says, “they’re about picking up the pieces and putting them back together in a newand better way, with a fresh coat of paint and a new sign out front. ‘Ghost Rider’ came as I thoughtabout all the things you share with somebody over the years—memories, inside jokes, the things youbuild when you’re together.What a cool idea for a song, I thought, and as I started singing lines andmelodies, it was almost like I’d heard it before. Then I sat down with the Warren Brothers and LanceMiller,and we made sure we took a complex idea and made it straightforward and mainstream.”“Tequila Kisses” is a song he revisited and worked up a layer at a time, taking inspiration from heroeslike the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.“That’s an older song I wrote with Lee Brice and Jon Stone,” he says. “Lee and I each thought aboutcutting it over the years,and finally I knew it was timefor me to do it. I wondered if I could do an acappella version.‘Lover, Lover’ had allthese vocal parts,and I hadn’t done a whole lot of that since. I didan organ part for pitch reference,and thenIsang the lead and just kept adding to it as parts came intomy head. There were 25 altogether,and I sang each one twice–so there are 50 parts! I did the shaker,the drums, the bass with my voice. I don’t know if I’d do it again!”