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Circumstances made Jerrod Niemann's latest No. 1 at "blessed" event

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Jerrod Niemann's looks at his second No. 1 country hit -- the platinum-selling "Drink To That All Night" from his sixth album, "High Noon" -- as "a blessing."

And also a stroke of luck.

The song came to Niemann from Lance Miller, a neighbor and frequent songwriting partner who composed the song with four others. "I just got an e.mail from him that said, 'You probably won't like this, but I wanted to send this to your anyway,' and I saw the title and thought it seemed kind of cliche," recalls the Kansas-born Niemann, 35, who wrote hits for others, including Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton, before launching his own career with 2010's chart-topping "Lover, Lover."

"Then I heard the song and went, 'Whoa, that is everything original.' I'd never attempted anything like that. It was extremely rangey and had something about it that was infectious. It was definitely a challenge."

The twist in the story is that Niemann still wasn't fully committed to recording "Drink To That All Night" when he started sessions for "High Noon." He had another song on hold as his potential first single, and, Niemann says, "the songwriters saw how excited we got over it and started to think they were maybe making a mistake and should hold out for a bigger artist. So they took the song away from me."

Niemann, of course, had the last laugh. "My default was 'Drink To That All Night'," he notes, though he may well wind up recording that other song -- which was not claimed by any bigger artists -- at some point.

"Yeah, nobody else wanted it, and the truth is it's a great song that should be heard," Niemann says. "You can't hold grudges. If they had let me record it I wouldn't have done 'Drink To That All Night.' So it worked out good for me, and I have to look at it like a blessing."

Jerrod Niemann and Chris Lane

Saturday, Nov. 15. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

Tickets are $26.

Call 313-961-9358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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