Their first names — Jerrod and Jaron — sound a lot alike, they’ve both had previous success in the music industry, and they’re both in country’s Top 20 as artists for the first time in their careers. Now Jerrod Niemann and Jaron Lowenstein, a.k.a. Jaron And The Long Road To Love, have new albums coming this summer.
Jerrod’s “Lover, Lover” is at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and his 12-song album Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury is expected July 13. Jaron’s “Pray For You” is at No. 20, and his first solo album, Getting Dressed In The Dark, comes out June 22.
Jerrod established himself first as a songwriter, penning Garth Brooks’ hit “Good Ride Cowboy.” He released “Lover, Lover” on the Sea Gayle imprint, a label owned in part by Brad Paisley. And Jerrod enlisted Jamey Johnson and “Rain Is A Good Thing” songwriter Dallas Davidson as co-writers for the first song on Judge Jerrod, “They Should Have Named You Cocaine.” Another song, “Old School New Again,” is a stylistic marker for Jerrod, who has an appreciation for traditional country, but doesn’t want to be bound by it.
“All the great entertainers that have ever existed, what made them so special is that they all did have their own voice, and spoke very loudly,” Jerrod asserts. “That’s why we all loved them, so this song was just kind of where I was saying, ‘Hey, all these songs that you’re listening to may not sound like everybody else, and that’s just because I want to try to say it my own way and make old school new again.’”
Jaron got his first real taste of success 10 years ago as one-half of a pop duo, Evan & Jaron, that teamed him with his identical twin brother. “Crazy For This Girl” reached the Top 20 of the pop charts for the twosome. Getting Dressed represents Jaron’s first album on his own. And it really is a solo project, though the way he’s billed himself — Jaron And The Long Road To Love — sounds like a band name. The Long Road, however, isn’t a group of musicians; it’s Jaron’s statement about his search for a soul mate.
“It’s my journey,” he explains. “It’s my way of letting listeners know that my songs are about my personal experiences of falling in and out of love. It’s an account of where I got it right and where I got it wrong. That’s what this album is all about.”
“Pray For You” has established Jaron as a sarcastic, acerbic artist, though it’s not his only sound. The album concludes with an upbeat song.
“I chose to end the album on a positive note,” he says, “because I truly believe that the stings you get from love are worth the sweetness of the honey.”
Fans in Virginia can see Jaron over Memorial Day weekend as part of the Roanoke Festival in the Park. According to Pollstar, he’s joined in that four-day event by Rodney Atkins, Big Kenny, Chris Young and the Band Perry, among others. Jerrod will spend the fall on the road in the Get Off On The Pain Tour with Gary Allan and Randy Houser.