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Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury by Jerrod Niemann

Jerrod’s hit “Lover, Lover,” a cover song from obscure Chicago band Sonia Dada, sets the tone for much of this album; the generous 20-track set is filled with surprises, including a cover of Robert Earl Keen’s salty “The Buckin’ Song” and several offbeat comedy bits sprinkled throughout.

Thus comes the question—is Jerrod a traditionalist, an innovative country-soul hybrid or a charismatic personality? All of the above.

“Come Back to Me” mixes hard-rock guitar riffs with relaxed grooves, while “What Do You Want” is an emotionally charged ballad that showcases Jerrod’s singing.

Despite his originality, Jerrod adheres to well-worn themes of drinking, heartache, laments against the music industry and more drinking. Don’t be misled—Jerrod may be a hat act who references Lefty Frizzell in “Old School New Again,” but his unpredictable mashup of styles is suited to fans who like their country a bit more risky than, say, the songs of Alan Jackson or Randy Travis.

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