ToC Critic’s Pick: Jerrod Niemann, ‘Blue Bandana’ [Listen]
Jerrod Niemann sings of a free spirit in his new song “Blue Bandana,” but she’s something of a metaphor for lost youth. The girl in the blue bandana is a gypsy committed only to the wispy impulses of the wind. By the end of the song she’s slipped away.
“She’s a Bonnaroo baby / She’s Coachella crazy / She’ll be folkin’ out in Newport / You’ve probably seen her before,” Niemann sings to begin the chorus. Before he became a traveling musician he never ran with this festival crowd, but the Kansas native admits he knows the girl in the blue bandana well. She somehow turns up at every show.
“Up at Lollapalooza / In the mud at Wakarusa / She’ll be at the Hangout down in Alabama / Just look for the girl in the blue bandana.”
Niemann will celebrate his 36th birthday later this month, and while he’s still up for a party (did you hear about what happened in Jamaica?) those days of few commitments are behind most men his age. This yearning for warm sun as one carelessly sips cold beer beneath the defiant sounds of some band you’re hearing for the first time is described well through the girl in the blue bandana, and producer Jimmie Lee Sloas adds the finishing touches.
“She had a flower in her hair / A little smoke was in the air / We were chillin’ in some lawn chairs / Sayin’ we wish we coulda seen Woodstock,” the “Lover Lover” singer says to begin the second verse. By this point the song has morphed from an acoustic, mid-tempo jam to a full-on rocker.
“Told me she was leavin’ in the mornin’ / Headed down to New Orleans / Said boy you oughta come along / And I know I shoulda gone.”
Niemann says “Blue Bandana” is a tribute to his fans, but it’s also a nod to lost youth. That’s something everyone can relate to, except perhaps the girl in the blue bandana.
Key Lyrics: "She’s my Bonnaroo baby / She’s Coachella crazy / She’ll be folkin’ out in Newport / You’ve probably seen her before … Just look for the girl in the blue bandana."
Did You Know?: The three "Blue Bandana" songwriters are all new. Ben Goldsmith, C.J. Solar and Andrew Scott Wills are about to enjoy their first taste of success in Music City.
Listen to Jerrod Niemann, “Blue Bandana”