He told the DJ at their reception in Puerto Rico he wanted him to be sure to add some Brice and some Randy Houser to his playlist. When I talked with Niemann at his Thursday night (Nov. 13) show in Chicago, I had to ask him what his all-time favorite love songs were.
He gave me three:
1. “Marina del Rey,” George Strait (1982)
“I know it’s more of a fleeting love song because it’s that fantasy of meeting someone on vacation and falling in love for a couple of days, and then it’s over.”
2. “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” Garth Brooks (1989)
“There’s not a better way to say ‘I love you’ to someone than to say, ‘Hey, if I’m not here tomorrow, then I want you to know this today.’”
3. “There’s Not Enough Hours in the Night,” Doug Supernaw (1995)
“This song is basically just saying that you should hang a blanket on the window and steal an hour from the day because there’s not enough hours in the night.”
Niemann also shared with me the story of how music played a part in the first night he met his future wife.
“Our story started out — like any true, everlasting love should — at a Jamey Johnson concert,” Niemann laughed.
Petek had come to Nashville’s On the Rocks for one of the club’s Alabama Line shows on a Wednesday night, right when Johnson was on the verge of releasing The Dollar, his major label debut.
That was nine years ago, and the path to their wedding at San Juan’s Castillo de San Cristobal wasn’t always easy. While Niemann was building his career, Petek worked in India, then worked on her master’s degree in London. Ultimately, however, she found herself back in Nashville with Niemann.
“I wanted Morgan to be able to chase her dreams just as much as I’m chasing mine,” he said. “So she went, and then it took us a minute to let go of the past, but all roads led us back to each other.”
They’ve only been married one month, but Niemann says there’s a sense that something’s different.
“It’s like there’s this new sensation, to be part of something that’s bigger than yourself. You realize that the weight of the world is a lot easier to carry on two sets of shoulders,” Niemann said. “It’s a special deal.”