JACK & THE BEAR
In the midst of what could be the largest movement in folk-rock music since the 1960’s, revolutionary sounds from bands such as The Avett Brothers, Deer Tick, Arcade Fire, The Felice Brothers, and Mumford & Sons open new doors. With a similar sound and an admirable aspiration, Jack & the Bear were birthed in the downriver town of Monroe, Michigan in the summer of 2010.
Named after an inspirational figure in lead singer Brandon James’ life along with the initials of the founding members of the group, the five-piece band hit the ground running with the writing of their first self-titled EP, which received a self-distributed release in the spring of 2011.
With the core of the group being made of two sets of brothers, an outlier family friend and a sister collaborating comes comfortably and naturally to the band. Writers Brandon James and Reginald (Ryan) Servis provide a unique blend of two musical backgrounds; traditional guitar styling’s of artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Glen Hansard meet new-wave cascading instrumentals found in songs of Fleet Foxes and Beirut. The use of four part harmony and instruments such as banjo, mandolin, trumpet, and accordion in many of their songs set the group aside from many others.
More recently the group just set foot with their second EP release “The Stranger Amongst the Loyal” which was produced/engineered entirely by the bands drummer Adam Schreiber. Adam recently opened up his own studio, “White Wagon” and is take on new projects along with handling Jack & the Bear releases.
Jack & the Bear started off attempting to form a sound like many folk rockers around today but ended up walking into a new sound all their own. They have been compared to artists such as The Waterboys, Springsteen, and even Tom Waits. Their live show is another story that is completely unique to them; something that is a must see for any fan of live performance. They’ve shared the stage with acts such as Deer Tick, Hayes Carll, Nicole Atkins, Dr. Dog, The White Rabbits, Langhorne Slim, The Felice Brothers, Soja, Jessica Lea Mayfield, The David Mayfield Parade, and countless other national acts.
The group set off on their first tour of the East Coast in the summer of 2012 to reach out to new fans. They returned home with lots of inspiration, new songs, new friends, new fans and loads of success which included licensing negotiations with MTV’s Music Integration Department.
Now consisting of seven members (and manager Jake Nielsen) the band has matured and carried on to a whole new level with the addition of another female violinist Elizabeth Burroughs. With the release of their third EP “The Trade,” the band is now looking toward recording their first full-length album at Prairie Sun Studios with Grammy Award Winning producer Oz Fritz.
Fritz has produced a number of albums with the legendary Tom Waits, including 1999’s critically acclaimed “Mule Variations.” Given this information it should be obvious that Fritz is a man that understands the unique dynamics of Jack & the Bear. Undoubtedly, the band is looking forward to building a working relationship with Mr. Fritz and hope to release their debut LP in the summer of 2013.