John & Jacob + Millers Daughter
John Davidson and Jacob Bryant, born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, grew from a heady mix of front porch pickers, not far north of where Hank Williams started his trip down that Lost Highway and in the same state where W.C. Handy tilled the fertile soil for the blues sounds that haunt us still. With the roots music of the delta to their south and the soul-stirring sounds of Muscle Shoals to their north, they virtually grew up in a cauldron of soulful music of a distinctly American form. Southern gospel music informed their earliest musical experiences. John’s parents, grandfather and uncle performed in gospel groups and Jacob grew up attending church with his grandmother absorbing the rhythms and harmonies there. They met at age seven and started their first band when they were fifteen. Years would pass before the possibility of forging a career in music would become a reality.
After a decade of playing clubs, bars and festivals they have developed a stripped-down sound that leaves any unnecessary frills at the door. What’s left are soaring melodies flowing from one song to the next from a well so deep it seems bottomless. Rhythmic sophistication, harmonies and call-and-response vocal overlays serve up a rich undertone to their performances. With inspirational lyrics layered in they deliver the whole package.
With influences as diverse as the Beatles, Blitzen Trapper and classic Country music, their sound slowly evolved to become their own version of the rock and roll they love. Band members and childhood friends Jake Thrasher, Trevor Davis and most recently, Austin Smith helped them realize the sound they heard in their minds. Having captured that sound on stage, they set about the process of replicating the feel-good rock and roll of their live shows in the studio. After co-writing each of the songs, they finally concluded that only they could best execute their personal vision for a studio recording. Working and experimenting for eight months in the studio, using no samples, but attempting to capture that best possible sound, they’ve done themselves proud with their debut release and audiences are catching on rapidly.
So whether it’s on a festival stage or in a small bar, while that’s still possible, this is a band that demands to be heard. A band that sparkles on the radio and delivers in a live show. A band poised for top-forty success, but with a base of real American music. This is the real thing. And it is obvious from the very beginning.