Judah and the Lion
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Judah and the Lion
Judah & the Lion
J&TL Live.jpg
Judah & the Lion performing in 2017
Background information
Origin Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.[1]
2011 (2011)-present[1]
Labels Independent
Website judahandthelion.com
Members Judah Akers
Brian Macdonald
Nate Zuercher
Spencer Cross

Judah & the Lion is an American alternative band from Nashville, Tennessee, that started in 2011. Their latest release is Folk Hop 'N Roll Deluxe (2017). The band is made up of Judah Akers (vocals, guitar), Brian Macdonald (mandolin, vocals), and Nate Zuercher (banjo, vocals).


Years before forming one of Nashville's most genre bending bands, the members of Judah & the Lion grew up in separate corners of the U.S., listening to every type of music that came their way. They loved it all: the twang of folk, the beat of hip hop, the drive of rock & roll, the punch of pop. Later, after college brought all four musicians to Belmont University in Tennessee, it only made sense to combine those different backgrounds and different sounds together.


Sweet Tennessee (2013)

Judah & the Lion released their first EP, Sweet Tennessee, on April 16, 2013, and it charted on the Billboard charts on May 4, 2013. The placements were at No. 2 on the Bluegrass Albums, No. 9 on the Heatseekers Albums, and at No. 15 on the Folk Albums.[5][6]

Kids These Days (2014)

Judah & the Lion released their debut full-length studio album, Kids These Days, on September 9, 2014; it entered Billboard's Heatseekers chart at No. 2 and the Folk Albums chart at No. 4 its first week out. In addition, their single "Kickin' da Leaves" accumulated more than one hundred thousand streams in two weeks after release and made Spotify's VIRAL 50 Chart alongside Meghan Trainor, Fall Out Boy, Betty Who, and Karen O among others..

During their touring schedule in support of Kids These Days, Judah & the Lion opened for Mat Kearney and Ben Rector

Folk Hop 'N Roll (2016)

Judah & the Lion released their second studio album, Folk Hop 'N Roll, on March 4, 2016 putting them at #3 on the Alternative New Artist Chart. The album reached No. 2 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart, No. 7 on the Billboard Americana/Folk Albums chart, and No. 17 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart.

In December 2016/January 2017, Judah & the Lion's single, "Take It All Back", reached #19 on the Hot AC Chart and the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart for three consecutive weeks.[7]  The single was certified gold in September 2017 (over 500,000 copies sold).

Like Kids These Days, Folk Hop N Roll was produced by award winner Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton). Cobb captured the band's new songs in a series of quick, inspired takes, aiming for performances that sounded real and raw rather than polished and perfect. Everything was done in just two weeks. The goal was to fuel the album with the same electricity that fills the band's live shows.

Folk Hop N Roll shines a light on the place where the band's influences overlap. It's a wide ranging sound, with fuzz bass, hip hop percussion, distorted banjo riffs, and super sized melodies all stirred into the same mixing pot.

"There's no boundaries," says frontman Judah Akers, who shares the band's lineup with drummer Spencer Cross, mandolin player Brian Macdonald, and banjo wiz Nate Zuercher. "We wanted to make something raw, something with attitude. We all grew up loving these hip hop beats, so why not make an album that has the grit of Run DMC or Beastie Boys, along with all the folk instruments that we play?"

In January of 2017, Billboard magazine named Judah & the Lion their first "Chartbbreaker" artist.

On January 12th, 2017 the band made a late night appearance on Conan O'Brien

Judah & the Lion toured extensively though the US in support of the "Folk Hop N Roll" album including headlining shows throughout the country. The band also made festival appearances at Bonnaroo, SunFest and Hangout Fest and opened for Twenty One Pilots on their Emotional Roadshow Tour and select dates with Kaleo.

Folk Hop 'N Roll Deluxe: (2017)

Inspired by how their genre - blending style was connecting with fans, Judah & the Lion headed back into the studio in early 2017 to record 4 brand new songs dubbed the Going to Mars Collection, which, when combined with Folk Hop N Roll, makeup Folk Hop N Roll Deluxe. On March 17, 2017, Folk Hop 'N' Roll Deluxe was released.  The rebooted version of the album includes the band's string quartet arrangement of "Take It All Back," and the equally high energy and anthemic "Suit and Jacket" which peaked at #4 on the Alternative Radio charts.  

"This record was made for the live show," Akers promises. "Our shows are all about the experience we share with our fans. We know that people work everyday jobs or go to school, and they're dealing with life, and yet they're still choosing to spend the night with us. We don't take that lightly. We give them an experience. We throw an absolute rage. And all the songs were made with that in mind. They're fun, carefree, and youthful, and we live our lives that way, too."

Anthemic and wildly creative, Folk Hop N Roll is unlike anything else in modern music. It's a rule - breaking record, with Judah & the Lion creating a sound that belongs entirely to them. From the earthy stomp of roots music to the bold bounce of hip-hop, Folk Hop N Roll casts a wide net, proof that Judah & the Lion - who are now four releases into their career - have developed quite the roar.

Judah & the Lion toured extensively though the US in support of the "Folk Hop N Roll Deluxe" album including sold out headlining shows throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. The band made festival numerous appearances including Music Midtown, Sloss Fest, Firefly, Forecastle, Governors Ball. The also opened for Incubus and Jimmy Eat World on the 8 Tour in the US as well as Kaleo's Express Tour in Europe

TV appearances included Late Late show with James Corden on March 14th, Good Morning America on June 5th, and Jimmy Kimmel Live on September 18th.

Other Ventures

Product Endorsements

Through the span of Judah & the Lion's musical career take-off, they have received endorsements from Fender, Samsung, Absolut Vodka, and Nature Valley. In 2016, Fender released an exclusive YouTube clip of Judah & the Lion experimenting with Fender Offset guitars on tour.


Current members[1]

o Judah Akers - guitar, lead vocals

o Brian Macdonald - mandolin, backing vocals

o Nate Zuercher - banjo, backing vocals

Past members

o Spencer Cross - drums



List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
Kids These Days -- 4[4] 2[5] --
Folk Hop n' Roll
  • Released: March 4, 2016
  • Label: Cletus the Van Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download, LP
-- 7[6] 2[6] 4[6]

Extended plays

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
Sweet Tennessee
  • Released: April 16, 2013
  • Label: Judah & the Lion
  • Formats: CD, digital download
2[7] 15[8] 9[7]


List of singles, with showing year released, peak chart positions and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album


"Rich Kids" 2014 -- -- Kids These Days
"Mason-Dixon Line" -- --
"Graffiti Dreams" 2016 -- -- Folk Hop n' Roll
"Take It All Back" 1 6
"Suit and Jacket" 2017 4 16
"--" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b c d e Judah & the Lion (December 12, 2011). "Judah & the Lion - About". Facebook. Retrieved 2014. 
  2. ^ Ruehl, Kim (July 2, 2013). "ABOUT TO BREAK: Judah and the Lion". The Bluegrass Situation. Retrieved 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Hamm, Josh (April 26, 2013). "Judah & The Lion - Sweet Tennessee". Indie Vision Music. Retrieved 2014. 
  4. ^ "Folk Music: Top Folk Albums | Billboard: Sep 27, 2014 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. 2014-09-27. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ "Heatseeker Albums : Sep 27, 2014 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. 2014-09-27. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ a b c "Folk Hop n' Roll - Judah & the Lion | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  7. ^ a b Allmusic (2013). "Sweet Tennessee - Judah & the Lion : Awards". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014. 
  8. ^ Billboard.biz (May 4, 2013). "Folk Albums : May 4, 2013". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Judah & The Lion - Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  10. ^ "American single certifications - Judah And The Lion - Take It All Back". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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