Judah & the Lion

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Judah & the Lion
J&TL Live.jpg
Judah & the Lion performing in 2017
Background information
OriginCookeville, Tennessee, U.S.[1]
Years active2011 (2011)–present[1]
MembersJudah Akers
Brian Macdonald
Nate Zuercher
Past membersSpencer Cross

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



The original members of the band met while attending Belmont University in Nashville.[5] Lead singer, Judah Akers had written songs that he wanted to add more organic and acoustic sounds to and met Brian Macdonald and Nate Zuercher through classes and mutual friends.[5] While at Belmont, the band won Belmont’s 2012 Christian Showcase and Best of the Best competitions.[6] Their first EP, First Fruits released by the band was a Christian worship collection, but the band knew that they did not want to exclude a wider audience and decided to stray from being strictly a Christian group.[5]


According to Judah Akers, the band received their name from a passage in the bible about The Lion of the Tribe of Judah.[7] The name fits the band since the lead singer is named Judah and because of their Christian backgrounds.


The band wrote that their music has the "grit of Run DMC or Beastie Boys" but played on folk instruments.[8] MacDonald said he was influenced by Kendrick Lamar and the Beatles.[9]


Current members[1]

  • Judah Akers – guitar, lead vocals
  • Brian Macdonald – mandolin, backing vocals
  • Nate Zuercher – banjo, backing vocals

Past members

  • Spencer Cross – drums

Touring members

  • Dylan Oglesby – guitar, backing vocals, accordion
  • Daniel Weatherby – keyboards, synth bass
  • Troy Bruner – drums

Music and Discography[edit]

First Fruits (2012)[edit]

Judah & the Lion released their first EP, First Fruits, on June 19, 2012.[10]


List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
Kids These Days
  • Released: September 9, 2014
  • Label: Good Time Inc.
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Their debut full-length studio album.
  • During the release, Judah & the Lion opened for Mat Kearney and Ben Rector.
  • During their headlining tour, they performed for the first time in Sweden in 2015 and wrote a song for their fans ("Stockholm").
4[11] 2[12]
Folk Hop n' Roll/ Folk Hop n' Roll Deluxe Edition
  • Released: March 4, 2016
  • Label: Cletus the Van Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download, LP
  • In November 2016, Judah & the Lion released the Take It All Back 2.0 + Stockholm EP.
  • In January 2017, Billboard magazine named Judah & the Lion their first "Chartbreaker" artist.[9]
  • On January 12, 2017 the band made a late night appearance on the show Conan, hosted by Conan O'Brien.[13]
  • The band also made festival appearances at Bonnaroo, SunFest and Hangout Fest.
  • They opened for Twenty One Pilots on their Emotional Roadshow Tour and select dates with Kaleo.[14]
  • On March 17, 2017, the deluxe edition of the album was released.
  • The band made numerous festival appearances including Music Midtown, Sloss Fest, Firefly, Forecastle, Governors Ball.
  • They 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 The Late Late Show with James Corden on March 14, 2017, Good Morning America on June 5th, Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 18, 2017, and CONAN on February 7, 2018.[15]
  • They performed 90 headline shows throughout the US and Canada selling over 100k tickets for the "Going to Mars" tour.
7[16] 2[16] 4[16]

Extended plays[edit]

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions
Peak chart positions US
Sweet Tennessee
  • Released: April 16, 2013
  • Label: Judah & the Lion
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • In the Fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014, Judah & the Lion opened for Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.
2[17] 15[18] 9[18]


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
"Going to Mars" 2018 17
"Over My Head"[21] 2019 36 TBA
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards Judah & the Lion Alternative Rock Artist of the Year Nominated [22]
Best New Artist Nominated
Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist Won


  1. ^ a b c d e Judah & the Lion (December 12, 2011). "Judah & the Lion - About". Facebook. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  2. ^ Ruehl, Kim (July 2, 2013). "ABOUT TO BREAK: Judah and the Lion". The Bluegrass Situation. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Hamm, Josh (April 26, 2013). "Judah & The Lion - Sweet Tennessee". Indie Vision Music. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  4. ^ http://www.onestowatch.com/artist/judah-and-the-lion
  5. ^ a b c "Nothing but Authenticity and Folk Hop: A Conversation with Judah & the Lion - Atwood Magazine". 2017-02-01. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  6. ^ "Judah Akers: Lead vocalist and guitarist for Judah and the Lion | UCBJ - Upper Cumberland Business Journal". www.ucbjournal.com. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  7. ^ "the Lala Exclusive Interview with Judah & The Lion". the Lala. 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  8. ^ "About". Judah & the Lion. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  9. ^ a b "Chartbreaker: Judah & the Lion Talk Their Surprise Chart Hit & Opening for Twenty One Pilots". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  10. ^ Judah & the Lion (June 19, 2012). "Judah & the Lion - post". Facebook. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  11. ^ "Folk Music: Top Folk Albums | Billboard: Sep 27, 2014 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. 2014-09-27. Retrieved 2015-04-04.
  12. ^ "Heatseeker Albums : Sep 27, 2014 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. 2014-09-27. Retrieved 2015-04-04.
  13. ^ Team Coco (2017-01-13), Judah & The Lion "Take It All Back 2.0" 01/12/17 - CONAN on TBS, retrieved 2018-09-24
  14. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Judah & The Lion Announce 2017 Tour w/ Twenty One Pilots". Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  15. ^ Desk, TV News. "JUDAH & THE LION's GOING TO MARS Makes TV Debut On CONAN Tonight + Tour Dates". Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  16. ^ a b c "Folk Hop n' Roll - Judah & the Lion | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-31.
  17. ^ Billboard.biz (May 4, 2013). "Folk Albums : May 4, 2013". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  18. ^ a b Allmusic (2013). "Sweet Tennessee - Judah & the Lion : Awards". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Judah & The Lion – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ "Judah & the Lion Drops New Single OVER MY HEAD". Broadway World. January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  22. ^ "2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards: See The Full List of Nominee". iHeartRadio. January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.

External links[edit]