The Black Watch (band)

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The Black Watch
OriginSanta Barbara, California, United States
GenresIndie rock
Years active1987—present
LabelsEskimo, Stonegarden, Pink Hedgehog, Saltwater, Not Lame, Catapult, Zero Hour Records, Doctor Dream, Pop Culture Press Records
MembersJohn Andrew Fredrick
Chris Rackard
Rick Woodard
Tyson Cornell
Past membersJ'Anna Jacoby, Roger Butchers, Randy Leasure, Darin Danford, Gary Sullivan, Tim Boland, Scott Taylor, Kenny Sonoquie, Steven Schayer

The Black Watch is an American independent rock band from Santa Barbara, California, United States, whose only constant member has been singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter, John Andrew Fredrick.[1] Through their twenty years in the recording industry, the group has affiliated with at least eight different record labels.

Fredrick formed the band in 1987 after earning his Ph.D. in English from University of California, Santa Barbara. After recording St. Valentine and releasing it on eskimo, Fredrick's own label, violinist J'Anna Jacoby joined the group and the two of them formed the nucleus of the band until she left the group in 2003.

The Black Watch has recorded and toured consistently throughout its history except for a brief period in 1997 when the band broke up. During this hiatus, Fredrick wrote The King of Good Intentions, a semi-autobiographical novel about an indie rock band. The band recorded a CD of the same title intended as a companion piece to the novel.

In 2008, guitarist and singer Steven Schayer (formerly of the New Zealand band The Chills) joined, and Fredrick published another book of fiction, The Knucklehead Chronicles.

In 2013, The band released The End of When on Pop Culture Press Records.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Trouser Press has noted that, despite so many great reviews, it is "astonishing" that The Black Watch has only garnered a following "the size of a kitchen sponge."[3]


  • St. Valentine (1988)
  • Short Stories (EP, 1989)
  • Flowering (1991)
  • Amphetamines (1994)
  • Seven Rollercoasters (EP, 1997)
  • The King of Good Intentions (1999)
  • Lime Green Girl (2000)
  • The Christopher Smart EP (2001)
  • Jiggery-Pokery (2002)
  • Very Mary Beth (2003)
  • The Innercity Garden EP (2005)
  • The Hypnotizing Sea (2005)
  • Tatterdemalion (2006)
  • Icing the Snow Queen (2008)
  • After the Gold Room EP (2008)
  • Led Zeppelin Five (2011)
  • The End Of When (2013)
  • The Best of the Black Watch (2013)
  • Sugarplum Fairy, Sugarplum Fairy (2015)
  • Highs and Lows (2016)
  • Gospel According to John (2017)[4]


  1. ^ Andy Kellman. "The Black Watch | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-07-02.
  2. ^ Kamradt, Randal. "Notes from the Pacific Rim # 2". Bruce J Maier. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  3. ^ "The Black Watch". Trouser Press. 9 August 2001. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  4. ^ "The Black Watch | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-07-02.

External links[edit]