Jack & the Bear
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Jack & the Bear

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"In the Spotlight: Monroe Band Jack & the Bear Performing On A National Stage"

he box-like room is crafted out of plywood, sweat and hard work.
The angled ceilings and unfi nished walls are accompanied by a
couple of hand-drawn pictures.
A yellow curtain covers up the lone window with just enough
light to creep through. The room is crammed with drum sets, microphones,
keyboards and chairs with just enough room to twist
and turn. It serves as a practice and recording room and is conveniently
located — in the heart of Maybee.

But the five-member band “Jack and the Bear” has burst out of
those cozy confi nes onto a national stage. They have begun a tour
that started in Chicago Feb. 27 and will include St. Louis, Kansas
City, Seattle and Portland.
They also landed an 11-day recording session in a private
studio in Sonoma, Calif., where the band will record its first full
album.

“We are all excited but scared at the same time,” Adam added.
“This is really forcing us to advance our musicianship.”

Born in Monroe in the summer of 2010, Jack and the Bear is
part of one of the largest movements in folk-rock music since the
1960s. The foundation of the band includes two sets of brothers
and a sister.

Adam, Brandon James and Christina Schreiber are the fi rst
set of siblings while Ryan (Reggie) and Evan Close make up the
other set. Jake Nielsen, a longtime friend of the band, serves as
the manager.

The band members got to know one another when they were in
the Monroe High School marching band together. But they are a
long way from making music for football games now.
Their name and some fame were launched nationwide when
MTV productions licensed 12 of the group’s songs, meaning they
can be played on various MTV shows. The group recently heard
their songs played on the popular show “Catfish” as well as on
shows on CMT and VH1.

“It has really built our fan base,” Adam said. “With the MTV
placements, it is really easy to get a show. I can honestly say they
have a national fan base. They can bring fans to a show,” Jake
added.

With the combination of instruments such as a violin, trumpet,
bass, guitars, banjo and mandolin, most of Jack and the Bear’s
music sets them apart from any other band. The blend of different
harmonies, instruments and musical backgrounds give Jack and
the Bear sounds that put people in mind of Mumford & Sons,
Springsteen and even Tom Waits.

“I am happy to be playing this style of music,” Adam said. “We
have developed our musicianship very much since we started. We
want to be more than what Mumford and Sons is.”
“It’s already been done. We want to have our own style,” Brandon
James added.

Their live show is described as “something you have never seen or experienced before.” It is something that cannot be explained, but
has to be seen.

“We put on a very energetic show,” Adam said.

Adam said they incorporate comedy and acting into their shows, providing the audience more than just good tunes. Jake, the band’s manager, has recently started dressing up as a superhero on stage.
“Someone can show up to a show and not like the music at all but they
might like the comedy and energy part of it,” Ryan said.

The band has written more than a thousand songs, however, most of them remain in the dark. Jack and the Bear’s popular songs include ‘Jack’s Flying Theme,’ ‘Ashes’ and ‘Farewell to Mister Rat,’ which is a 15-minute song.

One of the most unique qualities Jack and the Bear possesses is the lyrics they put into their songs. The lyrics of ‘Ashes,’ for example, were written by Brandon and Ryan, but focus entirely on the death of Brandon James, Adam and Christina’s grandfather.

“The song was basically written about my grandpa on his deathbed,”
Brandon said. “It is about taking such a dark situation and saying that there is something good to come out of it.”

They wrote and released their first self-titled EP, or Extended Play album, in the spring of 2011. Their most recent project included the release of a second EP, “The Stranger Amongst the Loyal,” which was produced by Adam, who is the sole drummer of the band.

The Jack and the Bear name was drawn from Jake’s cocker spaniel, Jack, along with the first initials of the founding members of the group:
Brandon James, Evan, Adam and Ryan.

“We were all sitting here in this very room, our practice room, when we came up with the name of the band,” Brandon James said. “It just kind
of stuck.”

Jack and the Bear radiates positivity and determination.

It’s not just music they produce; the band creates its own posters, CD albums, stickers and does other tasks that a publicist typically would do.

“They know what they want because they have been doing everything by themselves,” Jake said.

“They do fundraisers and record all of their own songs.”

For now they are embarking on an adventure many other bands only dream about. “People will say there is no money in being in a band, being a dancer,” Brandon James said. “…I am not worried about money.

We don’t make a lot of money. But the payment is fulfillment of doing what you want to do. The payment is the happiness you get out of it.” - Monroe Magazine


"Jack and the Bear plans California studio session"

Jack and the Bear gained national exposure when its “Jack’s Flying Theme Part 2” was featured in the season premiere of MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show.”

“It was kind of surreal,” said accordion/piano player Ryan Servis. “It was cool to hear your own music on something that people all over the country are watching.”

Even though the band’s music is being heard on a national scale (they’ve also been played on an episode of MTV’s “Teen Mom 2”), the furthest west the band has played is Chicago. They’re hoping that changes soon.

The band from Monroe, Mich., consists of three siblings and their friends, ranging from 19 to 23 years old. They have self-released two EPs and are currently saving up to record their debut LP.

Jack and the Bear will play at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at the One2 Lounge at TREO in Sylvania. The event, the “Jack and the Bear Fundraiser Spectacular” and will feature a silent auction and raffle.

Prizes will include original artwork, scratch recordings and miscellaneous merchandise.

The band is hoping to raise $2,500, which will cover the expenses of touring and recording. The band members have set their sights on the Prairie Sun Recording Studios in Sonoma County, Calif., a studio where Tom Waits has recorded. The studio was chosen for that specific reason, as Waits is a big inspiration for the band.

“We kind of figured, what better way to get his sound than to go to the studio that he recorded a few of his albums at,” Servis said.

The band will record with Waits’ producer Oz Fritz, which Servis said is an honor.

“It’s kind of intimidating because this guy is a Grammy Award-winning producer,” Servis said. “He’s made some of our favorite music so [it’s] intimidating but at the same time I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Servis said the event in Sylvania is important because it could help the band’s future as it is readying itself to go into the studio.

“We’re kind of anxious to get in, but at the same time, you know, it’s a big deal so we want to make sure we’re ready,” Servis said. “There’s still a lot of preparation to do.”

The band has booked the studio for 10 days in March. Their debut album will feature tracks from their earlier EPs with three new tracks as well. The next step is to release what they record, Servis said, so they will look for a publicist and label.

“In the meantime, we’ll be out touring,” Servis said.

The band’s tour will begin in Chicago on Feb. 27, going until the end of March.

“There’s something romantic about being in a different city every day,” Servis said.

Jack and the Bear’s sound reflects current indie bands like Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons. They opened doors for Jack and the Bear, according to the band’s bio.

“We all really like those bands,” Servis said. “They influence us musically, but at the same time … they’ve proven over and over again that they can be commercially successful in a sound of music that is not exactly mainstream. It’s not something you’d expect everyone to be interested in, but they kind of showed that it works.” - Toledo Free Press


"Jack and the Bear plans California studio session"

Jack and the Bear gained national exposure when its “Jack’s Flying Theme Part 2” was featured in the season premiere of MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show.”

“It was kind of surreal,” said accordion/piano player Ryan Servis. “It was cool to hear your own music on something that people all over the country are watching.”

Even though the band’s music is being heard on a national scale (they’ve also been played on an episode of MTV’s “Teen Mom 2”), the furthest west the band has played is Chicago. They’re hoping that changes soon.

The band from Monroe, Mich., consists of three siblings and their friends, ranging from 19 to 23 years old. They have self-released two EPs and are currently saving up to record their debut LP.

Jack and the Bear will play at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at the One2 Lounge at TREO in Sylvania. The event, the “Jack and the Bear Fundraiser Spectacular” and will feature a silent auction and raffle.

Prizes will include original artwork, scratch recordings and miscellaneous merchandise.

The band is hoping to raise $2,500, which will cover the expenses of touring and recording. The band members have set their sights on the Prairie Sun Recording Studios in Sonoma County, Calif., a studio where Tom Waits has recorded. The studio was chosen for that specific reason, as Waits is a big inspiration for the band.

“We kind of figured, what better way to get his sound than to go to the studio that he recorded a few of his albums at,” Servis said.

The band will record with Waits’ producer Oz Fritz, which Servis said is an honor.

“It’s kind of intimidating because this guy is a Grammy Award-winning producer,” Servis said. “He’s made some of our favorite music so [it’s] intimidating but at the same time I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Servis said the event in Sylvania is important because it could help the band’s future as it is readying itself to go into the studio.

“We’re kind of anxious to get in, but at the same time, you know, it’s a big deal so we want to make sure we’re ready,” Servis said. “There’s still a lot of preparation to do.”

The band has booked the studio for 10 days in March. Their debut album will feature tracks from their earlier EPs with three new tracks as well. The next step is to release what they record, Servis said, so they will look for a publicist and label.

“In the meantime, we’ll be out touring,” Servis said.

The band’s tour will begin in Chicago on Feb. 27, going until the end of March.

“There’s something romantic about being in a different city every day,” Servis said.

Jack and the Bear’s sound reflects current indie bands like Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons. They opened doors for Jack and the Bear, according to the band’s bio.

“We all really like those bands,” Servis said. “They influence us musically, but at the same time … they’ve proven over and over again that they can be commercially successful in a sound of music that is not exactly mainstream. It’s not something you’d expect everyone to be interested in, but they kind of showed that it works.” - Toledo Free Press


"Pony up for Jack & The Bear's Fundraiser Spectacular!"

It’s said that good things come to those who wait. What’s less often said and perhaps more true is that good things come to those with insurmountable passion and drive who work hard. The later case is such with Jack & the Bear, a local rock group less than three years young who are dead set on riding the rails of their music to a stable career and who are well-poised to do just that.


A Bit of a Back Story
Since the band began in 2010, Jack & the Bear have self-recorded and released two EPs, with a third in the works, booked and set out on an east coast tour, and had their music featured on MTV, VH1, and CMT. What’s more, they’ve solidified a legion of local fans with raucous live performances, fun, energetic stage antics, and top-notch folk-rock songwriting that digs at the well of traditionalist innovators like the Boss, Tom Waits, Mumford & Sons, and many more, but with a style and substance distinctively their own. Heading into their third year, the five-piece from Monroe, MI is looking to step up their game in 2013. At the top of the list for the coming year is to head out to Sonoma, California and record at Tom Waits’ favorite studio, Prairie Sun, all while working with Grammy-nominated produced, Oz Fritz. But first, in one of the sad truths of life, before they can make their dreams come true, the quintet needs cold hard cash. Enter the idea for a party.


The Fundraiser Spectacular!
On February 1st, Jack & the Bear will play a very special Fundraiser Spectacular at the One2 Lounge at Treo Restaurant in Sylvania, OH. But, this is no ordinary performance. Throughout the night, the band will harbor their fun-loving personalities and quirky sense of humor in an effort to raise funds to get to Cali, record at Prairie Sun, press a record, and then be able to tour on it. Already well on their way to the $10,000 goal, the band is hoping to pick up the remaining amount with a little help from their friends on Friday night. In addition to the modest $2 cover charge, a silent auction will be set up featuring unique items from the band’s personal collection, including original artwork by lead singer/songwriter Brandon James from Jack & the Bear’s first two EPs. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill auction and performance though, throughout the evening, the band will feature a sweet raffle, and all sorts of fun ways to get involved in the giving, including live auctions from the stage (how about a personally recorded voicemail by the band for the winning bidder?), trivia showdowns for cool swag, and other fun, quirky antics. If that weren’t enough, some tasty light food samples from Treo’s menu will be available for guests to gnosh on.

With all the band has in store, and in anticipation of the upcoming fundraiser, Toledo.com caught up with James to discuss where Jack & the Bear have been, where they’re going, and how they wound up having their music featured on MTV’s Catfish show. Dig in, and if you dig it, pony up and help out.

The band is going into its third year. When you look back over a relatively short time, does it feel like you've done a lot, or are you just getting started?

At first thought, it feels like we've really just begun, and we still are in the beginning stages of really defining who we are/our own sound. But when I really look back at all we've done, I'd say yes. In two years we've recorded/released two EPs, along with two singles, went off on our first tour, played shows alongside many of our favorite bands, licensed music with MTV and found placement, etc. It's really bizarre to think about, actually. But with all of that being said, we've still barely just begun in getting our tails pulled in the music business out there today.



Since debuting in 2010, the band has come a long way. Do you feel like you've developed more your own sound in that time? In what way?

Yes, when we first started out we weren't exactly sure what style or sound we were really aiming for. All we knew was that we wanted to create something more than just another folksy indie band (not that there is anything wrong with folksy indie bands), but we wanted to form something that combined our music with our naturally quirky, nerdy personalities, forming somewhat of a spectacle, if you will. It gets a little crazier with each live performance, and I have to say I'm really enjoying it that way.

Right out of the gate, Jack & the Bear made waves with original songs, and gained fans solely on the basis of good songwriting - what do you try to do when you're writing songs? Is there a certain aesthetic you're aiming for, a certain goal? Is the audience in your mind, or does the song come first?

It all depends on the song we're aiming to write at the moment. For Example: when we came up with "Ashes", Reggie came to practice with this upbeat melody that we worked on for a bit, then threw on the shelf for a while. Eventually it was revived and slowed down with collaboration from the rest the band, and it ended up turning into more of an emotional ballad. Whereas a song like "Wendy" was actually written with an audience in mind and successfully turned into a what it was meant to be; an up-beat, glass raising, sing-a-long, inspired by one of our favorite movies "Hook."



When you guys hit the East Coast, that was your first real tour out - if I'm not mistaken - What was the biggest thing you took away from that experience?

That being in a band is just as much work as it is fun. It was an incredible experience and went better than any of us could have ever hoped. We're really just looking forward to getting back on the road again.



Last year you had a song debut on MTV's Catfish show, how did that opportunity come about? Did it make a noticeable impact on the band?

It's a funny story actually; a while back we played a show with Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea, which was one of our first notable performances. We had a great experience that night and became friends with her, along with her band as well. So, one day Nicole posted a status; I've forgotten what it said, but I commented saying something like "OH, you should take Jack & the Bear with you", and she "liked" it. Shortly after, we received an e-mail from a guy from MTV, saying he checked out our stuff online and wanted to know if we'd be interested in doing some licensing with MTV/Viacom. We thought it was a joke as first, seeing as we only had one EP out that was recorded in two days by our friend "Snake" Brandon Wiard. But he wasn't joking, and we ended up licensing that EP out to Viacom. Then, after about a year of talking with MTV and licensing out the rest of our music, we got a notification saying that our song "Jack's Flying Theme Pt. II" was being pulled for full placement in a new show called Catfish. This was great news for us, and we really couldn't have had a better outcome. We've noticed a drastic increase in our music downloads/fan base all around the world since the premier of the new hit-show. Since then, we've had a few more placements on networks such as VH1 and CMT. It's really quite amazing, and we couldn't be more thankful for our friends at MTV for getting us involved with them.


You're currently raising funds to record your debut LP. Why should people want to help pitch in on the effort? Is there a local angel to the fundraising effort?

We hope that they'd want to help just to see us succeed further in our careers as musicians, and also because we hope that they think we're decently awesome. It's difficult to explain to most people, but it really is a ton of work to get a band to "work," especially when you're an unsigned band doing everything on your own. Like I said before, being in a band is a lot of fun, but it's also extremely hard to be taken seriously. We do have a manager, Jake Nielsen, who really helps us out with booking shows/selling merch/driving our bus, etc., but there is so much more to it. We're currently raising money to record our album, release it, and tour it as much as possible, which costs a lot of money, and we're really hoping our friends/fans and family pull through for us since we are in the local art scene here. Everyone has helped us so much already in our efforts to raise the money we need, and for that we're truly thankful. This is the final stretch, and it's looking like this fundraiser is sure to be a night to remember, indeed.


What specifically is so appealing to you and the band about recording at Prairie Sun Studios?

Two words: TOM WAITS. He is a huge influence on the band, writing and performance-wise. Also, one of our favorite albums of all time was recorded at that very studio, Mule Variations by Tom Waits. Also, to make matters even more unbelievably cool, we are going to be working with the same producer, Oz Fritz, that Tom's worked with. It's very surreal.



I'm sure it seems a long way off now, but when you hit the fundraising goal and have the record in your hands - what comes next for the band?

Well, we plan on recording/releasing another EP later this year, along with carrying on with what we're calling our "Never Ending Tour." No matter what, we've decided as the five-piece line-up that we are right now that music is what we want to do for the rest of our lives. And we're going to do the best we can to never stop and make an honest living off it for as long as we can, by continuing to write, record, and perform what we are hoping are some the most memorable, mind-blowing concerts people will ever attend. - Toledo.com


"Jack and the Bear -- Reggie's Rock Club February 27th"

What does a band do when the amount of hands in the band falls behind the number of instruments needed to play them? They expand their roster. Michigan chamber folk group Jack and the Bear brought in some free agents on banjo, trumpet, violin and accordion to help push their Fleet Foxes-style harmonies closer into the sprawling, multi-instrumental domain of co-ed indie collective Of Monsters & Men. But no matter how many hands join the band, their musical visions continue to capture the essence of what the indie folk movement is all about: a foot-stompin’, head-jammin’ kind of good time. - Chicago Innerview


"Jack & the Bear: One2 Lounge @ Treo Monday, December 31"

With a sound that owes as much to rugged backwoods Americana as it does to high-energy Springsteen-ish sensibilities, these eight late-teens/early twenty-somethings are rounding out an impressive year — becoming one of the hottest bands on the local radar, touring and playing at festivals. And their live show, constantly dashing to and from opposite ends of the folk-rock spectrum — from the sweet and melancholy to the fast and furious — will start and end your New Year’s Eve with a bang. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and champagne toast.

$5 21+, $10 18-20. 8:30pm.
The One2 Lounge @ Treo,
5703 Main St., Sylvania.
419-882-2266.

www.treosylvania.com - ToledoCityPaper.com


"An Unexpected Party: A Night in Middle-Earth with Jack & the Bear"

In case you were worried about celebrating the release of Peter Jackson’s new flick, The Hobbit, all alone, don’t Frodo … I mean, fret. Don’t fret. The Ottawa Tavern is hosting a special Hobbit-themed hoopla, aptly dubbed "An Unexpected Party," with local folk-rockers, Jack & The Bear.

Hailing from the holler of Monroe, MI, Jack & The Bear are easily one of the area’s most talented acts. After wowing crowds of all ages on stages ranging from coffee houses to bars to summer festivals – all while playing original music – the band has toured the East Coast, self-recorded and released and album, and had a video featured on MTV’s new Catfish show. This all before most of them were legally allowed to purchase a beer.

A Jack & The Bear show at the OT is never one to miss in the first place. A Jack & The Bear show featuring two sets and an evening dedicated to The Hobbit … well, my precious, this is the kind of thing Gandalf will send you into Mordor for missing.

Jack & The Bear play the Ottawa Tavern (1815 Adams St.) on Saturday, December 8th. Music at 10 p.m. No cover. - Toledo.com


"Fresh Wax: Jack and the Bear"

As much as we (all music critics) like to dog MTV for not playing music videos anymore, they occasionally do some things right. No, I’m not talking about their original scripted programming — that’s still horrible. But last night while catching the premiere of Catfish: The Show, I was caught off guard by a snippet of what sounded to be an amazing band. Their name was Jack and the Bear, and the driving chamber folk of their song “Jack’s Flying Theme Part II” brought to mind such artists as Fleet Foxes, The Avett Brothers, and Arcade Fire. Yeah, just a little 10 to 15 seconds of their song had me comparing them to these acts that many consider legends of the indie genre. Working toward recording their debut full-length, Jack and the Bear are set to make a bigger impact, and they need to be heard.

Consisting of members Brandon James (lead vocals/guitar), Evan Close (backing vocals/bass), Adam Schreiber(drums/vocals), Ryan Servis (vocals/keys/accordion), Ryan Close (banjo/violin/mandolin/vocals), Christina Schreiber (trumpet), and Elizabeth Burroughs (violin/keys/cello), the band’s core is made up of two sets of brothers, an outlier family friend, and a sister. Elizabeth Burroughs was added to round out the band’s sound with her violin skills. Jack and the Bear’s name was inspired by an influential figure in Brandon James’ life and the initials of the founding members of the group.

Releasing their first EP in 2011, the self-titled release includes the driving stomp folk of “Back To Despair” and “Jack’s Flying Theme Part II”, which was played on MTV’s Catfish: The Show. Download “Back To Despair” for free below.

Earlier this year the band released a new 2-song EP, The Stranger Amongst the Loyal, which was produced/engineered entirely by the band’s drummer Adam Schreiber. His studio, White Wagon, handles all of the Jack and the Bear releases while also taking on new projects. Listen to The Stranger Amongst the Loyal below.

Having just completed work on a third EP, The Trade, the band is set to start work on their debut full-length. Follow the band’s progress through all social networking means: Facebook, Twitter, and their Website. And of course, be sure to let us know on Facebook or the comments section if you’ll be paying attention to this up and coming band. - Earbuddy


"Music from the Season Premier of Catfish: The TV Show"

Featured Artist: The Lumineers | follow: @TheLumineers

Free Downloads from the Season Premiere

Kishi Bashi "Bright Whites" - Free Download (right click to save)

3D Friends "One Day I Know" - Free Download (right click to save)

River City Extension "If You Need Me Back In Brooklyn" - Free Download (right click to save)

Hands and Teeth "Until the Night" - Free Download (right click to save)

Catfish: The TV Show - Airdate: November 12, 2012

Bangs - Catacombs

(scene: Nev and Max read Sunny's email as she introduces herself and her online relationship with Jameson)

Kishi Bashi - Bright Whites

(scene: Nex and Max head to Arkansas to meet Sunny in person)

3D Friends - One Day I Know

(scene: Sunny tells Nev how their relationship started on Facebook)

Joe Gil - Hey Hey

(scene: Sunny tells Nev of her emotional connection with Jameson)

Emily Zuzik - Runner

(scene: Nev and Max investigate Jameson on the internet)

Marching Band - Okey

(scene: Nev and Max in the car on the way to meet Sunny)

War Stories - Because I Love You

(scene: Sunny finds out she is going to meet Jameson in person)

Verskotzi - Sell My Soul

(scene: Nev talks to Sunny's friends to hear their take on Jameson)

The Lumineers - Ho Hey

(scene: Sunny gets ready to go meet Jameson in person)

The Miracals - Swimming

(scene: Nev swings by Sunny's apartment as she packs up to go meet Jameson)

Vlor - Trust in Weapons

(scene: Sunny and her sister Summer get into a fight)

Jack and the Bear - Jack's Flying Theme Part 2

(scene: Sunny, Nev, and Max take a roadtrip to go meet Jameson in person)

Aarktica - Elena

(scene: Summer and Chelsea AKA Jameson meet face to face for the first time)

Sharon Van Etten - All I Can

(scene: Sunny walks away from Chelsea AKA Jameson disgruntled and tries to process this new reality)

River City Extension - If You Need Me Back In Brooklyn

(scene: Sunny, Chelsea and Nev pose for a photo after working out their differences)

Hands and Teeth - Until the Night

(scene: A year later, Nev skypes with Chelsea and Sunny to check in on them) - MTV


"Music from the Season Premier of Catfish: The TV Show"

Featured Artist: The Lumineers | follow: @TheLumineers

Free Downloads from the Season Premiere

Kishi Bashi "Bright Whites" - Free Download (right click to save)

3D Friends "One Day I Know" - Free Download (right click to save)

River City Extension "If You Need Me Back In Brooklyn" - Free Download (right click to save)

Hands and Teeth "Until the Night" - Free Download (right click to save)

Catfish: The TV Show - Airdate: November 12, 2012

Bangs - Catacombs

(scene: Nev and Max read Sunny's email as she introduces herself and her online relationship with Jameson)

Kishi Bashi - Bright Whites

(scene: Nex and Max head to Arkansas to meet Sunny in person)

3D Friends - One Day I Know

(scene: Sunny tells Nev how their relationship started on Facebook)

Joe Gil - Hey Hey

(scene: Sunny tells Nev of her emotional connection with Jameson)

Emily Zuzik - Runner

(scene: Nev and Max investigate Jameson on the internet)

Marching Band - Okey

(scene: Nev and Max in the car on the way to meet Sunny)

War Stories - Because I Love You

(scene: Sunny finds out she is going to meet Jameson in person)

Verskotzi - Sell My Soul

(scene: Nev talks to Sunny's friends to hear their take on Jameson)

The Lumineers - Ho Hey

(scene: Sunny gets ready to go meet Jameson in person)

The Miracals - Swimming

(scene: Nev swings by Sunny's apartment as she packs up to go meet Jameson)

Vlor - Trust in Weapons

(scene: Sunny and her sister Summer get into a fight)

Jack and the Bear - Jack's Flying Theme Part 2

(scene: Sunny, Nev, and Max take a roadtrip to go meet Jameson in person)

Aarktica - Elena

(scene: Summer and Chelsea AKA Jameson meet face to face for the first time)

Sharon Van Etten - All I Can

(scene: Sunny walks away from Chelsea AKA Jameson disgruntled and tries to process this new reality)

River City Extension - If You Need Me Back In Brooklyn

(scene: Sunny, Chelsea and Nev pose for a photo after working out their differences)

Hands and Teeth - Until the Night

(scene: A year later, Nev skypes with Chelsea and Sunny to check in on them) - MTV


"Lovely Hearts Club Presents: Jack & the Bear"

In this day and age we can discover artists in all sorts of ways. We received a demo from this band in the mail, and the very next day they were in our Turntable.fm room. When they played their track, we were blown away. Crazy, right? So now let’s take a journey to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where there is some grand folk rock being made. Jack & The Bear are next up in a growing line of future breakout stars of this scene. Following in the footsteps of acts such as Mumford and Sons, and The Avett Brothers, Jack & The Bear attribute a similarly raw sound that is both haunting and regal. “Back To Despair”, filled with pulsating drums and heavily emotional vocals, doubles as a bit of a theme song for moving on with your life.

Consisting of two sets of brothers and a family friend, there is a sense of comfort in Jack & the Bear’s recording process that gives the sound some much-appreciated togetherness. The use of 4 part harmonies as well as an exotic mixture of instruments (mandolin, trombone, trumpets and accordion, to name just a few) make this group stand on their own. If this track is any indication, this great nation has another rollicking folk band to savor. - Paper Garden Records


"Jack & the Bear"

On a cool evening in middle October, the seven members of Jack & the Bear settled at a cozy wooden table inside B-24 Espresso Bar. Sipping large mugs of coffee and sharing cookies, Brandon James, Adam Schreiber, Evan Close, Reggie Servis, Christina Schreiber and Elizabeth Buroughs chatter amongst themselves, along with manager Jake Neilson, until they decide to commence sans banjo player Ryan Close, who’s just pulling up.

It’s been a long road for the seven members, who have played lots of shows (over 220 by the end of the year), changed a few players here and there and are on their way to recording their debut studio album. Having set out on an east coast tour this past summer (however long ago it seems), Jack & the Bear gained new fans and a new appreciation for their craft and their area.

“I’d say for our first time, we weren’t really sure how it was going to go. It went surprisingly really well,” says James, lead vocalist/guitar “We were planning on losing a lot of money and actually made a profit on it.”

Servis agrees, touching on the reach that Ann Arbor has in music. “Ann Arbor just harnesses everyone’s creative side – that’s the feeling I get from Ann Arbor, and it’s been good to us,” he says. “And every band we talk to wants to play in Ann Arbor.”

Adam Schreiber shares the same sentiment, saying “It was good going out and saying we’re from Ann Arbor. It’s a good place for what we’re doing.”

While Ann Arbor may, indeed, cultivate the band’s sound, it’s obviously up to the members to start the initial spark – something one can imagine being difficult with seven members. Jack & the Bear originally started as a foursome, with the members’ first initials creating the “Bear” portion of the name. Things changed over time, as they often do, and Jack & the Bear found themselves swelling to seven members with certain elements coming and going through the years.

“The songwriting process …it’s a big task. It’s a complex procedure. It changes each time. It’s not like a set in stone process for us,” James explains.

“Reginald over there,” James motions to the end of the table, “and I, write most of the songs, come up with the ideas and Adam helps us mold them together, and then we create the rhythm and we add in all the other parts. But it’s trying to get a like a little symphony band together.”

The “little symphony” has created two EPs, the aptly titled “EP” and “The Stranger Amongst the Loyal” (released this year), and is well on its way to recording a debut full length. The group has started a campaign on the site IndieGoGo in the hopes of raising enough money to be able to afford the cost of the album.

“We were all pretty surprised,” says Adam Schreiber of the success of the campaign. At the end of the campaign (October 21), the band had received $6,000 in donations towards its $10,000 goal. For those who donate, the group is gifting a variety of things, including posters, T-shirts and digital copies of their album (when it’s complete, of course). For the members, the opportunity to record at Prairie Sun Valley studio in California is as much of a personal reward (they’re avid Tom Waits fans and this was his studio) as it is a mechanical one.

“We want to make sure that everything’s going to be perfect because we’re going to be recording in a way that most bands don’t do anymore,” says Adam Schreiber. “It’s going to be recorded in a vintage analog. It’s not going to be punching the spacebar. We get one take and it’s something that’s really not done anymore. We want to record it as honest as possible.”

Jack & the Bear plans to tour along the road to Sonoma, Calif. for a month, longer than they originally planned in order to gain a following on the way. Before then, the band has a few more shows (they plan on doing a few weekend tours before the year’s end), as well as getting the rest of their funds together and planning the tour. James hopes they’ll have all the money by January – and may get a chance to relaunch the campaign. For now, the parts of the whole will work their odd jobs to make some moolah, which, according to Christina Schreiber, is all a part of the process.

“You find out that you can’t be the musician you want to be if you aren’t suffering a little bit with your money,” she says with a casual laugh, the rest of the table following suit.

Once the laughs died down a bit, James sighs and says, “The worse your life is, the better the music.” And everyone chuckles while nodding their heads.

Catch Jack & the Bear at Woodruff’s in Ypsilanti. Doors are at 9 p.m., and the show starts at 10 p.m. Cover is $5 at the door. - iSPY Magazine


Discography

Jack & the Bear EP (2011)

The Stranger Amongst the Loyal EP (2012)

The Trade (Single) (2012)

Photos

Bio

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; the five-piece band hit the ground running with the writing and recording of their first self-titled EP, which received a self-distributed release in the spring of 2011.

Writers Brandon James and Ryan "Reggie" Servis provide a unique blend of 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 three part harmony and instruments such as trumpet, accordion, and organ 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.

Their live show is another story that is completely unique to them; something that is a must see for any fan of live performance. 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, and loads of success which included licensing negotiations with MTV's Music Integration Department.

As of fall 2012, the band has matured and carried on to a whole new level with the release of their third EP “The Trade," and a feature of their song "Jack's Flying Theme Part II" in the new MTV series "Catfish."

Jack & the Bear 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." Jack & the Bear hope to release their debut LP in the summer of 2013.