St. Joe Jack
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St. Joe Jack

Saint Joseph, MI | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Saint Joseph, MI | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Rock Jam




"Michigan Songwriter Plays 100 Breweries in 100 Days"

Inspired by a classic sing-along, his love of beer and a playful and adventurous spirit, a Michigan singer/songwriter is building his career one brewery at a time.
His goal is ambitious…After all 100 shows in 100 breweries in a hundred days is no mean feat. But multi-instrumentalist Jack Adams, who performs as “St. Joe Jack,” is all about it and in the midst of a mega-journey that’s already clocked more than 6,000 miles.
When American Craft Beer caught up with Jack Adams he had just wrapped up a gig at Alexandria Brewing in Kentucky and was making his way to his 73rd stop Dreaming Creek Brewery where he’d be playing later that night.
And having just completed his 72nd brewery date he seemed incredibly upbeat and none the worse for wear…
ACB: So 100 shows at 100 breweries in 100 days…What inspired this tour, why breweries, and OMG what were you thinking?
That’s right… What I’m doing now is a hybrid of a brewery tour and a music tour. I’m playing 100 gigs in 100 days at 100 different breweries. For me, when I started playing music my first few audiences were at open mic nights at The Livery in Benton Harbor. Though I wasn’t old enough to drink, most of the venues that hired me to play music were breweries in the SW Michigan area.
, Michigan Songwriter Does 100 Shows At 100 Breweries In 100 DaysI had attended college at Grand Valley State University for 2 years, I struggled finding my direction in school because I was playing music so much. I decided to take a year off to figure out what my passion is really about.
I knew I was going to be playing gigs no matter what, the label of “going on tour” didn’t come until I had the thought of singing the song “99 bottles of beer on the wall” with the crowd at 100 different breweries. The thought came as a light-hearted joke, as I started to share it with my family and friends it seemed like it was such a unique idea I had to start booking before somebody else took it.
I could’ve just gone “on tour” and call it good, the problem being that I was playing bars and hotels 4-5 nights a week I rarely played venues. And being in and out of bands, playing big venues as a solo without a solid following is a daunting task. I think playing 100 breweries in 100 days is my debut as an artist, something to help grow my fan base. I played at so many breweries already and admired the community around it, it seemed like the best fit for a one-man-band!
ACB: You’re a one man travelling unit right? Guitar, rhythm tracks the whole thing? Tell us about your brewery shows and your music.
The solo show is growing more every year. Right now, I have two different “one-man-bands” I’m playing with.
One includes a looper pedal which I used to record and play back beats I make with my mouth like to lay down a drum track and play the songs over the beat with my guitar. I have only three effect pedals on my guitar, phaser, auto wah, and a delay, I like to use these to make the transitions from song to song sound like how a DJ mixes songs together.
The other OMB (one-man-band) variation is me sitting down with a hit-hat and a kick drum playing guitar. It’s a completely different sound with live drums and having that much more control over the dynamics. I like playing louder rock, punk, whatever with this line up.
So at the breweries you can see me playing with both of these variations of an OMB. I don’t have my kick drum with me on the road, so I just have the high-hat cymbals with me. For the bigger shows I go between the two though out the night. At the smaller venues I like to play an acoustic set with just my guitar and a high-hat.
However I’m playing the music…and the music I play is feel-good music. Something for everybody.
ACB: And you booked the “Take Down Tour” yourself? What was that like? Were breweries open to this?
I’ve done my own booking since I started playing music but nothing as consistent and intense as 100 days in a row. I think it’s a craft, an acquired skill. I started out with a Michigan Brewers Guild magazine that had phone numbers of at least 250-300 breweries. I flipped through the pages and called every brewery in the magazine, introduced myself, pitched my idea, and asked if I could talk with a manager to schedule a date if they were interested.
For every “yes” there was at least twenty “no thank you’s” for varied reasons. There were times I was discouraged without a doubt, I had to make the most of my booking time because I was working on a farm during the week and gigging on the weekends. I got better as I went along but there is no way I could’ve pulled this off without some persistence.
About halfway through my booking period I discovered a brewery-collector’s fad named TagaBrew. It’s a dog-tag that breweries carry with their own names and unique charms that brewery goers can collect. I thought it’d wouldn’t hurt to reach out and print a “St. Joe Jack” tag to help promote. The owners are really awesome people, they let me use their name anywhere I call. It’s nice to have a foot in the door if I’m calling a brewery that carries TagaBrew. In return I’m spreading their word into breweries that may not have heard of them yet…
ACB: Your most memorable moments, shows, breweries and beers?
Best Beers
Habanero Stout – Cognito Brewing
Blue Berry Cream Ale (?) – Hillsdale Brewing Co
Any IPA from Black Rocks, Brickside or Cognition in the UP
Blackberry Sour- Arclight Brewing
Big Dill (Dill flavored) – Three Blondes Brewing
Cherry Mochi Sour (and the CBD water!) – Ascension Brewing
Shroomster (Mushroom Flavored) – Craft Heads Brewery
Best shows:
The Livery 9/27: First show of the tour, it was at my home bar, had some friends coming out to be my band for the second set. It was a big moment for me because I loved catching music at the Livery and this was my first feature show at my favorite place in town. I had turned 21 two days before, hogs gone wild. Great turn out, friends, family and even complete strangers who saw the advertising came out. An accomplishment like that was the best way to kick things off.
Brickside Brewery 9/27: The furthest north I travelled. It was the first truly acoustic set I played on the tour because the place was so small. Because it was autumn there were a ton of people up north to watch the leaves change. That place was packed and yet it was so easy to play. One of the more laid-back nights with the crowd. A family from Grand Rapids stopped in, their father said he played so I gave him my guitar and man he could play! Then his 14-year-old daughter sang bob Dylan for a couple songs on my break. One of those nights where you get to know everybody in the bar.
Cognito 10/26: The weekend before Halloween. The evening line up was me, Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish, and a screening of Rocky Horror Picture show. What a night that was! A weird one none the less. It was the first time I’d seen Rocky Horror and the Carolina Catfish. Wound up being the sound guy for the night. I think this was the best sets I played, wish I had some videos!
11/9 Guardian Brewing: I was on fire that night. It was a Saturday night and I was in the mood to rock. My friend and piano player Ian Nibbelink made it out to play the second set. I think that was another of the best shows there’s been playing with him.
11/13 Ramshackle Brewing: Oh man they had some great beer. Everybody that worked there was a character to remember, they were all so kind and easy to get along with. I felt like I was walking into a room full of long lost friends. One of the “bare bone” sets. For being such a small place it filled up that night. Coined the phrased “I got jonesed in Jonesville”.
11/16 Khunhen Brewery: Some breweries don’t have a license for musicians to play covers. This was an all original set to a packed bar on a Saturday night. A ton of my family came out to support. It was a fulfilling night to play only original music. Uncle Kracker’s guitar player was in the crowd and said he liked what he was hearing.
11/22 Brewery Faison: First time I had ever played in downtown Detroit. All original set. Family and friends came out. Great coffee stout
ACB: Your brewery tour, which kicked off in Benton Harbor on Sept 27, wraps up back in Michigan on Jan 4. It’s such a terrific idea for both breweries and musicians…Any thought of another brewery tour maybe in the East or out West?
Of course! East, West, East to West. Next time I’d love to make it out to New Orleans, Raleigh, Ashville. I opened up the big Pandora’s Box… If not breweries I was thinking about playing the bourbon trail or maybe a tour of ski hills.
Jack Adams is “St Joe Jack” and you find out more about him HERE. - American Craft Beer Society

"St. Joe Jack Plays 100 Breweries in 100 Days"

EDITOR’S NOTE AND JAN. 12 UPDATE:In January, St. Joe Jack completed his 100 breweries in 100 days tour and later posted a video showing all of the performances of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” that he compiled during his journey. Scroll down for that video and one from Local Spins.

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Playing 100 breweries in 100 days sounds like the perfect challenge for a beer-loving Michigan musician.

But take it from St. Joe Jack – otherwise known as St. Joseph multi-instrumentalist Jack Adams – this ambitious musical odyssey has required great persistence, dogged determination and a fun-loving, never-say-die attitude.

Since late August, Adams has been rolling out his one-man-band looping show and wetting his whistle nightly at brewpubs across Michigan, from Benton Harbor to Traverse City, Copper Harbor to Grand Rapids.

Getting Fans Involved: St. Joe Jack at Old Boys Brewhouse. (Photo/Local Spins)

So far, that journey has covered about 6,000 miles.

Not only that, but as he counts down the days toward his goal, he has brewery patrons at each watering hole crooning a line from “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” to create a “traveling video” that he’s splicing together for a complete song after his unusual tour wraps up in January.

“The booking takes a lot of patience, persistence and follow-up,” conceded Adams, 21, who graduated from St. Joseph High School and attended Grand Valley State University.

“Most of the breweries I’ve contacted were cold calls. I’ve had a lot of laughs and ‘I’ve never heard anybody doing that before,’ and general enthusiasm from whoever is on the phone.”

Scheduling consecutive shows alone can be arduous, and while most of his performances have taken place in Michigan, his tour will hit a few breweries in Canada, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky before it’s all said and done. (Logistically, he’s also had to skip days here and there, and sometimes play more than one brewery in a single day.)


More than halfway through his “Take Down Tour,” St. Joe Jack rolls into Rockford Brewing in downtown Rockford at 7:30 tonight (Wednesday) for stop No. 56 on his audacious brewery tour, which wraps up Jan. 4 at Sister Lakes Brewing Co. east of St. Joseph. Admission to the Rockford Brewing show is free; get details online here.

The guitarist, bassist, drummer and looper who released a six-song EP, “Snack Pack,” last summer said his music blends “ragtime with hip hop, bluegrass with funk, jazz with rock, and everything in between. Just because I’m playing acoustic guitar doesn’t mean it’s stereotypical acoustic music.”

Promoting the Tour: Adams has invested a lot of time — and miles — into this project. (Photo/Local Spins)

His shows also mix covers with original tunes, enhanced by his looping ability.

“I’m really inspired by the Grateful Dead and how it’s possible to play one song 10 different ways,” said Adams, who’s played with the bands Da Breakers, Van Tassel’s Uncanny Elixir, Y-Not and others. He recently decided to take a year off from his GVSU studies to pursue music.

“Whether it’s in a different key, tempo, swing, straight, you’ll hear some of the same song, but I can bet it won’t sound like how it did last week.”

The idea for the brewery tour came while he was joking around with his family about singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” to create a fun video.

“It seemed to be a really good idea given that there’s more breweries in Michigan than I can count,” he said. “ ‘What a perfect opportunity to play music on the road? 100 breweries in 100 days,’ I thought.

“The more I mentioned it to friends and breweries, I knew I was onto something big, so I got myself in gear and started booking.”

Fans, he said, have reacted positively.


“Sometimes they know exactly what I’m doing with the ‘99 bottles’ song, and then there’s the few people that think that I’m corraling them to sing all the way down from 99 to 1 in one go,” he said. (Watch video below.)

“There’s bound to be some slow nights or maybe I’m not feeling the energy I had the night before, but through it all I don’t think I’ve been to a bad brewery yet. Sometimes a Tuesday night would be wild night because it’s ‘Mug Club Night’ and sometimes it won’t be. There’s bound to be ups and downs.”

Looping and an Eclectic Mix of Music: St. Joe Jack has a diverse repertoire. (Photo/Local Spins)

But Adams loves “adapting the music to each venue” and he’s certainly had a chance to test a lot of different craft beers along the way.

“I love beer. And wow, have you seen some of the stuff that people are making these days? I would’ve been tricked into drinking PBR for the rest of my life if it wasn’t for craft beer,” he quipped.

So, how will he celebrate when he finally hits brewery No. 100 in early January?

“Besides a night out playing music and getting together with friends, I’m not sure what the plan is to celebrate yet,” he said. “Of course, there will be beer, but there ought to be something big, eh?”

As part of his tour, St. Joe Jack plays Big Buck Brewery in Gaylord on Nov. 25, Les Cheneaux Distillers in Cedarville on Nov. 29, Rusted Spoke Brewing in Mackinaw City on Dec. 2, Pigeon Hill Brewing in Muskegon on Dec. 15, Rare Bird Brewpub in Traverse City on Dec. 16, Reed City Brewing in Reed City on Dec. 18, Jamesport Brewing in Ludington on Dec. 19, Kelsey Block Brewing in Three Rivers on Dec. 20 and Silver Harbor Brewing in St. Joseph on Dec. 21.

He’s back in the Grand Rapids area on Dec. 28 when he plays Sacred Springs Kombucha in Grand Rapids, followed by Bier Distillery in Comstock Park on Dec. 28, The Peoples Cider Co. in Grand Rapids on Dec. 29, Cedar Springs Brewing in Cedar Springs on New Year’s Day and Saugatuck Brewing in Douglas on Jan. 3. - Local Spins


St. Joe Jack--Writer, Guitarist, Performer on "Snack Pack"

Bassist for Van Tassel's Uncanny Elixir on "Pang Wangle"

Bassist and Lead Guitar for Blue Oddity for Live shows

Bassist for Y-Not on "Lover Mine"



St. Joe Jack is primarily a one-man-band looping act including, guitar, vocals, percussion, and occasionally a keyboard. As a solo he already has enough energy to spare with his dancing and playful stage banter. When he can get a band together it brings up the bar from a night out to an evening to remember. 

Band Members