Judah & the Lion


Added By

813 Fans

Sat 10/05


Sat 10/12



For Judah & the Lion, the last two years should've been the best of their lives as the Nashville

band toured behind a powerful single and a genre-upending album, sharing stages with heroes

and playing to oceans of fans. But as everything was coming together for them, singer-guitarist

Judah Akers' family was falling apart in a hail of alcoholism and affairs, death and divorce. From

that tension comes Pep Talks, the trio's third LP and a hard left turn into deeply personal terrain.

Knowing they had something new on their hands, Judah, Brian Macdonald (mandolin), and Nate

Zuercher (banjo) took their time crafting a set of songs that not only shores up their one-of-a-kind

sound - a heart-pounding whirl of folk, bluegrass, rock, hip-hop and electronic production -

but takes the listener on a bracingly candid, surprisingly anthemic journey from the kind of pain

that tears your whole world apart to the sort of hard-won hope that can bridge the deepest of


Judah & the Lion has been a family unto itself since forming at Nashville's Belmont University in

2011. Judah was from nearby Cookeville, an aspiring baseball player with a secret love for folk

guitar. Brian, from Chicagoland, was mostly obsessed with piano. Coloradan Nate was a son of

symphony players but preferred metal. Their differences were their strength as they crafted their

sound over a bluegrass-heavy debut, Kids These Days, and a mold-breaking follow-up, Folk

Hop n' Roll, both produced by Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell) and made in two

weeks. In 2017, their triumphant "Take It All Back" topped the alternative songs chart for three

weeks in a row, paving the way for a Best New Rock/Alternative Artist win at the 2018

iHeartRadio Awards. While many of Pep Talks' songs were written on the bus immediately after

the band's famously high energy shows - at various festivals and on tours with Twenty One

Pilots, Incubus, Jimmy Eat World, and Kaleo - the boys co-produced and recorded this LP over

three inspired months with help from boundary-busting friends like Darren King, Jon Bellion, and

Kacey Musgraves.