Jack Oats is the extroverted manifestation of the singer /songwriter Justin Erion, and he’s a damn rebellious manifestation.
Detroit based. At the surface his devilish content about f#%*ing sh1t up in songs like “Wrecking Machine,” and God forsaking humanity in songs like “Hallelujah,” just get stuck in your head on your way to work in the morning - but when you listen closer, the lyrics are steeped in a haunting starkness, like the soul of a poltergeist looking for the road to salvation, perhaps forgetting for a second he’s a poltergeist. And that trickster, he does always seem to get you to dance.
While his music definitely fits the indie-rock bill, bluegrass elements of the first project Erion played live with, The Skinny Raccoons, peak through. As do the Outlaw Rock tones of the project Willa Rae and the Minor Arcana, that Erion added guitar, banjo, vocals and some of his songwriting skills on.
Jack Oats (Jack of All Trades) was started as a solo project by Erion, and on May 13th of 2017 he released the EP “Unsteady Hands” featuring Willa Rae Adamo on the title track. The basement tapes have that gritty tone that stays true to the project but they are raw, like an open heart beating in an operating theater.
Jeff Milo, Deep Cutz, writes:
“There’s beauty in starkness. The same way you can see chipped bark on birch trees in the woods, or the wind this time of year can somehow sting and sooth at the same time - that’s Erion’s voice to me, a thing of grit and tenderness, a crackle of raspy thunder coiled into a gracefully trilled vibrato”
At the EP release Aaron Strichartz joined on drums and vocals, and he just couldn’t leave. Almost instantly after, Mike Ryan jump on guitar and Brian Rizzardi took up bass and vocals - and together they turned the rawness of Erion’s writings into the groovy and dynamic music that won’t let a body sit still while listening.
Jack Oats was one of the Detroit Free Press "Michigan Musical Acts you shouldn't Miss at Arts, Beats, and Eats" 2018:
In March of 2019 at SXSW, Jack Oats, along with three other independent bands The Big Lonesome (Boston), Jesse W. Johnson (Chicago), and Ila Minori (San Antonio), started Dreamcoast ck Collective: A collective existing to help independent bands collaborate through touring and releasing music - creating a network and safe space for them and helping audiences find new music that engages them in one collective space. They will be releasing their first compilation of tape tracks at SXSW 2020.
On Aug 17th of 2019 Jack Oats released the first single and music video as a full band - "Look Good”
Glide Magazine said "Look Good" is -
“Punk, soul, blues, and garage rock come together in one swirling caldron of energy that brings the kind of muscle Detroit music has always been known for”
They are touring the Midwest and East Coast. Their next album will be released in March 2020.