Oh, Jeremiah is the musical cocktail of the musings and tall tales of singer/songwriter Jeremiah Stricklin. Each of his songs is filled with the distinct characteristics of the Deep Southern culture that he’s called home for so long. The familiar people and places that he has always known are now the invisible forces that populate his songs simultaneously uplifting and haunting his person musically. His pace, his love of face-to-face conversation, and his enjoyment of wasting an afternoon sitting on a front porch have all given him and his music a flavor worth savoring. In short, he can be considered the 21st Century Tom Sawyer; the friend you would be willing to paint a fence for or take a leap of faith with if you had to run away from the real world.
His debut performance, a shaking, shuffling rendition of Elvis Presley’s “You Ain’t Nothin but a Hound Dog,” while holding a glitter-glued, paper-plate guitar, took place at a kindergarten talent show. After a crushing third-place finish, Jeremiah Stricklin swore to never be third again. His musical journey really took off when he was 11 years old and received a hand-me-down guitar from his father. He learned to play guitar before he even learned to ride a bike. Out of all of the hobbies he pursued, music “just never went away.” One of the first inspirations that shaped his musical passion was seeing the video of Blink 182’s “What’s My Age Again” and thinking, “I want to be as old as they are and as happy as they appear.” Their album Take Off your Pants and Jacket was the first album he bought with his own money. Stricklin pursued his love of music at the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Music. It was during this time that another milestone in his artistic development came while hearing The National’s “Fake Empire” on their Boxer album: the words drew him in more than the music. “I don’t know what he’s talking about but I believe it. I want these things to be universal because I feel it,” he says of the album. Thus, the two components of Oh Jeremiah were finally in place: the technical complexity of music and lyrical depth.
These two attributes are what have shaped the sound and presentation of Oh, Jeremiah. They have drawn him to musical influences such as Josh Ritter, Shovels and Rope, and Ryan Adams. Stricklin’s music can best be described as Americana with elements of whimsy and gentle seriousness. He is drawn toward artists who demonstrate vulnerability and a genuine connection with their audience, both lyrically and in performance. He avoids the current simplicity of Pop music, and instead rather pursues exploring the richness of various instrumentation in his songs and his shows. Although this is Stricklin’s debut solo project, it has been his experiences with multiple bands over the last five years that has inspired and brought him to this place.
And whether you listen to Oh, Jeremiah on car speakers or see him in a crowded venue, you will leave the moment as if you just had a great conversation with a good friend. As one listener once said after a show, “I feel like I’ve known you my entire life.” And that’s what Oh Jeremiah shoots for with this project. As with any relationship, there is the thing that attracts you and then the thing that keeps you. For Stricklin, his stage presence and energetic performance is what may draw you to sit down and listen. His lyrics are what will keep you around.