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Jackaroe / Bio

Original, and Interesting, Simple, Yet Complicated – American Roots Rock. A taste of the best of American Music. Born in 2009, JACKAROE's members have spent years collaborating together to write their own music after years of playing the songs of their favorite artists - from Grateful Dead, JJ Cale to Leon Russell and Jerry Jeff Walker.

JACKAROE’s members each bring 20+ years of music experience, years of friendship and mutual musical influences make the sound and music that is JACKAROE. Each member's style compliments and blends together and creates a connectedness and intuitive musical communication that draws an audience in.

JACKAROE is slowly making a name for itself in the midlands of SC. In 2012 - 2014 JACKAROE enjoyed performing at many local festivals and great venues such as the Tasty Tomato Festival, SC Oyster Roast, Columbia Mardi Gras, The Crawfish Festival, Group Therapy's Chilli Cook-off, CMC Rhythm on the River Concert Series, River Rocks, Awendaw Green, and Riverbanks Zoo Botanical Garden's concert series. And, no pun intended, they are also grateful for being able to join other local bands for the past 14 years to honor one of their major inspirations, The Grateful Dead, at Columbia's annual JerryFest.

JACKAROE's lead guitarist, Chris Lawther, could very well be one of the best guitarist in the midlands. He is well versed as a player on both guitar and banjo and an amazing songwriter. Originally from SC, Chris moved to California with his band Jordhuga and pursued his musical career there for quite some time. Chris came back home to South Carolina where he has played in many bands overt the years since his return. He has fine tuned his tone into a sound of his own - only created from years of experience and dedication - and raw talent. He spent years playing with local bluegrass legend, Bill Wells, and also Lochness Johnny, and recently, Donald Merckle and the Blacksmiths. Yet all the while, Chris managed to keep time with more rock inspired projects such as the Lucky Strangers, Alien Carnival and now Jackaroe. His unique blend of influences come together beautifully in Jackaroe. His songs offer ample inspiration for Julia to harmonize and creates a nice blend of musical tastes to compliment the songwriting styles of the other band members. His seasoned and creative approach to guitar playing - playing in the moment - always leaves you wanting more and is a large part of JACKAROE's music.

Julia Beckham is the main songwriter in JACKAROE and has developed a rhythm guitar style that is a perfect accent and malleable palette for JACKAROE's, lead guitarist. She started as a vocalist at a very early age and began to play guitar at 16. After years of playing around the campfire and with friends, she began singing with seasoned Columbia musician, John Scollon. She is known for her amazing vocal harmonies -- a major focus in her early learning and musical career. However, in 2002 she joined a blues band, The Resonators, as the lead vocalist. She reconnected with an old friend and now husband, Barton Beckham, who later joined the Resonators on Hammond organ. After their marriage, Julia and Barton played together as a duet for several years until forming Tough Mama. All the while, she was refining her vocal and rhythm guitar styles. Julia’s creative guitar rhythms, her distinctive, strong vocals, to her eclectic musical style and introspective lyrics provide the foundation of much of JACKAROE's music.

Barton Beckham formerly played in bands such as Mountain Express Band, King Cotton, Tough Mama and the list goes on - he has been a part of the Columbia music scene for the majority of his life. Julia, his wife, and he met when he joined her in the Resonators nearly 10 years ago. They have been writing music and playing together in various projects ever since. Barton has many talents in his ability to play nearly every instrument. His long musical history began with guitar and from there he was able to teach himself piano, organ, drums, even melodica, bass, and anything with strings. His keen ear and vast musical repertoire enables him to choose his instrument as the song, mood or venue inspires him to play. His ability to play many instruments has become quite an asset to the band.

Scott Hilton has had an equally long career as a drummer in and around SC with bands such as Lapis Lazuli, Tough Mama and with Chris Compton & the Fossil Record (Free Times Music Crawl finalist). Scott and Barton have been friends and band mates for 23 years – from the early years in the once popular King Cotton to joining Barton and his wife Julia in the late 90’s in Tough Mama. This friendship and shared musical path creates a tight musical bond – the core of any great rhythm section. Scott’s ability to read the mood of the song or the mood of the moment allows JACKAROE to create a sense of controlled and dynamic spontaneity.

JACKAROE is truly homegrown music, from the heart – Original & Interesting, Simple, yet Complicated.

General Info

Band Members
Julia Beckham - Vocals/Guitar, Chris Lawther - Guitar/Songwriting/Arranger, Barton Beckham - Keyboard, Scott Hilton - Drums, Justin Marshall - Bass
Artist Name
Home Page
Active Since
Jam / Roots Rock

Contact Info

Columbia, SC