Who is Judah & the Lion?
Judah & the Lion is a two-man band from Nashville, TN. The two members are Judah Akers on vocals and guitar and Brian Macdonald on mandolin and vocals. The duo was formed in 2011 and plays a unique blend of folk, hip-hop, rock, and bluegrass music. They met at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, and formed the band with a third member, who exited the band in 2021. The band names themselves after the Lion of the tribe of Judah, inspired by their Christian faith.
They released their first EP album in 2012, and in 2013, they released the single “Sweet Tennessee,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart. From there, the band took off and became a sensation in a variety of different genres. They released their first full-length album in 2014, and it hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and No. 4 on the Folk Albums chart. They have since released numerous other albums and had multiple hits, including “Take It All Back,” “Suit and Jacket,” “Over My Head,” and “Why Did You Run.”
The band has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Show with James Corden, Good Morning America, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. They’ve performed at Lollapalooza, Hangout Music Festival, Bonnaroo, Forecastle Festival, the Governor’s Ball, Music Midtown, Austin City Limits, and Outside Lands, and have played with bands such as Twenty One Pilots, Incubus, Jimmy Eat World, and Blankstate.
Judah & the Lion has had numerous hits that have been used in various sports. In 2019, ESPN’s College Football used the song “Let Go” for their season anthem. EA Sports used the song “Why Did You Run?” on their FIFA 20 soundtrack and the song “Alright” on the NHL 20 soundtrack. “Never Give Up On You” was used as the club anthem for the Nashville SC Major League Soccer team. Their breakthrough song, “Take It All Back,” was featured in a Samsung TV commercial.
Judah & the Lion have toured the US, Canada, and the UK and are touring the United States again in 2023. They just came off a show at Piedmont Hall in Greensboro, NC, where the fresh new band, Blankstate, opened for them after winning a fan-favorite contest. The performance was wildly successful, bringing fans together from several different genres of music to enjoy a night of entertainment and fun.
They will be continuing to tour the US throughout 2023, with shows throughout the East, the South, and the Midwest regions, including the following shows:
- Columbus, OH – Newport
- Music Hall on April 5th
- Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE on April 6th
- Richmond, VA – The National on April 7th
- Columbia, MO – The Blue Note on April 13th
- Little Rock, AR – The Hall on April 14th
- Fayetteville, AR – JJ’s Live on April 15th
- Oklahoma City, OK – The Jones Assembly on April 16th
- Knoxville, TN – The Mill & Mine on April 19th
- Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel on April 20th
- Columbia, SC – The Senate on April 21st
- Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater on April 22nd
- Richardson, TX – Wildflower Arts & Music Festival on May 19th
The band has some additional shows scheduled for later this year as well. For the full schedule or to get tickets, visit their website. Judah & the Lion has a refreshing, vibrant, and catchy playlist, and they work hard to energize the crowd when performing on stage. If you’re looking for a band with a variety of music that plays well to an audience, this may be just the band for you!