KFOG Studio Session: Judah & the Lion

KFOG Studio Sessions are presented by Marin General Hospital, proudly delivering exceptional care in a healing environment.


Songs that you can’t help but dance to layered with lyrics that will tug at your heart strings, Judah & the Lion has a story to tell and they’re making sure you bob your head as they do.

Originating from Nashville, Tennessee the group borrows from a wide swath of influence as they play with genre bending alternative rock. Laced heavily banjo and mandolin the group’s rock anthems add a bright and cheerful timbre to their dark subject matter. The band even joking that their banjo player, Nate Zuercher, isn’t paying attention to the revealing lyrics scribed by lead singer Judah Akers. Mandolin player Brian Macdonald was quick to agree with this sentiment.

“That’s why the banjo always sounds happy because he thinks it’s a happy song. He’s just going,” Macdonald joked.

Judah & the Lions’ newest record Pep Talks, dropping on May3, delves deep into Akers personal experiences. In particular the album revolves around his parents recent separation. Akers was brutally honest between songs as he talked about the deep hurt of watching the people he loves go through a divorce. Songwriting became his catharsis and a coping mechanism as he worked through his own thoughts and emotions.

Macdonald and Zuercher have been friends with Akers and his family for many years and were also candid about how this shared trauma effected them as well.

“Judah’s parents are kind of like family to us too. We’ve been good friends with the whole group for about seven years now,” Zuercher said. “These are people we love to, that we see often, and it’s really hard to appreciate what they’re going through.”

Judah & the Lion played a couple songs for a KFOG Studio Session for a few lucky KFOG radio listeners. KFOG Studio Sessions are exclusive live music events for KFOG radio listeners; the only way in is to win tickets!

Listen to KFOG on-air and follow @KFOGRadio on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for your chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Winners get to see an intimate live set, and meet the musicians after the show.

Check out recordings of previous shows here.

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