“After we stepped off stage at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe, the room went dead silent as people were soaking in the music. We knew that we had to pursue this,” says drummer Justin LeDuc of Jack Lion. “The three of us have played in bands for over a decade, but this is special. Playing that show was like becoming who I’m supposed to be.” The electronic, jazz-inspired music of Jack Lion had energized the crowd. “People were coming up to us afterwards and telling us that we should quit our jobs to play in this band, that we were the best band they had heard in Iowa City, that it was one of the best shows they had ever seen!” recalls trumpeter and producer Brian Lewis Smith. “This is it. This is our passion.”
After the departure of the guitarist from their band Slip Silo, remaining members LeDuc and Smith, along with bassist/vocalist Drew Morton, limped along under the former name until they took a band trip to the West coast in October of 2013. On Halloween, the three musicians clambered into a cab driven by someone they won’t soon forget. “ The driver was a major character, ” explains Morton. “He had us laughing in the first ten seconds of the ride. He was a great storyteller, a genuine person, and expressed joy in his work. We thought that someone who left such a remarkable impression in such a short time deserved to be emulated through our music. So we came up with a name inspired by his and hold him as a symbol of what we want to sound like: truly free. I would love to find him some day and show him our music!”
Jack Lion is Brian Lewis Smith on trumpet, keyboard, and production, Drew Morton on bass, keyboard, and vocals, and Justin LeDuc on drumset and SPDS.