If you’re looking for a modern-day Simon & Garfunkel, look no further than Oh, Jeremiah. This funky, fun and folksy duo will steal your heart with the first listen.
Jeremiah Stricklin, 25, and Erin Raber, 24, are the faces behind Oh, Jeremiah, but, before long, they’ll be (officially) more than just bandmates.
Stricklin has been the frontman for Oh, Jeremiah since 2012 when the band was just his voice and a guitar. After being fired from his aunt’s retail store after only four months, Stricklin decided he was done being afraid.
“I got that job because I thought it was safe,” Stricklin admitted. “If I’m going to get fired, I want to get fired from something that I like doing.”
The time had come to take Oh, Jeremiah to the next level. Stricklin began touring, but soon after, a friend mentioned Raber’s name as a possible addition to the band.
Raber, raised on a farm in the small town of Summerdale, Ala., was trained as a classical violinist, listening to the music of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole in her spare time. Starting violin lessons at the age of five, she had dreams of being in an orchestra; however, Raber quickly found herself swapping Bach for Coldplay – but not without a little convincing.
“She turned me down at first,” Stricklin recalled.
Raber suggested a mutual friend as another option and politely declined his offer.
“This wasn’t a world I had ever considered being in,” Raber explained.
But at that same friend’s birthday party a few weeks later, Stricklin and Raber, as perfect strangers, floated five hours down the Okatoma River together in a canoe and have been inseparable since.
In fact, the two musicians have been so attached that after three years of dating they’ll be getting married next year. But these two aren’t a couple who is worried about the “proper way” to have a wedding.
“I realized early on that planning a wedding is dumb. There will be no rehearsal. We’re just going to do the thing,” Stricklin said laughing. “I wish we could just wake up and all the wedding-y stuff be done.”
Stricklin’s unconventional demeanor is present in more than just his wedding plans.
“I write songs about animals and weird stuff,” said Stricklin. “I don’t write typical love songs.”
If you browse through the band’s website, you can catch a glimpse of Stricklin’s interactions with a few furry creatures at the Hattiesburg Zoo in the music video for “Two Animals,” but if you want to get an idea for the couple’s sound as a duo, lend an ear to “Scariest Thing,” just keep the tissues near in case you’re an emotional softy like me.
This upcoming year will prove to be one to remember for the future Stricklins. Along with nearing wedding bells, these artists also have a new full-length album simmering on the back burner. All they need now is a record label.
Their upcoming tour, beginning this month, will take them from Hattiesburg to New York where they’ll get the chance to play for several labels interested in signing Oh, Jeremiah. The couple just hopes they don’t run into any crazies this time.
After touring close to 28 states, Oh, Jeremiah has no shortage of weird tour stories. One includes Raber being stared down in Memphis by a girl who terrified her so intensely she hid in the van after the show.
“It wasn’t the way you stare at someone you think is pretty. It was the way you stare at steak before you eat it,” stressed Stricklin.
You can catch Oh, Jeremiah in Mobile on Nov. 7 at the Listening Room and the Bakery Building Garden on Nov. 19 in Hattiesburg.