Stricklin hails from the Deep South where he’s long been drawn to quiet, honest conversations, whiling away the days over tall glasses of iced tea while sitting on the porch. An early love of music would send the artist to study at the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Music while, interestingly enough, exposure to a Blink 182 video and a track by The National, would work to shape the artist’s journey even more.That journey would eventually find some of its lines colored in by the sounds of artists like Ryan Adams, Shovels and Rope, and Josh Ritter, among others, working to forge his own take on the Americana singer-songwriter sound. The result is his debut EP, Tall Tales and Tiny Fables, a five song collection that shows a whole lot of promise for the future of this bright artist.
Stricklin opens up the proceedings with the fiddle and string-laden “Better Man,” singing a tale of longing and pursuit while accompanied by some pleasant female harmony vocals which help to balance out the tone overall. Buoyant percussion and passionate acoustic guitar drive the song home while “Circles” is a quieter conversation, fingerpicked acoustic guitar primarily holding the spotlight over a tale of love and longing.A dramatic string section opens up “Happy Now,” it’s near-theatrical opening bringing a sense of excitement to the track as Stricklin plays back and forth with the heartbroken lyric, strong fiddle notes rolling throughout the track and accented by more pounding drum work. His lyrical take is spot on and the emotion, fueled with both anger and loss, is readily evident before allowing more fingerpicked guitar to take center stage on “Mississippi, I’m Yours.” A beautiful ballad, merging Stricklin’s nuanced vocals again with some nice female assistance, it’s a moving and warm track that conjures the mind to reminisce of times growing up.
“The Scariest Thing” closes the EP out and is the most sonically diverse tune on the record. While it still features the requisite fiddle notes and acoustic guitar push, as well as Stricklin’s female counterpart, a thumping electric bass offers a whole new dimension to this song, alongside some plucky piano notes, allowing it the most contemporary feel, for better or worse, to be found here.And while it’s tough to make large decrees based upon five simple songs, it’s safe to posit that Jeremiah Stricklin is an artist with a solid future ahead of him. Offering up poignant and honest lyrics alongside great arrangements with ties to the Deep South, Stricklin and his project, Oh, Jeremiah, have hit upon a musical gold mine. Here’s to hoping Tall Tales and Tiny Fables is but the first of many tales we’ll get to hear.