Jack O’ The Clock


"Jack of the Clock just seem to go from strength to strength, one of the most original and compelling groups I know playing some amazing compositions that seem to tread effortlessly between Van Dyke Parks and folk music from an as yet unidentified culture, while making all the things you've always thought of as difficult sound as effortless and natural as breathing.” -FRED FRITH

“[JOTC] conjure up stirring visions of a hybrid American history, part fact, part poetry, part visionary hallucination...Waitkus generously pours out lyrical images and unexpected turns of phrase that almost cast him as a folk-Americana-rustic reincarnation of Peter Hammill. He outdoes Walt Whitman and Thoreau in his compressed and multi-dimensional layerings, superimposing stories, memories, and fleeting dialogue on top of each other in each compacted song...elaborate chord changes, swoon-worthy layers of vocal harmonies....creaky and clunky percussion that recalls the “bone machine” of Tom Waits...and melodies [that] weave their way around your head like creepers in a tree...”-ED PINSENT, THE SOUND PROJECTOR

“Jack O’ the Clock presents a fine lesson on what it means to write songs that are at once approachable and human while simultaneously being incredibly profound in terms of timbre, depth of emotion, and harmonic complexity. A brilliant and courageous work of American folk served over a strange backdrop...” -MATT DI GIORDANO, PROGULATOR


Jack O’ The Clock was formed in Oakland, California in the summer of 2007 when Damon Waitkus and Nicci Reisnour, who had both been composition students at Mills College, discovered a mutual interest in alloying folk-inspired songwriting with a composerly approach to instrumentation and arrangement. The group began as an acoustic trio, with Waitkus on guitar, hammer dulcimer, and voice, Reisnour playing harp, wine glasses, and melodica, and Emily Packard playing violins and banjo. They were soon joined by percussionist Jordan Glenn and began performing around the Bay Area in early 2008. In the summer of that year, Reisnour left and the remaining trio recruited Jason Hoopes on bass and Kate McLoughlin on bassoon, voice, and flute. The expanded ensemble enabled Jack O’ The Clock to diversify its sound dramatically, incorporating elements of progressive rock, free jazz, minimalism, and other influences that appeared as new material developed.

Jack O’ The Clock performs regularly throughout the Pacific Northwest, and has released four albums, RARE WEATHER (2008), HOW ARE WE DOING AND WHO WILL TELL US? (2011), ALL MY FRIENDS (2013), and NIGHT LOOPS (2014). The group’s critically-acclaimed recordings go beyond their live sound to incorporate bits of on-location percussion and field recordings, as well as a number of guests drawn from the Bay Area’s rich community of musicians.


Photo by Carly Hoopes