Jer Coons: new face to pop music

By Jill Fries
October 23, 2008

Singer and songwriter of “Legs,” “Speak” and “Girl in My Head” visited Cabrini for a free mini concert hosted by CAP Board. The pop/rock musician Jer Coons sang his heart out to the audience with original songs from his CD and also Beatles song, “Something.” He kept the audience laughing and engaged in his lyrics and tunes.

Coons, just turning 20-years- old, grew up in Middlebury, Vt. He drove from Vermont to play for Cabrini in Jazzman’s Tuesday, Oct. 14. He is compared to John Mayer and Hanson, but audience member Rachel Wenzel, sophomore marketing major, said, “He reminded me of Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz. He was really good!”Being compared to John Mayer and Hanson is an honor to Coons.

“I like it if it’s meant in a good way because they’re certainly polarizing artists but they’re definitely artists that I’m a big fan of,” Coons said. “I love both of them. When I’m compared to them as an artist, I’m excited because I see them as artists and I see what they’re doing is legitimate art and I think it’s really cool.”

Coons grew up with a love of music. “I started singing before I could consciously create memories,” Coons said. “I’ve been singing since I was a little tiny boy. My earliest memory is my mother singing harmony to everything on the radio so I got interested at a really young age in just hearing all the parts of a song.”

“I got my first guitar when I was six but my fingers were too small to play it so I put it in the closet for a few years, picked it up in sixth grade, so I guess I formally started when I was twelve,” Coons said about the start of his musical talent. But he didn’t know this love would turn into something one day.

“It was probably a couple years ago when I was in school I had an epiphany,” Coons said. He would skip his music class regularly to write songs. Coons went to Manhattanville College in New York but left to begin his music career. School is still in his future.

While Coons was in college, the college held an Open Mic Night every week, similar to Cabrini.

“The first discovery I had in terms of getting me slightly bigger than I was before, I played at Open Mic Night and I was that timid kid who didn’t want to come up and sing of front of people,” he said. After weeks of watching, he finally built up courage.

A man in charge of the Open Mic Night had a studio in Vermont where Coons recorded his first CD.

“That was really the first person to believe in me, other than my parents obviously. So he signed me to his independent record label and I worked with him for a while,” he said. The man Coons is speaking about is Clint Bierman, his guitar-playing band mate.

Coons is not just focused on music exclusively. “I’m really into filmmaking and photography and graphic design is sort of my other passion,” he said. “If I’m not with a guitar in my hand, then I have a pen or some kind of medium in which I can make something. Creative arts are the only things that make sense to me.”

“He actually gave me his CD and I listened to it after the show. I like all of his songs, but ‘Legs’ was my favorite,” Wenzel said. Where does Coons get inspiration from for lyrics like those in “Legs?”

“Everything I write about is completely and literally personal experience. I veil it as best I can but I can’t really write about something I was not personally involved in and I think that’s cool,” Coons said.

His sarcastic personality did not let the audience down even once. “I don’t usually listen to this kind of music usually, but he was really funny. He watches and referred to ‘The Office’ so I like him,” Wenzel said.

“Cabrini College is awesome. It’s cool, it’s vibey and you guys were really awesome,” Coons said.

You can find Coons on Myspace at, Facebook at, and iTunes.

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Jill Fries

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