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Ohio State alum to soar into Columbus concert with Black Swans

Courtesy of Eve Searls

Columbus-based group the Black Swans found an “Occasion for Song” while mourning and commemorating the tragic death of founding member and violinist Noel Sayre.

The Black Swans, which is scheduled to perform 10 p.m. Friday at Rumba Café as part of its current tour, released its latest album “Occasion For Song” July 31.

Jerry DeCicca, lead singer, Ohioan and co-founder of the band, described the album as a “mixture of folk, country and rock music.”

“I’ve always been influenced by all the bands I grew up listening to when I was in my late teens and early ’20s,” DeCicca said. “The album takes inspiration from a lot of singer-songwriter types like Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. I’m influenced by the people who are doing the really interesting things, the people making music not just to sell records.”

In addition to the band’s musical repertoire, the non-music interests of each member combine to make the band somewhat of a standout package, DeCicca said. DeCicca, a 1996 graduate of Ohio State, where he majored in English, credits his lyrical inspiration to his education.

“I’ve always been a big reader, so, lyrically, poets influence me a lot,” DeCicca said. “Each of the guys in the band really have their own different points of view, which gives us a really interesting one overall.”

Having worked his way up in the Columbus music scene, DeCicca said he thinks the Black Swans appeal to many local music lovers.

Brandon McCoy, a sales clerk at Used Kids Records, located at 1980 N. High Street, has followed the band’s success since he first met the members when DeCicca worked at Used Kids Records.

“They’re one of the more well-known bands in Columbus,” McCoy said. “I’ve read plenty of national press about them, especially recently. My morning routine is to sit down and read through some music blogs, and today I saw something about them on Pitchfork. Not everyone can get that, so it really says something about Jerry’s songwriting and the band’s popularity.”

Jake “Lazer” Derouen, co-owner of Dreadful Sounds, a punk and metal record store located at 3339 1/2 N. High St., also became familiar with the Black Swans after meeting DeCicca during his time at Used Kids Records. He described the band’s sound as “old school, indie rock.”

“They definitely fit into Columbus’ music scene, which does have a lot of focus on indie-folk rock,” Derouen said. “Their music is definitely nothing bouncy. With a lot of bands with that sound in the area, it can be hard for a band like them to stand out, but they did. A lot of people in Columbus know about them.”

While many OSU students might be unfamiliar with the Black Swans, or might not be fans of the country-rock genre, DeCicca encourages all to come out and “have a great time.”

“Music’s a strange thing because everybody has an opinion on it,” DeCicca said. “The nice thing about live music is that people can come in not expecting to like the show based on their opinion about the genre, but then walk into the room and experience something new that they end up enjoying.”

Tickets to the show are available at the door for $7.

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