Much like fellow New York troubadours Langhorne Slim and Phosphorescent, singer-songwriter John McCauley, aka Deer Tick, crafts quirky Americana that's as influenced by Brit pop and indie rock as it is folk and country. Born and raised in Providence, R.I., McCauley is something of a phenom. He began writing, recording and releasing homemade CD-Rs and cassettes while still attending high school. This do-it-yourself mentality extends to most aspects of his career, including live shows, which he himself books and promotes. Freak-folk diva Jana Hunter eventually signed McCauley (now living in New York) to her Feow! label, which dropped his debut, War Elephant, in September 2007. The album, produced and financed by the artist, features a mix of solo recordings and tunes employing a backing band. Rock critics made more than a few comparisons to Townes Van Zandt and Neil Young, but the record also boasts touches of the La's and Violent Femmes, as well as vintage rock 'n' roll and AM pop a la Roy Orbison and Ritchie Valens. After lengthy stints on the road, McCauley assembled a new supporting cast and entered the studio to record Born on Flag Day, the follow-up to War Elephant.