John McCauley, the songwriter behind Deer Tick , spent his childhood in Rhode Island teaching himself to play the drums, guitar, piano, and pedal steel. In high school, he began recording his own compositions and touring the area. After graduation he expanded his tours throughout the country.
Although McCauley performed primarily as a solo artist, he soon added drummer Dennis Ryan to his group.
Deer Tick began earning comparisons to Bright Eyes, Modest Mouse, and Uncle Tupelo after the release of their first album, War Elephant, in September of 2007.
Shortly after in 2009 and 2010, the band released Born on Flag Day and The Black Dirt Sessions.
Their fourth album, Divine Providence, was rowdy and raucous, heavily inspired by the styles of the Rolling Stones and the Stooges. Negativity, their most recent album released in 2013, revisits darker times including a wrenching breakup ballad.
Rachel Bailey of Paste Magazine reviewed Negativity pointing out that “their songwriting has improved as they’ve explored the not-so-good-times.”