Monday, October 28, 2013

Jay Brown - Soul to Soul

Band Name: Jay Brown
Album Name: Soul to Soul
Email Address:
Website Address:

Music Style: Folk Rock Original
Influences: Bob Dylan

Geographic City: Asheville
State: NC
Zip Code: 28778

Band Description

American Roots musician and One-Man-Band from Asheville, NC, Jay Brown creates original music with poetic lyrics, acoustic and electric guitar, harmonica, piano, and percussion.

When not performing with Lazybirds, Shantavaani, or Swing Guitars, Jay Brown still finds some time to play with his other band, The Jay Brown One-Man-Band. Formed in 2007, The Jay Brown One-Man-Band includes Jay Brown on vocals, guitar, harmonica, and percussion. In 2010 the band added a new member, Jay Brown, on piano.

An American roots musician, Jay has hundreds of classic songs in his repertoire, as well as another hundred or so originals. Jay can often be found playing in pubs around Asheville, but he has also studied and performed music across the far reaches of the world, including New Orleans, California, India, Ghana, Peru, and Swannanoa.

Jay Brown is a roots-orientated, one-man band from Boone, North Carolina, who has been playing guitar since the age of 7 and writing songs since high school. A prolific songwriter, Jay's performance repertoire contains more than 50 original songs, as well as various covers from a wide spectrum of genres.

His eclectic musical tastes found expression when he became a founding member of the old time, swing band Lazybirds, a band that blends a wide variety of musical styles, including jazz and blues, to create a fresh and soul stirring sound.

Jay has spent years traveling and playing around the U.S.,absorbing our rich musical heritage and performing with artists such as Doc Watson, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Etta Baker. In addition to these experiences, Jay has also taken multiple trips to Ghana, West Africa, where he studied, taught and performed traditional African music with the native Ghanaians. A versatile musician, Jay is as much at home playing the blues in New Orleans as he is playing jazz or classical in New York City.

The level of improvement that singer/songwriter Jay Brown reveals with each new release hints at a talent that just might bust the walls open of the mainstream soon. Soul to Soul is among the year’s best, easily.

On “Soul to Soul,” Brown proves why other musicians look to him for inspiration

At a point in time when so many folks rely more on technology than talent, we have to admire the people out there in the world who are making real music the good old fashioned way.Jay Brown's music is instantly appealing...and we can tell that this talented fellow writes and records for all the right reasons. Brown's soul and spirit may remind many listeners ofJames Taylor way back when he was just getting started. Recorded in both Birmingham, Alabama and Asheville, North Carolina, this album has nice warm vibes...and is virtually impossible to dislike. Brown's honest friendly voice is welcoming and real...and his music is bound to please those who yearn for something personal. With the right timing and a bit of luck...this guy could become hugely popular.

“Singer/songwriter Jay Brown is not only a one-man band he is one man who is also in several bands. In addition to the Americana focus of his solo act, Brown plays ragtime and blues with the Lazybirds; world music with Shantavaani; and early jazz with Swing Guitars. Such wild versatility is indeed impressive; however, on a single album you’d expect an artist to retain focus. Thankfully, Brown reels in his eclectic tastes on his newest album, The Jester. “ (No Depression)

“The music is appropriately raw and rootsy but not unrefined. There is some striking musicianship here… Brown has a smooth, handsome voice that is equally at home dropping funny lines and poetic observations a la Paul Simon.” (Whisperin and Hollerin, UK)

”the leader of the renowned jazz act the Lazybirds reestablishes his folk roots without limiting himself to it. In other words, the intellectual curiosity that fueled his trips to Africa and India continues to percolate. Instead of producing a straightforward roots record Brown delves into psychedelia, country, and even political satire.” (Jazz Corner)

“Just because Jay Brown is in the Lazybirds doesn't mean he is one. On the contrary, Brown is probably one of the busiest young musicians in the scene” (All about jazz)

“And if there is a more inventive country blues harpist currently recording than Jay Brown, I need and Introduction.” (Rock n Reel Magazine, UK)

Listening to Jay Brown's debut disc might possibly make you a believer in time travel. The first listen could have you thinking you're somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains right around the turn of the century. (Performing Songwriter, 1996)

Protest Songs, Folk Songs & Spirituals, is a revelation. It shows the many-faceted abilities of a serious musician who doesn’t particularly pay much attention to the current trends in the music industry. As such, it is a breath of musical fresh air. (The Mtn Times)

No Depression Magazine

The level of improvement that singer/songwriter Jay Brown reveals with each new release hints at a talent that just might bust the walls open of the mainstream soon. On his latest effort, Soul to Soul, Brown has written his best songs yet; the lyrics are more focused and accessible, delivered with newly found swagger and knife-sharp musicianship. Brown doesn’t sound like he is aiming for a small audience anymore; while the words are still personal and injected with quirks – “Fire in the Sky” is about the famous UFO crash at Roswell – the music and production breathe commercial sensibilities that could not be found with his previous work.

Echoes of vintage Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash can be heard throughout the record. In fact, the whole album has an early ‘70s vibe. Brown captures the wind-swept melancholy of Young’s balladry on the title track, and his lyrics sting like Jackson Browne in his prime: “It’s just the ones I love who ever hurt me.”

Brown’s affection for American roots music is no secret; experimenting with folk, country, and jazz has been part of his menu since the beginning. Nevertheless, on Soul to Soul those influences blend more smoothly than they ever had before. “Down Spiral Blues” is just as bluesy as its title suggests, with sweltering, jamming guitar. “Carmella” is folk filtered through the Fab Four. “Moonflower” reflects the lush beauty of CSN’s finest harmony-drenched classics. Then there’s the aforementioned oddity “Fire in the Sky,” which rocks raggedly like the Velvet Underground, proving that Brown is capable of anything. Soul to Soul is among the year’s best, easily.

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