Thank you guys for showing me such an incredible time to kick of 2014. This last month and a half has been an unforgettable experience. Thanks especially to Martin Sexton and crew for sharing his audience and music with me for 17 shows on his juggernaut Winter Tour.
After 28 shows and tens of thousands of miles, I’m back at home in Vermont, working on new music and in the early stages of…
Greetings - I hope that you had a beautiful Thanksgiving with people you love and survived Black…
2013 has been a truly rewarding and memorable year of touring and making music. As the cold weather approaches, I find myself looking back on so many great moments making music in clubs, bars, churches, theaters and festivals, and at music…
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The 1000 Islands is a land lost in time. Not a whole lot has changed up there in the last 100 years or so. Back in the late 1800s, it was one of the most popular vacation spots in the Northeast for residents of not only upstate New York, but also NYC, Boston and Philadelphia.
Almost every positive memory from my youth and formative years came from the time that I spent on the St Lawrence River. I grew up and went to grade school in Manlius, a small village, just outside of Syracuse, NY however, I spent much of my summer and nearly every weekend from May through November in the 1000 Islands in Clayton, NY.
I remember the feeling as a child that it almost seemed impossible for the River and Syracuse to exist on the same planet…let alone the same state. The 1000 Islands seemed to be a place almost entirely insulated from the negative trappings of everyday life. It was just the opposite - with people running around in boats, permanent smiles plastered upon their faces and the constant soundscape of boats, breeze and the gentle echo of water kissing the shoreline.
The 1000 Islands is not only a natural wonder with its 1800+ islands scattered over roughly 40 square miles. For it’s natural features alone make it like no place on earth. But, the relationship between humanity and the place make it even more special. Walt Whitman summed it up nicely back in 1855:
O boating on the rivers,
The voyage down the St. Lawrence, the superb scenery, the steamers,
The ships sailing, the Thousand Islands, the occasional timber-raft
and the raftsmen with long-reaching sweep-oars,
The little huts on the rafts, and the stream of smoke when they cook
supper at evening.
Not a whole lot has changed since then.
Except for jet skis. They are a bit of a sonic nuisance. I’ll leave that diatribe for another blog.
The only other major change that has occurred since the mid 1800s is the advent of the St Lawrence Seaway. In the 1950s, the army corps of engineers built the seaway, by blasting out rapids downriver from the 1000 Islands and installing a series of locks that would allow large lake and seafaring freighters to travel between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes. In some ways, this was a bit of an environmental disaster. Many would argue that it was a necessary collateral loss in the interest of industrial progress.
As you can imagine, the interests of the Seaway carry an incredible amount of influence. This is where Save the River comes into the picture. Started in 1978 by activist, Abbie Hoffman, who was actually living in exile at the time, Save the River is a non-profit, member-based environmental organization whose mission is preserve and protect the ecological integrity of the Upper St. Lawrence basin. In practice, a lot of what they do is actually stand as a voice for the people of the River community and hold in balance the interests of the Seaway with the environmental AND socio-economic interest of the River faring public. In 2004, STR joined the Waterkeeper Alliance to become Riverkeeper of the Upper St. Lawrence.
The way I like to simplify it is that Save the River is the sole organization striving to preserve and protect the place that I grew up loving, so that my children…and their children may experience that same sense of wonder from the place that I did.
As Riverkeeper, Save the River leads an international effort between the US and Canada to restore the health and ecological diversity of the St Lawrence River.
So hopefully, this gives some insight on my motivation for producing that first Rock for the River concert back in 2004. I found myself then in Los Angeles, immersed in a beautiful family-like community of songwriters and musicians there. It was a great time to be in Los Angeles. But I missed the River and I had a sense that there was some unfound bridge between these two worlds that I just had to find.
I have to admit that my excitement, as the first concert grew near, was tempered by some nervousness that these Los Angeles based musicians would not be as enamored with River life, River Times and Riverfolk as I imagined that they would be…and vice versa.
As it turned out, my initial hunch was correct. Each and every one of those artists fell madly and deeply in love with the place AND the people. The first Rock for the River concert at the Clayton Opera House became a night that none in attendance would ever forget. It was a kick off of summer, a celebration of the place that we all held so dear and it was a great coming together for kids of all ages.
Nine years and ten concerts later, not much has changed. The evening still feels as magical as it did that first night. We just sell a whole lot more tickets that we did nine years ago.
For more information about Save the River, please visit: www.savetheriver.org
To purchase for the 10th Rock for the River Reprise! click here.
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The other night, before the show in Fort Worth got underway, David Ramirez and I were talking about the phenomenon of audience members talking during concerts. We spoke about the pro and cons of bringing the topic up with audiences themselves and whether the best move was to say nothing at all or to make a good natured quip about it to the offending parties.
On this tour, the crowds were exemplary. They have been almost universally attentive. In a very few cases however, there have been small isolated groups of people in the audience that seemingly suffer from ‘voice imodulation’, with no apparent control over the volume at which they speak and without any apparent regard for the hundreds of other people in the room who have paid good money to see and hear the show without distraction. In the past, I have made comments or snarky jokes to the offending parties, and I have always tried to keep things light. (a lot of my songs are sad enough, so I believe that levity is important).
On this tour, I elected to keep my mouth shut on the issue and allow the music to steer the vibe in the room where it needed to go. In all honesty, there wasn’t a single show where it felt like much of an issue to me. However, if there is one take home lesson for me from this tour, it is that when I do not address the loud people and leave the audience to regulate itself, chaos may ensue. People get fucking pissed.
In a couple of circumstances, where I was completely unaware of any errant noisemaking in the audience, I learned after the show that certain talkers had been aggressively scolded by other members of the audience, to the point where they (the talkers) were truly shaken and offended.
Shortly before I went onstage for the last show of our tour together, David Ramirez shared a story with me that totally trumped any account I had on the topic. He actually had a show in an intimate theater where one member of the audience tackled another another and held a bowie knife to drunk guy’s throat because the guy had been running his mouth throughout the show and had ignored audience member’s pleas for him to stop. Incredible. Nobody got really hurt. Drunk guy quickly submitted and so knife guys let drunk guy up off of the floor. After which, drunk guy ran out of the theater screaming like a stuck pig.
So during that last show of the tour in Fort Worth, when I looked out and saw about 95 percent of the room giving their undivided attention, I also observed that the remaining 5 percent was lost in drunk conversation (it was Friday night, after all…), I thought it appropriate to share David’s story and my thoughts on the issue. The moral of my story was that it was a rock n roll show after all, and not a lecture. So I certainly did not expect complete silence…just respect for your fellow audience members. Furthermore, I advised to heed caution and keep all weapons sheathed.
Not five minutes later, from the stage, I observed a man being forced out of the venue in a headlock by whom I assumed to be the venue’s security guards. Apparently, he had been repeatedly asked to keep his voice down by the people around him and insisted upon blithering on in a bellowing drunken slur.
Astonishing. Oh, the irony. I’d never heard a story like David’s before last night and I had never made such a warning to an audience before. And of course, I have never, ever seen someone escorted out of one of my performances in a headlock before.
Here’s the bottom line. Come to the shows to listen and have a good time. As a performer, I think I speak for all, when I say that we truly love you for that and owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude. The reason we play music is to connect with you and to connect you with one and other…it is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to feel good. Absolute silence is not expected or required, however absolute respect is.
Respect the artist on stage who is working hard to give you the show that you paid good money to see. Respect your fellow concert goers who have also shelled out their hard earned dollars to experience and enjoy the concert. It’s that simple.
…and please leave the weapons at home.
I love ya.
thanks for listening.
Thank you all who made it out to the shows for the last 6 weeks. You made this tour one that I will never forget. Thank you also for the overwhelming support of the new album. If you haven’t had a chance yet, the album is available on iTunes and both on…
It was a strange week in America for sure and so it feels a bit odd to be promoting a tour and a record. If nothing else, I hope that this week’s events remind all to hold our loved ones a little closer and to take every opportunity that life gives us to…
It was a strange week in America for sure and so it feels a bit odd to be promoting a tour and a record. If nothing else, I hope that this week’s events remind all to hold our loved ones a little closer and to take every opportunity that life gives us to show kindness to others.
Alas, this is show business…and in times like these, making music seems more important than ever…a conduit of human connection and a catalyst for healing and hope.
As many of you already know, the new album, 'Letters from the Lost' is slated for release on Tuesday May 14th. Making this album was a revelatory experience and big step in a new creative direction for me, so I am dizzy with excitement about sharing it with you. I hope that you will help spread the word about the release as I am putting this one out all by myself and leaning on you… the best ‘record label’, fans and support system a guy could ever hope to have.
EAST COAST HEADLINE SHOWS - NOW ON SALE - VIENNA (DC), PHILLY, NYC, MAINE, BOSTON:
We are bringing a show to the east coast like no other Nash show you have ever seen. Josh Day will be playing drums and singing and special guest (and opening act) Eliza Moore (whose debut EP I produced this winter) will be sitting in on fiddle. There will be electric guitar, harmony, drums and in other words, the ‘rock’ that I have been sorely missing in my solo shows.
Boston - we especially look forward to seeing you and sharing a big musical hug with you. Your bravery and resilience has been a true inspiration this week.
WEST COAST, ROCKIES AND MIDWEST: CO-HEADLINE TOUR DATES WITH DAVID RAMIREZ:
I am thrilled to announce a co-headline tour with Austin, TX based songwriter, David Ramirez. His songs will knock you on your ass. We kick things off on May 23rd in Phoenix and take the show up the west coast, back down through the Rockies, over to Chicago and then South from there. Tickets for almost all of the shows are now available. These shows will be the duo format with Josh Day on drums and vocals.
SUPPORTING IVAN & ALYOSHA
04/30 - Winnipeg, Canada - Pyramid Cafe
05/02 - Saskatoon, Canada - Amigos
05/03 - Edmonton, Canada - Pawn Shop
05/04 - Calgary, Canada - The HiFi Club
05/05 - Spokane, Washington - Carr’s Corner
05/06 - Wenatchee, WA - Caffe Mela
05/07 - Bellingham, WA - The Wild Buffalo
05/09 - Vancouver, Canada - The Media Club
'LETTERS FROM THE LOST' HEADLINE RECORD RELEASE CONCERTS:
05/14 - Vienna, VA - Jammin’ Java
05/15 - Philadelphia, PA - Tin Angel
05/16 - New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2
05/17 - Brownfield, ME - Stone Mountain Arts Center
05/18 - Boston, MA - The Red Room at Cafe 939
CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH DAVID RAMIREZ:
05/22 - Phoenix, AZ - The Rhythm Room
05/23 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
05/24 - Los Angeles, CA - McCabe’s Guitar Shop
05/25 - Ventura, CA - Zoey’s Cafe
05/26 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst Atrium
05/28 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe du Nord
05/30 - Portland, CA - The White Eagle
05/31 - Seattle, WA - Q Cafe
06/01 - Wenatchee, WA - Cafe Mela
06/04 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
06/05 - Denver, CO - The Soiled Dove
06/06 - Omaha, NE - The Slowdown (front room)
06/07 - Evanston, IL - SPACE
06/08 - Saint Louis, MO - Off Broadway
06/11 - Czar Bar - Kansas City, MO
Tickets, showtimes and more info at: www.jaynash.com/tour
(more dates in Oklahoma and Texas soon to be announced…)
thank you so much for listening. I love ya for it. See you out there.
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I am happy to announce that my (lucky) seventh full length studio album, 'Letters from the Lost' will be set free unto the world on Tuesday, May 14th 2013. What began as a creative exercise in being open to possibility and exploring new sonic directions in my home studio, grew into what I believe is the most poignant and honest musical endeavor I have ever been a part of. I hope that you will listen and find the same thing to be true.
This album was made possible by the generous cooperation of listeners like you. For this, I am incredibly grateful. ‘Letters from the Lost’ will be an entirely independent release and so, more than ever, I am reliant upon you to help spread the good word. Two songs from the album; ‘Sailor’ (through Paste Magazine’s premier) and ‘Wander’ (via my homespun, iPhone generated Youtube video) are now available for your perusal. If you like what you hear, tell you neighbors and loved ones.
'Sailor' at Paste.com
'Wander' on youtube
With a new album, comes a new tour. At the end of April, I will be hopping in the van with the mighty, Ivan & Alyosha as we take to the plains and mountains of Western Canada and Washington state. I had the privilege of catching one of their sets at SXSW, where they had about 300 people huddled together in a sweltering outdoor tent. Despite the close quarters and intense heat, nobody was complaining. In fact, nearly every face in that crowd was grinning ear to ear. Suffice to say, I am very much looking forward to these 8 shows:
April 30 - Winnipeg, Canada - Pyramid Cafe
May 02 - Saskatoon, Canada - Amigos
May 03 - Edmonton, Canada - Pawn Shop
May 04 - Calgary, Canada - The HiFi Club
May 05 - Spokane, WA - Carr’s Corner
May 06 - Wenatchee, WA - Caffe Mela
May 07 - Bellingham, WA - The Wild Buffalo
May 09 - Vancouver, Canada - The Media Club
HEADLINE RECORD RELEASE SHOWS:
Next up on the itinerary is five headline shows to commemorate the release of ‘Letters from the Lost’. I am very excited to announce that one of my favorite drummers and all around musicians on the planet, Josh Day will be joining me for the run. We’re going to load up the tour wagon with as many drums, guitars, mandolins, amplifiers and pyrotechnics as is humanly possible. We aim to bring a show that will hopefully rock
your socks. (and maybe break your heart)
Tickets for all 5 shows are on sale and the preferential seating is available in most cases, first come first serve. Go!
May 14 - Vienna, VA - Jammin Java
May 15 - Philadelphia, PA - The Tin Angel
May 16 - New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2
May 17 - Brownfield, ME - Stone Mountain Arts Center
May 18 - Boston, MA - The Red Room at Cafe 939
details, ticket links and rsvp information are all best found at www.jaynash.com
Stay tuned for more tour dates throughout the midwest and western US - to be announced very soon.
Thanks again for listening and spreading the word. See you out there.
Advance praise for ‘Letters from the Lost’:
"Letters from the Lost absolutely sounds like a keeper. Check out Jay Nash live. You might be blown away." - No Depression
"Jay Nash has a voice that vibrates with the power of commitment. That is the guarantee that he gives away with each song. Jay is a seeker, and the lessons he learns, the questions he asks of himself and others, can be found in his music. The tracks on Letters from the Lost present themselves with music that cradles Jay’s words. The soft acoustics are content to support the voice, to let the words stand as testament to the power of the singer/songwriter to elicit change through his sweetly sung dialogue." - Alternate Root TV
“Often noted for his unique blend of Americana, alternative, folk and rock influences, “Sailor” captures Nash’s sound in a manner that offers a comprehensive glimpse into the niche Nash has managed to craft for himself over the years. Acoustic guitars, a driving beat and Nash’s honest vocal delivery make up this solid track.” - Paste
"Sailor captures (Nash’s new found creative) freedom brilliantly; it’s a song filled with hope and optimism. Beginning as a loose alt-country number it grows in stature to a chest-beating and defiant chorus. Layers of guitar do battle for attention and end up in perfect harmony." - The Sound of Confusion
"Wander, a brooding tale about eternal searching which evokes a Bruce Springsteen-like vibe thanks to Nash’s raw vocals and steady groove. It’s the type of song you could lose your consciousness in — especially if you’re listening to it while driving alone on a dark highway. Guilty." - The Round Table
"Letters from the Lost…reflects a change in the air and a time for stepping out. Behind Nash’s distinct vocals are a far more layered soul. And in support: mandolin, baritone electric guitar and ethereal noise." - RSL Blog
Winter is winding down and I am gearing up for the year ahead which will bring the launch of the new album later this Spring and plenty of tour dates all over the US and Europe.
I’ve been spending a great deal of time getting to know the new songs (AKA: something that I haven’t done in years…PRACTICING!) and the live show is really coming together. I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of hitting the road with a stack of new songs. This week I’m rehearsing in Burlington, Vermont, filming a performance for Alternate Root TV in Boston, rehearsing for SXSW in Nashville and then heading to Austin at the end of the week.
AUSTIN, TX AND SXSW:
If you’re headed to the great gathering or a local of the Longhorn capital, I hope that you can join me for one of these performances. Both will feature Josh Day on drumkit, premiering many of the new songs from the forthcoming album, ‘Letters from the Lost’.
The Outlaw Roadshow at Rusty’s
Saturday, March 9
music begins at 8pm - JN at 12am
Official SXSW showcase at The White Horse
Wednesday, March 13
admission is free with SXSW badge of artist wristband.
tickets also available at the door
The White Horse website
CANADA AND WASHINGTON STATE WITH IVAN & ALYOSHA:
If you haven’t heard these guys from Seattle on NPR or on your favorite music blog already, you have to check out Ivan & Alyosha. I couldn’t be more excited to join them for 8 shows in Western Canada and Washington State, beginning on April 30th. Tickets are on sale now.
04/30/13 - Winnipeg, MB - Pyramid Cabaret
05/02/13 - Saskatoon, SK - Amigos Cantina
05/03/13 - Edmonton, AB - Pawn Shop
05/04/13 - Calgary, AB - The HiFi Club
05/05/13 - Spokane, WA - Carrs Corner
05/06/13 - Wenatchee, WA - Caffe Mela
05/07/13 - Bellingham, WA - The Wild Buffalo
05/09/13 - Vancouver, BC - The Media Club
Expect and announcement about the release date for the new album, ‘Letters from the Lost’ in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, you can bring yourself up to date with the Nash discography by getting yourself the newest EP, ‘of the woods' on iTunes. As always, you can stream 10 albums for FREE atwww.jaynash.com/music
Thanks for listening. See you out there.
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