Dennis Jay
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Dennis Jay

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Mar
18
Dennis Jay @ Festival of the West

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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Music

Press


“Cowboy singer-songwriter Dennis Jay opened the night with an elegant and tasteful solo outing . . . His top guitar strings kept a galloping rhythm as he fingerpicked melodies that combined the virtues of Gene Autry and Marty Robbins; his lyrics never failed to depict a place, set a mood and tell a compelling story. It was a captivating performance. Jay . . . is as good as any western songwriter in the business.”

- Buzz McClain, September 23, 2004


“Artfully written in straightforward rhymes, his lyrics are loaded with simple emotions . . . He might even have made a killing as a Nashville songwriter in the ‘40s.” - Linda Ray, July/August 2003


“It’s a straight-from-the-heart slice of life . . .The influence of Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Lefty Frizzell haunt his ‘Folk and Western’ compositions.”

- Gus Walker, August/September 2003


“What You See delivers a compelling stripped-down sound that was recorded the old-fashioned way, with the musicians standing in a semi-circle around the microphones.”

- Ben Minton, March 2004


". . . a singer-songwriter in the cowboy tradition and a man comfortably out of his time.”
- Buzz McClain, April 13, 2005


View the PDF rider under Basic Requirements for a review of Dennis's "stunning presentation of Primicia" at the WMA convention! - Live performance review


Discography

WHAT YOU SEE (LP):
What You See
Letters From Mexico
One Good Simple Reason
Eyes Full of Tears
Tupelo Flash
Betrayal
Roadful of Longing
Sorry Excuse for Love
Lonesome By Any Other Name
Did You Think That I’d Forgotten?
Christmas in the Badlands
Cancion para la Noche de Casamiento

“The disc’s high point is the Bakersfield-flavored sing-along ‘Lonesome By Any Other Name’ . . .This music is so charming and well played, you’ll find it listenable by any other name.”
-Linda Ray, No Depression, July/August 2003

PRIMICIA (EP):
Primicia
I Opened Your Letter
Run Buddy Run
That Last Night

“Primicia” was recognized as one of the top 10 best single Western releases of 2007 by Heartland Public Radio.

Collections:
Catamount Hot Unsigned (& Unsung) Americana Compilation, 2003; Spirit of the Old West Vol 1, 2007; Joe Baker’s Backforty Roundup Vols 1, 10, & 17, 2007; A Holiday Feast Vols 6-8, & Creme de la Creme, 2001-2003, 2005

Songs from WHAT YOU SEE and PRIMICIA have received airplay on stations across the country and in Canada. Dennis Jay has appeared live on radio shows such as Folk Fury (KTEP, El Paso, TX); Ruby’s Roadhouse (KXCI, Tucson, AZ); and Big G’s Texas Road Show (KRVL, Kerrville, TX).

Photos

Bio

Dennis Jay is a singer/songwriter guitarist who writes and performs original songs with roots in traditional Country & Western, folk, blues, cowboy songs, and Mexican ballads. He got a large part of his early musical education as a child in Germany, when “every day I’d come home from school and turn on the Armed Forces Radio Network (AFN). Most of the DJs were regular GIs who’d brought their record collections overseas. A lot of the music was from the South and they’d play rhythm and blues along with Country & Western. There were no artificial barriers between these types of music.”

After returning to the United States, Dennis attended high school in Maryland. He soon bought a brand new Martin D-18 and began writing songs. “It’s still the guitar I write ‘em on,” he says. Dennis spent the 70s and 80s traveling around the country, playing in coffee houses and bars, writing songs, and working odd jobs. When he reached Austin, Texas, Dennis performed both as a solo act and with a band. Next stop was Washington, DC, where he formed his own band. He did an occasional solo gig, such as opening for Steve Earle at the Birchmere. Now living near San Antonio in La Vernia, Texas, Dennis spent years living, working, and traveling the American West, from Arizona to Oregon, California to Kansas, Montana to New Mexico, North Dakota to Texas.

A critic called Dennis’ music “cowboy folk . . . minimalism . . . that’s unlike anything else around.” Dennis currently performs at cowboy music festivals, house concerts, and radio stations throughout the West and Southwest.