Jay Nash
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Jay Nash

Band Folk Rock


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The best kept secret in music


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'9' - EP - Released 2004 - features appearances from many Los Angeles area artists including the Wallflowers' Yogi & Eastmountainsouth's Pete Adams
Open Late - LP - Released 2001 - w/ Mike Team & Andy Peterson


Feeling a bit camera shy


“I’m not interested in being the next big thing,” says 27-year-old singer-songwriter Jay Nash. “I just want to write songs that communicate with people, and I want to write songs that are honest.”
Nash’s honesty is apparent in his timeless blend of melodic, acoustic folk-pop. With a rich, deep voice that’s been compared to the likes of Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews, he established followings on both coasts even before releasing his first full-length album, Open Late.

A native of central New York, Nash recorded his debut EP, Post Adolessons, immediately after finishing college. He honed his chops during a summer spent in the marine community known as 1000 Islands, where Lake Ontario funnels into the St. Lawrence River. “I would play up there at bars and parties, and when I first started doing it, I was like, ‘I’ll play for free,’” he says. “Before I knew it, I was playing five nights a week and making really good money.”

"Jay Nash is an artist whose songs made an immediate impression on me. I think music fans will embrace him...He is America's David Gray".
--Diane Monk / MCA Records

Encouraged by his friends, Nash - who cites the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and The Band as his primary influences - moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan to break into the music industry. “I didn’t have a TV, I didn’t have a computer, and I didn’t even have a land-line phone,” he remembers. “I just played my ass off, and tried to get out and about and meet as many people in the New York scene as possible.”

While he scored regular gigs at such prestigious venues as CB’s 313 Gallery, he also performed in more unusual locales when the situation demanded it. “When it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to pay my rent, I would take my guitar and go up to the subway platform at Columbia University around 5 o’clock, when kids were headed back to wherever they lived. I would stand up there and play for an hour or two, and usually be able to come up with enough change to make up whatever difference I needed to.”

After a year in New York City, Nash went to San Francisco to record a 13-track solo demo. Meanwhile, many of his college friends had moved to the ski resort town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Although he thought that joining them there meant putting his music career on hold, Nash didn’t want to have any regrets. “I’d been intending to go back to New York, but the temptation became too great to go to Wyoming. I knew that if I got a record deal or went on the road, I wasn’t going to have time to spend a winter in Wyoming for the rest of my life, and that it was my only chance I’d ever have to do it.”

"a rich resonant voice that brings to mind a more eloquent version of Eddie Vedder." -- Richard Anderson, Jackson Hole News

But Nash’s stock began to rise even more in Jackson Hole, and his success there prompted him to extend his stay through a second winter. “I got a bunch of steady gigs and ended up playing five nights a week,” he says. “It was really comfortable for me, but I had a hard time writing, because there’s just not a lot of stress in your life when you’re living there. In order to tell a story, you’ve got to live it first.”

Wanting to break back into the music industry, Nash traded in his skis for a surfboard and moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to record a new demo. “I was working with another guy, and his artistic vision was in the control seat. It didn’t come out exactly the way I wanted it to, but at the end of it all, I realized, ‘I can do what this guy’s doing.’ I knew I could make something really good if I just had the right tools.”

Shortly thereafter, Nash transformed his one-room studio apartment in the heart of Los Angeles into a home studio. With help from two musicians he met in Wyoming, he began to record Open Late on Sept. 9. “What was originally going to take two weeks ended up taking two-and-a-half months,” Nash explains. “After the first session, there was an earthquake, and the epicenter was literally a half-mile from my apartment. None of us had ever experienced anything like it, and it really rattled us.”

"hauntingly memorable songs and a great all-around performer... the music makes me think of a poker game between Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews with members of Sister Hazel serving the drinks"
-- Jonathan Holcombe, Rounder Records

Two days later was Sept. 11. “That just changed the whole flow of work,” he says. “We were so driven and not really concerned with anything else outside of the music, and all of a sudden, we were forced to look outside of getting the record done. It kind of slowed me down, but it made me realize that if I’m going to do this, it’s got to be really good. Every single note had to be from the heart.”

While some of the material on Open Late had been written years before the album was recorded, a handful of songs - including “Two Hearts,” a duet with Nash’s girlfriend - were penned during the s