Born in the Midwest, Dennis Jay grew up listening to a lot of Armed Forces radio – which tended to play Rhythm & Blues, Rockabilly and Country, rather than ‘Pop’ or ‘Rock & Roll’.
Mr Jay recalled: “A lot of the music was from The South and they’d play a lot of rhythm and blues and a lot of country music. Back then the armed forces were one of the most integrated parts of society, and that was reflected in what the DJs played. It was all just music – not black music, not white music – and most of it was somewhat out of date.”
Armed with a Martin D-18 acoustic, the young Jay travelled throughout the Midwest, Northwest, South and Southwest, even staying briefly in Greenwich Village, writing as he went. Jay stayed in Washington DC in the 1980s, before moving back to Texas in 2006, where he now resides. Mr Jay has performed with various bands, as well as doing solo shows, and even opened for Steve Earle.
There’s an ancient Southern dignity to this music and echoes of Country’s past in his voice. Jay croons, quivers and evokes. His songs play from a 100 year-old jukebox in the corner of a bar, lost on a highway between two dying towns. Every song has an atmosphere and I like the places he visits.