Jay Nash is a singer 'You Need'

May 28, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. ET

A modest singer/songwriter from the East Coast who has embraced the LA music scene with a passionate heart; this is Jay Nash. Given his love for quality music and exceptional musicians, Nash gravitates toward collaborating with the talent he has come to know through the hefty circuit he now calls home.

Jay Nash is a singer you need to know

Nash bridges the gap between rock-and-roll and the two-step with his newest iTunes-released album, "The Things You Think You Need." Reaching #22 on the iTunes Rock Chart within two days of it's release, Nash's most recent album includes appearances by Sara Bareilles and David Immergluck and Charlie Gillingham of Counting Crows.

One such example of his talents is the song "Barcelona" (featuring Sara Bareilles).

From a two-inch analog taping to a digital release, Nash is no stranger to rolling with the punches and credits his creativity to those that help him stand with conviction and vigor.

When catching up with Mr. Nash on the road, SheKnows got the dish on the rocker's history with Room 5, recording with members of the Counting Crows and an exclusive tease to a few female musicians he hopes to pair with someday.

Pleased to meet you, Mr. Nash

SheKnows:From upstate New York to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and straight to breaking into the LA music scene; did you go through serious culture shock or did you welcome the change?

Jay Nash:I still remember the original drive into LA. I was in a Toyota pick-up truck with a cap and all of my belongings in the back of the truck. I remember being stuck in traffic at like, 4:30 on a Thursday afternoon, and just being totally traumatized. I didn't have air conditioning, it was like 90 degrees, people were honking, I definitely felt like I was out of my element. I quickly grew to love it because that was right at the birth of the music scene that exists there now. Right off the bat, I saw a bunch of bands whose music really resonated with me…Bands like MiniBar and Pete Yorn were just getting their start and I was pretty inspired. I was like, okay, I really need to stay here…I can get used to the traffic; I'll learn to surf and I'll just have a good time with it all.

SheKnows:And no joke, you really embraced the music scene as it was breaking. You made your way through the circuit pretty quickly and started booking for Room 5?

JN: I actually started playing shows there before it was Room 5 and then there was a change of ownership and the new owner kind of created Room 5 as a music venue. It was a pretty cool experience. It definitely gave me the opportunity to surround myself with music that I loved and inspired me to get to know other artists and allowed me to be on both sides of everything that was going on.

SheKnows: How about the tour you are on currently, how's it going?

JN:The tour that I've been on has been pretty amazing. I've been out with two other songwriters, Garrison Starr and Joey Ryan. The first morning of the tour we started in Santa Barbara, I woke up and had laryngitis, like bad. I couldn't sing a note. So rather then doing three individual sets on the tour, we decided to just have all three of us up on stage at the same time. We worked out some harmonies and stuff that first day in sound check and did the show that way. The audience really liked it and we had a great time so we've done it that way the entire tour.

Where there's smoke, there's fire

Touring plans

SheKnows:And this summer, what specific dates are you looking forward to?

JN:I'm looking forward to Summerfest. I've heard about Summerfest for years and I'm really excited to get a spot there. Also, the show 'Rock for the River' will be a chance for me to bring a whole bunch of people from LA back to my tiny little hometown of Manlius, NY. ('Rock for the River') is a benefit for this organization called, Save the River. This will be the fifth year in a row that we've done it. People come out from all over the state and we do this show for about 500 supporters in this old opera house; it is a pretty special event for me. Hopefully I'll get over to Europe before the end of the year. We are putting together a pretty big summer tour. I think it's going to be one of the bigger tours that I have been involved in and I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully we will actually have a real tour bus and not be crammed into the back of an SUV.

SheKnows:Fingers crossed. As far as your line up goes, do you still catch up with Matt (Delvecchio/bassist) and Chris (Lovejoy/drummer) at all?

JN:I actually haven't played with Chris in a while. Occasionally we'll play a gig together, but the guy who's been playing with me lately is actually a Danish guy, Fredrick Bokkenheuser, we added another multi instrumentalist, Carson Cohen, and we are trying to get Chris Seefried (God's Child/Low Stars), who produced the record, out on the road with us too. We are constantly revolving the line-up of the band. I've been playing up in LA long enough and I've played so much and toured so much that I have a lot of really great musicians that know my stuff and can go out there and put on a show.

SheKnows:Speaking of musicians that know your work, you have a couple of key players on your new release, "The Things You Think You Need." Namely, Sara (Bareilles), David (Immergluck) and Charlie (Gillingham); what was that recording process like for you?

JN:It was pretty amazing. I've known Sara for a long time. We've played a bunch of gigs together over the years and it worked out time wise that she happened to be in town on the day that I said, hey do you want to come sing on my record? She came over and we tried a couple different things. It was just like magic. At that point we had most of the record finished and she just put on the final touches by singing on "Barcelona," "Sweet Talking Liar" and "Wayfarer."

Counting his blessings

SheKnows: And a little moonlighting with a few members of the Counting Crows…

The Things You Think You NeedJN: Yeah. Charlie and David were both a huge surprise and an amazing treat. I found out just a couple days before we started tracking that they were going to be around and available. All I was really expecting was one day of basic tracking; basically thinking that we would be able to do like four songs together. Even then I was just giddy with excitement…because we were tracking with this amazing band; Don Heffington on drums, my old friend Matty D. on bass and then having David Immergluck and Charlie Gillingham, all of a sudden the songs just took on a whole new life. It was pretty instantaneous…The novelty never wore off because the Counting Crows are one of my favorite bands and definitely my favorite live band of all time. Hearing their records when I first started writing songs definitely had a huge influence on me, so it was kind of a trip having them there in the studio and getting to know them. Now I am honored to call them my friends.

SheKnows:You mentioned recording some tracks with Sara and I know that "Barcelona" and "Wayfarer" will be a few favorites of our SheKnows readership. Could you tease our audience with a few other female vocalists you would like to record or perform with sometime in the near future?

JN: Yeah, definitely. My friend Garrison Starr; who I'm on tour with right now. One of these days hopefully I'll get the chance to work with Tristan Prettyman, who one of my best friends in the whole world, Matty D. is out playing with for the entire spring. I love Jessie Baylin's work. Meiko is a good friend of mine…We never got around to it, but we had a bunch of songs that we were working on together. I am working on a couple of songs with a songwriter called Rosie; an amazingly talented musician who comes from a totally different background. The list probably goes on and on and on, but that's a good start for now.

Jay Nash Discography:

"Post Adolessons" (1998)
"Open Late" (2001)
"9" (2004)
"A Stream Up North" (2004)
"Some Kind of Comfort" (2005)
"The Things You Think You Need" (2008)

As an exclusive for his MySpace friends, Jay will share the original, unproduced demo of "Barcelona" in the first week of June.

To watch a clip of Jay and Chris discussing "Barcelona", Sara, and the song production go to his clip on MySpace TV

Jay's MySpace page: www.myspace.com/jaynash