Chemical reactions and … well… Jay Nash

CHEMISTRY [Definition of ]
a science that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo

a : the composition and chemical properties of a substance <the chemistry of iron>
b : chemical processes and phenomena (as of an organism) <blood chemistry>

a : a strong mutual attraction, attachment, or sympathy <they have a special chemistry>
b : interaction between people working together; specifically : such interaction when harmonious or effective <a team lacking chemistry>

Physical chemistry is one of my favorite things ever. That insatiable connection – the moment when you “click” with someone or something and just know… this is it, the beginning of something beautiful. My attraction to music is almost entirely chemical. I like to think I do a pretty good job explaining the ins and the outs of said attraction – but really, as much as I love to put words to the why’s, the cold-hard-truth is that it’s just chemistry. I like it or I don’t. I’m drawn magnetically, or I’m not. Jay Nash was one of those discoveries that ignited an immediate, inexplicable attraction.

Photo by Jessica Loucks © 2009(Photo taken by my sensational bf – Jessica Loucks)

I was dating a sentimental singer-songwriter at the time. (He had just moved a thousand miles to be near me, so we could have a fair shot at “making it work”. I don’t mind a traveling/touring boyfriend, but when returning home, it’s best if we share the same state.)  I explain this only because we saw a lot of live music together; we were immersed in our city’s music scene. I was privy to intimate song writing sessions and starting to consider myself a true connoisseur of quality music. 🙂 On one of our nights out (this was early 2007), we went to see William Fitzsimmons play. He was playing a favorite local bar and I was elated to be seeing him in such an intimate setting. William was great, and I don’t want to discredit his amazing talent in any way – but Jay Nash played that night as well, and it was he who walked away with my undying love and admiration.

I’d heard Jay’s music before, and while I had respect for him as a songwriter, I hadn’t a clue how incredible his live performance was. It’s always an amazing and frustrating thing when a recording doesn’t translate the same live. I know we’ve all seen the bands who work magic in the studio but then disappoint live… Well it works the other way, too. A talent like Jay Nash’s can’t be bottled. PLEASE don’t get me wrong, his cd’s are awesome! (I own them all and they bear the marks of excessive play.) But what he gives you live simply can’t be duplicated in a recording. His voice has an unharnessed raw quality to it. It’s raspy and rugged, and yet – so damn powerful and emotive. He delivers every line with ferocious passion. His stage presence is commanding with the occasional hint of vulnerability. He manages to be humorous, endearing and even snarky – but you leave knowing he put his heart and soul into his performance.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Jay live since that first show in 2007. I can tell you I’ve seen him play in five different states! One of the truly amazing things about seeing an artist play multiple times is witnessing the chemistry between him and the musicians he shares the stage with. Jay Nash has shared the stage with some seriously phenomenal talent. I caught a tour with him, Joey Ryan and Shane Alexander. That night is one of my most cherished concert memories. And in 2009 he embarked on a tour with Tony Lucca and Matt Duke. Their collaborative effort is deserving of a completely separate post… (Google TFDI and you will discover “the magic of something becoming greater than the sum of its parts”. I’m quoting Tony Lucca there. :-))

Jay Nash is a song-writing machine. He churns out great song after great song and it’s made deciding which one to post here nearly impossible. I’m really torn between one from his Sun Studio Sessions and this one. I’ve chosen “Wayfarer” not because it’s an official video but because I simply ADORE the song and couldn’t find a quality live recording of it.

And because I seem to have a hard time with “less is more” – here’s a TFDI interview + song.

Namaste.  I appreciate you. Yes, you.


3 comments on “Chemical reactions and … well… Jay Nash

  1. Well said, Jay Nash is amazing. And so good live. 🙂

  2. Those were great!!!

  3. He is amazing and I am so glad I have been able to see him twice – with you!! Love your words……

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