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The Beatles, Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello, Paul Westerberg, REM, U2, Barenaked Ladies, The Wallflowers, Coldplay, Badfinger, The Eagles, Big Star, Cheap Trick, ELO, Del Amitri, Pete Yorn, Garbage, Third Eye Blind, Squeeze and too many more to list.
See "Influences". I've had folks say my voice reminds them of anyone from Pat Dinizio from The Smithereens and Elvis Costello to David Gahan from Depech Mode. All of which I consider to be complements, but I don't think I sound like anybody I've heard. As far as guitar playing. one of my favorite comparisons was to the guitar player from Missing Persons (Warren Cuccurullo). I dug that. I grew up listeing to Jimmy Page (Zeppelin) and Stevie Ray Vaughn but later got totally into The Edge, Johnny Marr and Peter Buck (REM). So imagine that all that mixed together! LOL
Jay's been playing around the scene for about 25 years. In 1988, he started The Fifth Column, a heavy, alt-rock quartet that combined Jay's old-school guitar rock with Mark Johnson's intelligent lyrics and brooding delivery. Jay got the call in 1993 to join The Generators. Generator's frontman, Pete Moultak, was a good friend and a bit of hero so even though there was no opening for a guitar player, Jay joined anyway playing bass and singing. Tragically, Pete passed away within a year after Jay joined the band. This left longtime founder and singer/songwriter CH Valentine and Jay to pick up the pieces and figure out where to go from there. The two played together as a duo and discoverd a unique chemistry that would would sustain for almost a decade. In 1995, The Ravens were formed and they released "So Rare And New" in 1996. They changed the name to Blackbird Abbey before making their self-titled follow up in 1999. Jay left the band in 2001. During his time away, he started collaborating with fellow Orlando musician and long-time friend, Bill Massey. In the meantime, Blackbird Abbey imploded and CH found himself alone after 20 years of marriage. It was during this time that CH called Jay and asked if he and Bill would be interested in helping to fulfill some obligations and maybe see if there was any chemistry left. With the addition of drummer, Keith Coville, the new quartet dubbed themselves 8 Lives Left and went about recording a new album of great pop-rock material. Sadly, despite the quality of the songs and a solid muscial chemistry between the four members; 8 Lives Left was not meant to be. Jay left the group in March of 2005 with no intentions to return to playing anytime soon. After about 6 months, however, those old demons called Jay back to perform. On the suggestion of a co-worker, Jay tried his hand at an open-mic night across the street from UCF. Performing mostly as a solo act, Jay occasionally brought in old bandmates Keith and/or Bill for support. Jay began writing new original material in early 2011 and returned to playing solo and continues to this day. He just started recording new material and has posted acoustic versions of 4 songs on ReverbNation. Eventually he wants to lay down around 7 new tracks total with full band arrangements.