Boston-based singer-songwriter, Jay Psaros, has announced his 5th project, The Trees Beyond the Town, releasing December 14th, 2018.
Psaros’ newest work has already received acclaim from Glide, Elmore, and PopMatters hailing that “Psaros’ subtle approach to musical adaptability evokes similarities to successful acts along the lines of Hirai Dai or Donovan Frankenreiter, perhaps affirming that his more offbeat approach to songwriting has its place.” The 8 song LP once again sees Lorne Entress in the producers chair with an all star line up of musicians. Kevin Barry on guitar (Rosanne Cash, Peter Wolf), Sam Kassirer on keys (Josh Ritter, Joe Pug) and Jesse Williams on bass. The songs have influences ranging from Americana, blues, jazz, jam and folk…all rooted in the tradition of the singer/songwriter. A collection of tunes pulled from an education created from necessity, a necessity turned into art, and a rough creation polished through the lessons learned throughout this process. Topics as easy as the simple joys of love to the hard feelings of loss and introspection. The Trees Beyond the Town was completely fan-funded, in which Psaros raised almost double his funding goal. Perhaps a sign that the music is working and the connections made throughout his various gigs are meaningful and lasting.“One of the great joys of being a singer/songwriter is the ability to shapeshift. Although I miss the dynamics of being in a band, I love the freedom to fully explore a variety of different directions. With The Trees Beyond the Town, I wanted to explore several influences and trust that a through line would be found…something I think we succeeded in doing.”
What type of songwriter is Jay Psaros? That’s a question Psaros has been asking himself for years. Psaros, a long time resident of the Northeast was born into a family of the self-employed. Like the self-employed, his music has ebbed and flowed in and out of “where the work is,” so to speak. Crossing genres as needed and blending styles as desired. At 33 years old, Psaros has worked in a most peculiar musical landscape. His gigs have ranged from barrooms, to medieval-themed dinner theaters, to small clubs, house concerts, weddings and everything in between. He’s hustled as a booking agent, produced for other artists, written music blogs and even taught the occasional lesson. Recently, a stroke of good fortune. On the cusp of a decade in the music industry, the sweaty bars and medieval costumes have given way to support slots for national acts and small headlining tours at regional clubs. “I still go where the work is, but the work has gotten much better.” Stemming from the DNA of his self-employed kin, there is a constant eye on the horizon to make sure work is always nearby as well as in the distance. A strange place indeed, between the “now”and the“never.”
Nearly ten years in as a true working musician and the art is finally beginning to prosper. Psaros’s 5th release, The Trees Beyond the Town is the culmination of ten years of being self-employed. The styles are reflective of the paths Psaros has taken to keep himself in work, as well as keep himself in art. Like Psaros, who is of Chinese, Greek and Irish descent, the songs are uniquely multi-genre. Recognizable yet subtly unidentifiable. “I’m in a strange place in my career,” Psaros muses.“I consider myself a folk artist, a singer/songwriter…but I frequently get calls to support acts so far outside my genre (at least how I view my genre) that I’m always questioning whether or not I’ve found my place.” This is evident when looking at Psaros’s resume. A completely independent artist, Psaros has shared the stage with a wide range of artists ranging from The Mavericks, to Ziggy Marley, to Anders Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Peter Cetera, Los Lonely Boys, Third Eye Blind and many more of scattered genre and variety. “I’ve always envied, to some degree, acts that shine in one particular genre…being able to clearly define who they are and excel at what they do. What I do seems to put me in a place where I keep bouncing around. Maybe that’s a detriment, maybe it’s niche in and of itself. I’m still trying to figure that out.”
Psaros eventually arrived at a place in his career where work was steady and the experience he had gained warranted a further investment in the next step. In 2016, Psaros enlisted producer Lorne Entress to produce his 4th LP.“I’ve listened to a lot of the records Lorne has produced, most notably for artists like Lori McKenna and Mark Erelli and really fell in love with the lush and folksy sounds he was achieving.” It was this eponymous release that helped bring Psaros to regional notoriety earning praise from both critics and fans. As a writer on No Depression reminisces,“I remember one of the first times I saw Psaros perform. From that moment I was reeled into the songwriter’s work. He has a presence on stage and embedded into his songs. Calm and confident but soft, warm and alluring. It’s entrancing.” The Patriot Ledger called Psaros “One of the most compelling music stories of the year.” It was this eponymous record that has helped Psaros maintain and grow a career which is completely independent and free from label constraints. This freedom has led to a variety of new opportunities, from song placements in Indie Films(most recently “Sweeney Killing Sweeney”) to run of dates with artists like Boz Scaggs, The Mavericks and The Little River Band. Heading into 2019, Psaros will be touring in support of The Trees Beyond the Town, maintaining an independent approach to all aspects of his career.
Nov. 2 — Rialto Square Theatre w/ Boz Scaggs — Joliet, IL
Dec. 13 — Plymouth Memorial Hall w/ Little River Band — Plymouth, MA
Dec. 22 — The Spire Center w/ Poppa Chubby — Plymouth, MA
Jan. 13 — Amherst Town Library — Amherst, NH
Feb. 16 — Old Ship Coffee House — Hingham, MA
Mar. 8 — Church Hill Coffee House — Norwell, MA
Aug. 31 — Plymouh Folk and Blues Festival — Plymouth, VT
For more information, visit http://www.jaypsarosmusic.com.