When songwriter Jay Bragg left the state of Maine and his band North of Nashville behind to move to Nashville, TN, he knew that little of the small town glory he had as a musician would mean anything in a city known for crushing dreams. But he simply had to do it.
As a child, Jay’s home was filled with guitars, singing and vinyl records spanning the landscape of American music – the down home country of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, the soulful rhythm and blues of Ray Charles and James Brown, the harmony driven folk of Simon and Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills and Nash and the rock ’n’ roll of The Beatles and The Who.
Staring at age 5, Jay began performing in front of audiences playing first the violin, then the piano, drums, guitar and vocals but it wasn’t until he started playing the bar circuit in Portland, Maine that it became clear that music was something that he could make a living from. Never the critical darling or the singer deemed “most likely to make it”, he fought tooth and nail to book gigs and get better at his craft.
Jay spent years fronting various bar bands – most successfully the outlaw country duo North of Nashville who toured the country, playing 200 dates a year and sharing the stage with the likes of Brothers Osborne, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan and Chris Stapleton. NoN was awarded “Country Act Of The Year” by the New England Music Awards in 2015. However, within 2 months of winning that prestigious award, Jay Bragg, feeling himself outgrowing a relatively small music market, decided to leave it all behind and move to Nashville to in hopes to be challenged like never before but with the chance of reaching the widest audience possible.
Jay Bragg will be releasing his debut EP as a solo artist this summer. Judging from his character, this tireless underdog will see will see to it that Nashville – and the rest of the country – will take notice. No matter the cost.
SZLACHETKA (pronounced SLA-HET-KA) draws your gaze back to a simpler time when music was less about stylized production and more about its experiential nature. His songwriting finds inspiration in the threads that connect us, weaving a tapestry of familiar moments that pay homage to the past while leaning into a future that promises both wonder and grace. Now based in Nashville, SZLACHETKA grew up in New England and began his career as the frontman for the acclaimed roots-rock band, The Northstar Session, with whom he recorded five albums and appeared in the second season of TV’s “Parenthood”. After nearly a decade of touring he left the band and struck out on his own, releasing his first solo album in 2014, “Waits for a Storm to Find”. SZLACHETKA’s sophomore album, “Heart of my Hometown” is set for release in the summer of 2017.
Rolling Stone hailed SZLACHETKA as one of the 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know, describing his forthcoming album as “a soundtrack for both the highway and the heartland… a collection of road-dog roots-rockers and Americana ballads inspired by the people (and places) he’s left behind in the rearview mirror.”