A city boy that spent a lot of time in the country. This may be the dichotomy that best defines Jay Lewallen. Absorbing musical influences along the way, Jay writes music from a unique perspective of crossfire Americana. One can’t deny the influence of 60s and 70’s music, but by sticking his toes in many rivers, there is more to it than just rock and roll.
Jay’s first album was Meet the Beatles at age 5 in Miami, Florida. Like many youngsters, his first make believe guitar was a tennis racket, strummed like there was no tomorrow. The AM radio, with its wide variety of popular music, played a big part in his early listening and FM with a hard rock slant took over in the teenage years. Folk music, centered around an acoustic guitar, always seemed natural, attainable and compelling. A few years in Memphis, Tennessee introduced him to Elvis and Johnny Cash but also the soul sounds of Booker T. and the MGs and Stax records with Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.
Spending his high school and procrastinated college years in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, bluegrass and mountain music found its way into his heart. Country rock was not only in the air, it was the air. In the 1970's there was plenty of blues rock everywhere that was like a bedrock foundation.
After college, Jay headed for San Francisco. Could there be a more radical cultural shift than the Blue Ridge mountains to San Francisco? Probably not in this country! Diving into the music scene of the Grateful Dead and California music festivals of all sorts, his musical perspective was pretty much fully formed, adding some touches of jazz and swing music in there somewhere.
All of these journeys enhanced Jay's love of music and its many directions, emotions and connections with people. Incorporating this into writing a varied collection of songs has been his lifelong passion. This site is here to provide access to his music and dreams. Enjoy the ride!