Next NASH Star: The Jayplayers

I have been given the opportunity to interview the contestants of Next NASH Star in my local area. I have contacted them and look forward to sharing their interviews ad I begin to collect them! Today’s interview is with The Jayplayers. Please enjoy!

1.How long has the band been together?

We have been together just shy of three years now, and grown immensely in that time frame. Our Americana act, based around the songwriting of Keeley McCue and Chris Weidensaul, has developed from an acoustic duo into a full electric band set up as well with the recent inclusion of bassist Michael Broda and drummer Tyler Kollinok.

2. Are you originally from here (Central PA)?

Yes, we say that The Jayplayers hail from the Hershey, PA area for our first rehearsals were in a local park there; something of singing outside, in summertime, for no one in particular, that speaks to the natural ease of our collective relationship with music.

3. If you could describe your music in 2 words besides “country”, what would it be?

Americana / Roots Rock

4. What is your favorite song you’ve written?

That’s a tough one, for feel that we are always on the verge of writing our next favorite! It’s amazing to see how our songs mature over time and really come to life on the stage, whether they are tried and true or hot off the presses. A favorite from our debut album would be Tug Of War!

5. What artist(s) inspire you to do music?

It’d be an epic answer if we were to list them all, for there are oh so many across most time periods and genres! So here are a few artists that we feel a mutual connection to and have inspired the music we are making together now: The Civil Wars, Fleetwood Mac, Alabama Shakes, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash & June Carter, Shakey Graves, and Chris Stapleton.

6. What local venue(s) could you be found at performing?

We are often traveling to shows out of the area, as we perform most every weekend. So it is such a treat to return to some of our favorite local venues such as Tellus360, Mt. Gretna Hide-A-Way, Farmers Market on Chocolate, and many more!

7. What is something you want new listeners to know about you?

That our songwriting is unassumingly authentic, derived from a shared, somewhat unconscious viewpoint. It seems our process was one in the same – to not really have a process; to write without intention, merely recording song ideas as they overcame our minds. Our songs are most simply commenting on the human condition; words and music in harmony, made to strike a chord in the hearts of many.

8. How would winning Next Nash Star change your life?

Winning the Next Nash Star competition would be incredible to say the least! The increased national exposure and support of industry professionals would be invaluable tools to take our career to the next level. We are so thrilled to have this opportunity to participate, and put our music in front of a wider audience.

9. Is music your only career at the moment or do you have another job?

Keeley is able to manage The Jayplayers full time, and fortunately Chris can fit his other job into a Monday-Thursday workweek in order maintain the band’s weekend performance schedule. We are rehearsing, writing, recording, and/or performing every week as we love the music making process in its entirety and are wholeheartedly committed to this career.

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?…. How about 10 years?

In five years we would like to have built a successful career as full time musicians, touring the country and the globe with our band to play even more legendary stages. In ten years we hope to have almost as many records as years behind us, sustained by the continued support of our growing number of fans!

11. If you release an album right now what would you title it?

Fortunately we did just release our debut album, entitled Glitter & Wine. Following a highly successful release show on Friday June 24th at the H*MAC Stage On Herr in Harrisburg, PA, with special guests Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart and Vulcans, it is available worldwide across all digital platforms (iTunes, Spotify etc.).

12. Do you have any preshow rituals? If so what.

Many funny sounding vocal warm-ups of course, along with a steady consumption of tea and Chris’ own preshow concoction to sooth our voices.

13. What is the funniest/memorable moment that happened to you on stage?

Thursday May 12th, we had the great pleasure of opening for Graham Parker on the downstairs stage of World Cafe Live at the Queen. Recently we also opened the show as WXPN welcomed Steve Forbert to the main stage of World Cafe Live in Philly, and performed at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC. Stepping onto such stages with immense history and legacy, we are always struck by the presence of the greats who have graced them before us!

14. If you were stuck in an airport with a 3 hr. layover what 1 artist would you want to talk to?

It is a humbling and extraordinary experience to learn first hand from other artists whose craft we admire. We had the great pleasure of meeting one of our modern musical idols John Paul White, after his show at World Café Live in Philly on the eve before our album release. So we would relish the opportunity to speak in more depth with him and/or Joy Williams (both formerly of The Civil Wars) about their songwriting process and musical journeys, as they have significantly influenced our own.

15. So a few years ago I traveled to Scotland and I noticed that they pour in their milk then their cereal which I thought was strange so now I have to ask.. Cereal then milk or milk then cereal?

How interesting; well we are team cereal before milk, for never knew there to be another pouring order haha!


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