Jay Bragg is a true country singer who fronts a band and entertains an audience as effortlessly as slipping on a cowboy boot.
And the reason why it’s so natural for him is simply because he’s been doing it his whole life.
The son of a professional singer, Jay’s childhood was filled with pillars of country, rock, rhythm and blues. Giants like Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Willie Nelson along with family sing-a-longs helped mold his style as not only a singer/songwriter but also a passionate entertainer. Jay was 8 years old when he first stepped on a stage in front of an audience to play the bluegrass standard “Turkey In The Straw” and from that day, he was hooked on the musician’s life.
2003 through 2015 found Jay Bragg living in Maine and playing 200 shows a year in the barroom circuit stretching from Bangor to Houston with the country band North of Nashville. The band recorded three albums and opened for artists like Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne and Zac Brown and won New England Music Awards “Best Country Act 2015” before Jay’s decided to take the next step in his career – moving to Tennessee as a solo artist.
Upon moving to Nashville, Jay quickly gained attention from AJ’s Good Time Bar – the Lower Broadway honky tonk owned by country legend Alan Jackson. Soon, Jay Bragg – with a performance style reminiscent of “Garth Brooks meets Dwight Yoakam” and a sound more akin to a Texas dancehall than a Music Row showcase – moved up the ranks to become the house band at AJ’s.
Never intending to work the honky tonk circuit in Nashville because of his unwillingness to compromise the classic country sound that brought him to Music City, AJ’s was the perfect fit for Jay because of Jackson’s insistence that bands play nothing but REAL COUNTRY MUSIC. The regularity at AJs and other Nashville hot spots like the Dierks Bentley owned Whiskey Row along the consistent 4-hours-without-a-break shows created an opportunity for Jay to assemble one of the tightest and most entertaining pure country bands in Nashville. And as the audiences continued to grow, Jay continued to squirrel away the 1, 5 and 10 dollar bills from the tip jugs each night to finance a record of songs he had been writing on his off days, inspired by the honky tonk life he lives.
On Jan 27, 21018 and in the two weeks following, Jay Bragg recorded his debut solo album at Weatherman Sounds in Nashville, with Nick Worley (son of famed producer Paul Worley) as producer. The record – that includes some of Nashville’s finest session players – was paid for entirely by the money Jay made playing country music – often until 2:30am – 5 nights a week.
Look for Jay Bragg’s debut record “Honky Tonk Dream” this Summer.