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            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 34 years old, Psaros has worked in a most peculiar musical landscape. His gigs have ranged from bar rooms, 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.  Psaros has shared the stage with the likes of The Mavericks, Boz Scaggs, Daughtry, Third Eye Blind, Tower of Power,  Ziggy Marley, Donovan Frankenreiter, Anders Osborne, Los Lonely Boys, Rick Springfield, Lisa Loeb, Three Dog Night, Rusted Root, Peter Cetera, Little River Band, The Original Wailers, Eddie Money, and Joe Nichols to name a few.

“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 as many of the artists he has shared the stage with are 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.  Psaros has recently seen the formation of The Jay Psaros Band, a seven piece outfit capable of bringing his diverse arrangements to life in a live setting.  Whether performing solo or with his band, Psaros combines diverse musical arrangements with intimate storytelling creating a memorable and poignant performance.  

(photo credit: Kayte Darling)