With the nuance of a classical musician, the groove of a blues player, and a baritone voice just twangy enough to know he's from Texas, Michael Shay's folk and country songwriting sensibilities reflect a vision comfortably outside any "Americana" box, while poetically evoking his earliest influences: Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, Dylan, and the Dead.
Born in Austin, currently based in Quito, Ecuador, and relocating to the Pacific Northwest at the end of 2015, twenty years making the rounds of musical genres and far-flung countries led Michael Shay back to singing his own blend of rootsy Americana originals. His work with world music duo The Just Desserts and country/bluegrass band Texas Express has seen him perform, collaborate, and teach in Canada, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Germany, France, England, Denmark, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico, as well as throughout the United States.
Seven previous releases exploring genres as diverse as bluegrass, Balkan, rock, folk, country, Latin, tango, swing, Catalan, Indian, Andean, and classical led to the January 2015 release of the compilation "DECADENCE - TEN YEARS OF MUSIC 2002-20012", showcasing the breadth of Shay's vision and experience. In support of this release, Shay will tour with a trio in summer 2015 to TX, NM, AZ, CA, OR, WA, and CO.
Shay has performed, recorded, or collaborated with Anais Mitchell, Jonathan Byrd,, Zoe Lewis, Eliza Gilkyson, Idgy Vaughn, Matt Fockler, Geoff Union, Eleanor Whitmore (The Mastersons), Libby Kirkpatrick, Johnsmith, Paula Nelson, Patrick McAvinue, Sam Guthridge, Phoebe Hunt, Jordan Tice, Brittany Haas, Alex Coke, Wayne Sutton, Matt Giles, Mark Rubin, Will Taylor, Cyril Neville, Conrad Choucroun, Jonathan Doyle, Matt Hubbard, Carolyn Wonderland, Guy Forsyth, and many others.