Michael Shay

What happens when three musicians with backgrounds in jazz, classical, bluegrass, and world music get together to play acoustic Texas folk and alt-country?  Michael Shay’s remarkable trio from Quito, Ecuador will give you a chance to find out during their western US tour in summer 2015.  Shay’s lush baritone voice and guitar, fellow Texan Ryan Hagler’s upright bass and harmony vocals, and French guitarist Donald Regnier’s resonator and slide guitar combine for a powerfully elegant sound and a poetic repertoire you'll not soon forget.  Like those of songwriting partner Jim Harris, Shay’s songs hang around timeless themes like dreams, human history, and the future, as well as the sensual playground of bars, William Blake, graveyards, rich folks’ yards, wedding dresses, and cow towns. 

   With the nuance of a classically trained musician, the grit of a hard-traveling troubadour, and a taste for almost every style of music under the sun, Michael Shay's folk and alt-country sensibilities reflect a vision comfortably outside any "Americana" box while still evoking his earliest influences: Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, Dylan, and the Dead.     

   Born in Austin, currently based in Quito, Ecuador, and relocating to Oregon for 2016 and beyond, twenty years exploring countless musical traditions in far-flung countries eventually led Shay back to performing his own rootsy Americana originals.  As cellist in world music duo The Just Desserts and singer-songwriter/guitarist in country/bluegrass band Texas Express, Shay has toured in Canada, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Germany, France, England, Denmark, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico, as well the United States.          

   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, Maria Tejada, Mariela Condo, and many others.

  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 2002-2012", showcasing the diversity of Shay's output and experience through a decade of recording projects.  A new record "The Songs of Jim Harris" will be also released in June 2016, supported by a tour with his trio in summer 2016 through Oregon, Washington and California.