A collaborator at heart, Michael Shay is one of the most versatile and original artists you'll hope to hear.  With twelve years as cellist in ensembles such as world fusion duo The Just Desserts and twenty years singing his original songs in multiple bands, every chance you get to hear Michael will probably be a little different... but always in the company of other equally unique musicians.


The latest Michael Shay album,  "Like a River; The Songs of Jim Harris" was released in late 2017.  Co-produced with guitarist Donald Régnier, the album features Matt Giles, Marty Muse (Robert Earl Keen), Brian Oberlin, Chris Kee (Peter Rowan/Buddy Miller), "King" Louis Pain on Hammond B-3 organ, plus engineering and mixing by Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan).  Available on:   CDbabyiTunesor Amazon

Read more about the new record here, and stream three songs now:  

                         Like A River        Abilene         Desire     


Blending the nuance of a classically-trained musician, the twang of a born-and-bred Texan, and a genre-bouncing career spent collaborating with musicians from around the world, Michael Shay's approach as a singer-songwriter falls comfortably outside any "Americana" box while still evoking his earliest influences: Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, Dylan, and the Dead.   Like those of his longtime songwriting collaborator Jim Harris, Shay’s songs are as likely to touch down in the bars and backroads of cow towns as in the graveyards and parlours of old Europe, dancing with the ghosts of William Blake, Hank Williams, or Sappho... sometimes while you dance too.

Currently living in the Pacific Northwest, Shay tours with the Michael Shay Trio, performing original country-folk and roots-Americana repertoire in an ensemble that features upright bass, mandolin, guitar, and 3 part harmonies with collaborators such as Chris Kee, Peter "Spud" Siegel, Mark Shark, Brian Oberlin, Donald Regnier, and Ryan Hagler.

As cellist in world music accordion-cello duo The Just Desserts and as singer-songwriter/guitarist leading his country/bluegrass band The Texas Express, Shay has previously toured in Canada, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Germany, France, England, Denmark, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico in addition to the United States.  He has acted as a cultural ambassador in Ecuador and Colombia, performing and leading workshops under the auspices of the US State Department.  

Shay's work as cellist with accordionist Lisa Peterson as The Just Desserts is a boundless exploration of popular, traditional, and classical music traditions from around the world. As “curators of delightful musical delicacies from every corner of the globe,” The Just Desserts have explored repertoire and rhythms from dozens of different countries, reinterpreting and sometimes re-envisioning any music that catches their attention. Centered around the unique pairing of accordion and cello, their always-evolving, deeply original sound includes elements of Latin, Balkan, tango, Americana, pan-European, classical, Klezmer, Indian, swing, blues, and Arabic music. Through a sophisticated and fun framing and blending of the essence of each individual musical tradition, the universality and diversity of the world's greatest music is made profoundly accessible to diverse audiences the world over. 



Shay has performed/recorded/collaborated with Anais Mitchell, Jonathan Byrd, Eliza Gilkyson, Zoe Lewis, Patrick McAvinue, Sam Guthridge, Jordan Tice, Brittany Haas, Phoebe Hunt, Eleanor Whitmore (Steve Earle/The Mastersons), Mark Rubin (Bad Livers), Will Taylor, Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers), Conrad Choucroun (NRBQ/Patty Griffin), Matt Hubbard (7 Walkers/Willie Nelson), Carolyn Wonderland, Guy Forsyth, Matt Fockler, Geoff Union (Ragged Union), Johnsmith, Paula Nelson, Libby Kirkpatrick, Idgy Vaughn, Alex Coke, Wayne Sutton, Matt Giles, Jonathan Doyle, Michelle Alany, Maria Tejada, Donald Regnier, Paco Godoy, Mariela Condo, MUNN, Orquesta de Instrumentos Andinos Quito, Mark Shark, Brian Oberlin, Spud Siegel, Chris Kee, Annie Staninec, Julay Brooks, and many others. 

For audio and video of Michael Shay's other projects, please enjoy enjoy the rest of this site!


Michael Shay Audio Player

Signup for Email List: