Song School and Folks Fest 2015!

Apparently, Folks Fest was at the end of the rainbow!

Apparently, Folks Fest was at the end of the rainbow!

Last week I was in Song School, which was awesome, then Folks Festival happened. This year Jason Isbell was the Saturday night headliner. Pretty much as good as it gets. One of my favorites playing outside and walking distance from my house.There were tons of other great sets at Folks: Kasey Chambers, The Wood Brothers, Richard Thompson, The Waifs, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlins. To name a few.

Testing the lights on the main stage the night before Folks Fest.

Testing the lights on the main stage the night before Folks Fest.

Song School is a truly magical place, with magical people. Not only is it a place to learn, but I really enjoyed watching some folks who had never thought of themselves as musicians before last week discover what they were capable of. It was an honor to be witness to some really profound moments for people. Plus, I made some great new friend and played a bunch of songs very late at night, which I like. That caused me to go to work in a zombie state for a few days, but hey, that happens.

Late night song circle at Song School.

Late night song circle at Song School.

Now it’s back to life, which is busy. But I’m still feeling the lift of creativity and new friends that this time of year always serves up. I’m played in Estes Park last night at The Rock Inn, one of my favorite gigs. I’ve been playing  this song a bunch recently (video from the Song School open stage- thanks to Joe Stevens on bass and Brian Eyster on dobro for helping out). The video got a bit cut off at the end, but most of the song is there. Hope to see you soon.


August Update

Howdy Folks,

If you’ve been following along you know I was traveling with the family for all of July- see related posts here and here. In addition to having a great time with the family, I was gathering up a lot of songwriting thought and ideas. I’m looking forward to working on some new songs this fall (are you going to be at SongSchool in August? Hope to see you there!) As much fun as it was, and it was a lot of fun, it’s also great to be home and turning some attention back to playing some shows and finishing a record.

Here are upcoming shows:

Stone Cup in Lyons 8/2 at 10am

The Rock Inn in Estes Park 8/22 at 6pm

La Vita Bella in Longmont 9/11 at 7pm

The Rock Inn in Estes Park 9/19 at 7pm

Jamestown Mercantile in Jamestown 10/2 at 6pm

I’m still working on booking things for the fall, so check in on my website or at Facebook to get updates.

Record wise, we are working on final mixes and mastering right now. As soon as we are done with that we’ll set a release date and get working on setting up a release show.I’m also turning my attention to things like artwork- a whole new arena for me! I’m thinking the release will be late October or early November.

Hope to see you out there!


A little home recording with the Irish Uncle (Song Included)

I posted about street musicians from our trip earlier, but some of the coolest musical bits of our trip were hanging out with my wife’s relatives. She has several uncles and cousins in England and Ireland, and a great-uncles and cousins in Scotland.

I hit a really awesome vintage guitar store in East London with one of the cousins.

Guitar Porn: top left is a '56 Esquire with the ash tray cover. Tagged here at £13,500. That's British Pounds, not US dollars. So multiply by 1.5 for the price in $s.

Guitar Porn: top left is a ’56 Esquire with the ash tray cover. Tagged here at £13,500. That’s British Pounds, not US dollars. So multiply by 1.5 for the price in $s.

Her Great Uncle is a former world champion flycaster. And all my wife’s uncles are crack musicians. I had a nice jam session with Joe in Southern England, but our visit was pretty short. He makes his own guitars and amps. I played a customized blue paisley Telecaster (5 way switch!) with a leather pick guard (sorry, no photo) through a hand built Fender Champ style 5W amp. It sounded about as good as anything I have ever played.

In Ireland I spent a really wonderful rainy Sunday afternoon with Uncle Stewart in his home studio, where we threw down a high speed demo of a song using the power of modern computing. He played bass and keyboards, I played guitars and sang. We had a super time, and he is so wonderfully talented that it’s really just a pleasure to hang out with him, let alone play.

Stewart laying down organ on a demo we made in #Ireland

A video posted by Jay Stott (@jgstottmusic) on

Both Joe and Stewart came up playing in showbands in Ireland in the ’60’s, and there is, in fact, no song Stewart does not know. Really, He knows them all. He is also an encyclopedia of traditional Irish and Scots music, and I will be working on some new songs he suggested I learn.

Here is our ‘finished’ demo. Given that we did it in one rainy Sunday afternoon, we were pretty pleased. Hope you like it.

Street Musicians of the World! Or, some of them anyway…

Buskers in Gallway, Ireland. The percussionist is at @KevinNearyMusic

Buskers in Gallway, Ireland. The percussionist is at @KevinNearyMusic on twitter.

Whew! We were traveling in Europe and the UK for the last month. This was a family trip, so not really about music, but there was a lot of music involved. Everywhere we went there was music- on the streets of Paris, London, Edinburgh and Dublin, in a church in Paris, and a bunch of places in between.

I love street musicians. I think it’s pretty cool to walk into a public space and make music (or anything really, and create an audience, a venue, out of thin air). It’s not something I’ve done much of, but I know some folks who have done it a lot (especially my sister, Anne Stott, who played on the streets of Provincetown, MA for years). I always throw something in the hat. I think its a karma thing, but I have a lot of respect for what they do, and especially when they do it well (as you will see).

So here’s a walk through some of the street musicians we saw on our trip!

One night in Paris we turned a corner on the way home and found an entire side street blocked off. There were carpets down the middle of the street and everyone who lived in that neighborhood was at tables drinking, eating laughing and having a good time. On the steps of a building half-way down the street, a bunch of folks were throwing down some pretty solid Americana/Folk stuff for the revelers. It was awesome. We walked up and down the street several times just enjoying the scene.

Several nights later, my wife and I were walking home through the Latin Quarter and these guys were playing Willie Nelson in the doorway of a store. The sign says ‘you give us cash, we play Johnny Cash!”

Covering Willie is always a good bet. Even in #Paris. A video posted by Jay Stott (@jgstottmusic) on

This guy was sitting on the sidewalk in East London, in Shoreditch, where we spent an awesome afternoon in the markets.

Street musician in Shoreditch. Guys got a groove. #London #gigs

A video posted by Jay Stott (@jgstottmusic) on

Edinburgh, Scotland was full of music, I even got to an open mic one night. These three youngsters were playing on the Royal Mile (look it up), right down the street from Edinburgh Castle.

Street musicians in #Edinburgh #Scotland These kids were killing it. A video posted by Jay Stott (@jgstottmusic) on

Ireland. Oh Ireland. Music everywhere. This guy was working the pedestrian mall in Gallway, and gets bonus points for singing, playing and tightroping all at the same time.

He’s playing and singing while on a tightrope. Beat that. Street performer, #Gallway #Ireland

A video posted by Jay Stott (@jgstottmusic) on

Also in Gallway, these guys were throwing down the AC/DC pretty hard, AND they had a hula hooper to go with it all. If that’s not rock I don’t know what is. Especially since they didn’t miss a beat when it started pouring rain.

AC/DC and a hula hooper in #Gallway #Ireland They were rockin it.

A video posted by Jay Stott (@jgstottmusic) on

Finally, these guys were tearing it up in Temple Bar in Dublin. Thats a lot of sound for two guys.

Rockin pretty hard in the street in the Temple Bar neighborhood in #Dublin. #Ireland

A video posted by Jay Stott (@jgstottmusic) on

We saw a lot of other music as well. I could post more street performers, but that would be a long post. My wife went to a string quintet in the Church of St. Germain in Paris, I hit some of the pubs in Edinburgh, the bagpipers in Scotland, I even did a quick demo of a song with my wife’s uncle in Ireland (I’ll post that in a separate post).
But, we are happy to be back in Colorado, and I’m happy to be making music here. I have several shows in August and more on the way, and stay tuned for record release info- I’m hoping for a late October or early November shindig.

Summer Heat

Whew. After a rainy spring which had a few tense evenings watching the river, the climate has gone back to Colorado normal. The grass is turning brown, it’s 90 plus. The sky is blue. I can’t complain.

The record keeps slowly wending it’s way through the process. We’ll be mastering and getting ready for production in August. Look for updates and record release party info then.

Anne Stott warming up for a house concert in Lyons.

Anne Stott warming up for a house concert in Lyons.

After some fun gigs in June, the highlight of which was playing a father’s day house concert with my sister Anne Stott and joining her for a show at the Mercury Cafe in Denver, it’s time for a little hiatus from the music while I’m on vacation with the fam.We’re taking a pretty big trip over the ocean to Europe and the UK. Should be a grand time!

However, there may be occasionally reports from Europe and the UK, as it’s hard not to trip over music there. I’m especially looking forward to some family jam sessions in the UK- Joe, Stuart, and Jon are you listening?

After the break, I’ll be at the Stone Cup in Lyons on August 2 (hey, that’s me and Brian E. on their page!)

and The Rock Inn in Estes Park on August 22,

More dates are in the works. Check the calendar for updates, I’ll post them as soon as I get them.

Rock on.

Rock on.


Couches and Such…CXCW Wrap-up

Image by @johnradcliff

Image by @johnradcliff

I never did a Couch by Couchwest wrap-up, so here it is.

My life was way too busy with things that didn’t involve music this year, so CXCW blew by in a hurry. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t awesome. I really enjoy checking out all the great acts from all over the country (and sometimes more distant than that). It’s like a giant open mic night for everyone.

My favorite of the year this year was not too far from home, a band from Boise, Idaho called Hecktor Pecktor with the song ‘Fee Man.’ You gotta love this! It’s got everything I love about Americana and CXCW- it rocks, it’s kinda pissed off and kinda having fun at the same time, pedal steel, loud guitars, and there’s too much crap crammed in the living room. Awesome. Apparently you can download that song for free at soundcloud– I suggest you do that.

The boys from Utah did not disappoint, blowing up a whole bunch of stuff. Here’s Two Mule Blues vid of “Rosedale.’ Good song, pyrotechnics, and it led to the phrase ‘less explodey,’ which immediately entered my permanent lexicon.

Despite the overcommitment to my working life, I did manage to scrape some folks together and make a video as well. Trying something different, we did it outside on a 45 degree day. Tough to keep things in tune, but totally worth it. We tacked the outtakes on at the end, if you like seeing me screw up really simple sentences.

So here you go…

Big thanks to Pam and Marc who helped out this year, and to my daughter for her excellent camerawork.  That song will be on an upcoming record, so stay tuned. If you want me to pester you more regularly, ‘like’ my Facebook page, join the email list (red box to your right) or follow me on twitter.

Spring is Springing!

Moon over The Merc last month.

Moon over The Merc last month.

Well, things are popping out of the ground like crazy, despite the fact that it snowed here last night. That’s just the way it goes in spring in Colorado. But the snow won’t slow me down too much. I had a great time earlier this month playing at the Jamestown Mercantile– one of the really super hidden gems here on the Northern Front Range. I’m hoping they will have me back sometime later this year.

2015-04-03 17.30.24

Apparently, I was a ‘delightful small plate.’


Next week I’ll be at La Vita Bella in Longmont- it’s a really great coffee shop that has an awesome listening room set up- stage, house sound, the works. I’ll be there on Friday the 24th from 7 to 9.

Gig Poster La Vita Bella

I’m also chipping away at this recording project. The funny thing about working on something is that sooner or later you might get finished. We should be done tracking as of this weekend. That’s a huge milestone. Some amazing people have jumped in to help- the list is a who’s who of cool Colorado music people (nope, I’m not giving anything away. You’ll have to wait until the record comes out).

Want to know who this is doing background vocals? Too bad- you'll have to wait.

Want to know who this is doing background vocals? Too bad- you’ll have to wait.

At this point it looks like I might be shooting for an August release. Maybe a bit sooner if the next phase goes fast. Ha.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure…the latest addition to the bad-ass shirt collection.

Bad Ass Shirt

Quick Update!

“Life is what happens when you’re making other plans”

I first saw that attributed to John Lennon. Don’t know if her really said it, but it sounds like something he would have said.

2014-07-08 10.51.10

I had to move my schedule a bit to accommodate the rest of my life. So I’ll be at The Stone Cup March 8th instead of in February. And the following week I’ll be back at The Rock Inn in Estes Park. I’ve put up a new calendar on my Shows page- it’s a google calendar, so you can scroll forward and back and add events to your own calendar if you like.

In other news, Couch by Couchwest is coming. If you don’t know what that means click the link. Stay tuned for more silliness.

Hope to see you out there somewhere.

2015 Coming At Ya!

Happy New Year!

I’m looking forward to a good one. I hope you are too.

Ready to rock at The Rock Inn.

Ready to rock at The Rock Inn.

I had a great time last night at The Rock Inn in Estes Park for the first gig of the year. Big thanks to my friend Brian who has been joining me on dobro, and thanks to the crew at the Rock Inn and the folks that were kind enough to come out and listen to us.

I’ll be at The Stone Cup in Lyons for a Sunday morning sing-in on the first of February. Hope to see you there for egg sandwiches, great drinks, and some songs.

What else is coming up in the new year?  Record! That’s what.

Gotta take yer shoes off (they make noise).

Gotta take yer shoes off (they make noise).

Well, I’m gonna get this thing done. One way or another. We keep chipping away at it. We have eight songs tracked and pretty much ready to go. Now I have to do the singing bit.

Brian (different Brian) lays down some bass.

Brian (different Brian) lays down some bass.

Seriously, I’m hoping to have this done before the spiring, and that’s actually pretty realistic. We’re working on getting the vocals right, then we’ll be putting on the finishing touches and kicking this thing into the world. I’ll make a lot of noise when that time comes.

In the mean time, go to a live show, buy some good music from an indy musician you like, and have fun in the new year!


Geargasm 2: More fun with amps!

Can’t really stop screwing around with amps and stuff. You were warned.

Subject: Fender Deville 2×12 (Red October Version)

Amp seeking new speaker-must be hot.

Amp seeking new speaker-must be hot.

Issue: Two killer Eminence Red Coat Wizards. Great bottom end and crunch, as one expects from ‘British’ style speakers. But not so much at the higher end. Sounds a bit too heavy metal for this bluesy/country/americana/punk guy. Need a little bit of icepick, and maybe some twang, in there, especially with the clean tones.

Solution: Swap one of those Red Coats out for something else.

But what? Something with more top end. Tight, and sparkly. (the language guitar geeks use to talk about amp sound can be like wine connoisseurs- ‘I want my amp smoky and hot with a hint of uptown neon’). Twang in the clean, spank in the breakup. The Wizard will have plenty of bottom, so something with more top end color.

I do like the Eminence line. They are as heavy duty as you can get (hold a 12″ Eminence in on hand and the original Fender speaker in the other- BIIIG difference), and the Red Coat/Patriot split provides some interesting variations in speaker sound. I have Rajun Cajuns in two smaller amps (here and in the post linked above). But that doesn’t come in a 12″ speaker.

Looked at the Patriot line. The Texas Heat looked like it would fit the bill. From the description it sounded like it would complement the Wizard just perfectly. So I ordered one up.

Time to operate!

There isn’t much room in a 2×12 as it turns out.

Deville 2x12 pre-swap. Kinda tight in there.

Deville 2×12 pre-swap. Kinda tight in there.

I had to take out more than I thought to get at the bottom speaker. I thought about putting the speaker in the top position, which is where I would prefer it, but then I’d have to pull the whole amp chassis. And I wasn’t that excited about doing so.

2014-11-02 12.13.05

Wizard on left, Texas Heat on right.

With the Wizard removed you can really see the difference in how the cones are constructed. It will be interesting to see how the sound changes with the new speaker.

2014-11-02 12.19.42

New speaker in place and the tubes back in. Time to button her up.

Post-op report: It will take time to break in that new speaker, but right out of the gate the combo sounds awesome. I should have done a pre-swap recording for comparison, sorry you can’t hear that, but take my word for it, this amp is now beyond awesome. I will put a few clips when I get a chance.

Have a safe and happy thanksgiving. I know I’m grateful for a lot this year.

The Stone Cup in Lyons on Dec. 7, 10am-12pm.

The Rock Inn in Estes Park on Jan. 3, 6-9pm.

Hope to see you out there.