Photo: Stacie Huckeba

If variety is the spice of life, then veteran singer/songwriter Jay Nash’s musical accomplishments could season every dish on the planet. When he’s not scoring films, writing songs for commercials and television, making music in The Contenders, his duo with drummer Josh Day, or writing and recording with other artists, Nash is putting out records of his own. His latest release and first solo acoustic album, Vermont Sessions, Vol. 1, debuted at #7 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. No big deal. “It was exciting news for a little independent artist that lives in the woods in Vermont,” he says with a laugh.

“Over the years, I’ve been involved in a lot of different projects, and recording a full-length acoustic album has been on my to-do list for a long while,” he continues. “I’ve toured and performed solo a lot, and there’s always been a nice response to that. The act of performing and touring solo can be sort of lonely; on the other hand, it’s fun because there’s no filter, there’s nothing that gets in the way or between what’s inside of you and the listener, and I think that part of it is pretty cool. I’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback over the years from the audiences, and this is something that they wanted,” he says. “Now that I have my own studio at home in Vermont, I could finally capture that.” Whenever he had a free moment, Nash had been recording acoustic tracks and squirreling them away. “It finally felt like the right time to release some of those, and get them out into the world.”

Six years ago, after almost a decade of living in Los Angeles, the Nash family relocated to Vermont to be closer to home. “Los Angeles gets a horrible rap, but it’s an amazing place to live, and I really enjoyed it there. I need to have an ocean or mountains nearby not to go insane; it was almost like we put on a blindfold and a threw dart at the map,” he laughs. “Vermont seemed like a good candidate. It’s one of the last unspoiled corners of the world.”

“Living in Vermont gives me the opportunity to explore creatively without having an audience, in contrast to Los Angeles, where I was surrounded by an incredible community of musicians and writers and artists, but I never like I could do something without an audience,” he explains. “Even if I was in my living room on a Tuesday afternoon working on a song, somebody could hear me working on it.  To some extent, I felt like I was always performing. I was never really alone, and in Vermont, I’ve become reacquainted with being alone. I have a home studio at my disposal; I can record things that I know are going to be shit, but I can chase down an idea and see where it goes.” Nash is also inspired by the 225-year-old farmhouse in which he lives, and says the creativity just keeps flowing. “It’s been non-stop for the last six years; rooms do have energy, and when you make music in a room, there’s a symbiosis between the music-maker and the resonance that happens or it doesn’t,” he explains. “Living here has been good.”

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